In this age of smartphones, our cellular devices often serve as our navigation for both driving and walking. However, when we finally find ourselves in a situation where we have low service, no data left on our tiered data plans, or when we are traveling outside of the country, we need to find another way to get our mobile maps fix. In the past we would have used traditional maps, but they just feel so big and cumbersome now. If you happen to be an Android user then you are in luck. Offline mobile maps are only a few clicks away.
If you are like most, the biggest feature missing in your maps application is offline caching. While there are certainly some 3rd party apps that will do caching, its still not the same as having it right within Google Maps. Well now with the Labs feature on Android, you can active map caching for offline use. Here is how:
- 1. Activate the caching feature by tapping Menu > More > Labs. This will bring up any available labs options.
- 2. Click the "Download Map Area" button.
- 3. On the map, either search for the area you wish to download use your current location.
- 4. If you use your current location tap and hold on the map to bring up the tooltip. If you searched using the search bar, then tap the location to display the tooltip.
- 5. Tap the tooltip and select "More" and then "Download Map Area" from the menus.
- 6. The selected area is then downloaded. Access your cached map by going to Menu > More > Cache Settings > Downloaded Map Areas. From here you can rename and delete cached maps as well.