Last night, Google released Google Maps 2.0 which includes a number of new features and improvements such as iPad support, enhanced navigation including live traffic updates and incident reports, indoor maps etc.
Google has also included the “Ok maps” easter egg first discovered in the Android app that allows you to save offline maps.
Here’s how to save offline maps in Google Maps 2.0:
- Launch the Maps app
- Zoom in or zoom out the map screen so that the area you want cached is displayed
- Tap the search box near the top of the screen and type “OK Maps” into the field, and tap on the Search button on the keyboard.
- It will display a splash screen informing you that it is preloading data.
- And then inform you that Maps in that the on-screen maps area has been cached at the bottom.
That’s it. You should now be able to use Google Maps for that area even without an internet connection. However, please note that searching for a location or getting directions still can’t be initiated without an internet connection.
Here’s a video walkthrough of how to save the offline maps in Google Maps 2.0:
While this may not be the most intuitive way to save offline maps, it works. Offline maps can be a useful feature while you are travelling abroad and don’t want to use data to rack up crazy data roaming charges. So let’s hope Google makes it easier in the future.
Let us know how it goes.
It looks like the pre-loading feature is not available in all countries. You will get the message “Maps pre-loading is not available in this area” if offline maps is not available in your area.