Google maps, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the Apps I never use on my phone. These Apps always slash my bundles to zero within minutes. But Google maps always come in handy when you are stranded in town or lost in a weird estate with look alike houses at every corner. However, if you don’t have enough bundles on your phone, you can’t search anything on the App.
To make things easier, Google has decided to take Google Maps offline. Google has upgraded its Android Maps app so it can provide directions when not connected to the internet. In addition, the App will let you know businesses’ locations, opening hours and telephone numbers while offline. Well, this means you don’t have to engage your brain when searching for stuff in the city, you only need a smartphone that can install Google Maps.
Many people will benefit from the implemented upgrade, especially tourists. Tourists always get lost in arid areas where there’s no internet. Reason being, some countries in Africa are still trying to experiment new tech like internet and data subscriptions hence making data very expensive and out of reach to many people.
Anyway, the fact that Google Maps are now offline, does not mean all the phones will enjoy this upgrade. The new implementations made on the maps will favor high end phones. “Entry-level Android smartphones sometimes only have four gigabytes of onboard storage, making it a precious resource,” commented Ben Wood from CCS Insight. “Once you’ve downloaded a few applications, some music and perhaps a video, that memory quickly disappears. So some users may find using map downloads limits what else they can do with their device – but to be honest that’s one small negative in a sea of positives about this update.”
To get the new update, users will have to tell the app to download an area they select. Once the information has been installed, the app is designed to switch seamlessly between offline and online modes unless forced to stay off the net. BBC provides that, if a driver starts their journey in an underground garage without a data connection, the app will suggest a route and drive-time estimate based on typical conditions, but will then amend the advice once it gains access to live traffic and accident information. The offline map will automatically update once every 15 days to stay current so long as the handset is plugged into a charger and connected to wi-fi, unless the user overrides these restrictions.
“We’ve been working on all of this stuff for two to three years,” product manager Amanda Bishop said. “Google Maps happened to be really slow or completely unusable in many scenarios due to limited mobile internet. Users now don’t have to do all that screenshot jujitsu before they leave, and there’s much faster load times for search and driving directions. Everybody on our team who uses it can’t stand it when they have to use the old app because it’s crazy how frequently you find yourself seeing that spinner waiting for results. Once you get used to it returning them in a second every single time, you quickly get used to how snappy the app feels.”