Google Maps Adding Offline Search And Navigation “Later This Year”

For all those times you’ve glanced around at an unfamiliar intersection, cursing the wireless signal gods for denying your phone service and thus depriving you access to mapping apps, Google says it’s here to help: The company announced today that soon Google Maps will offer offline search and navigation capabilities.

During its keynote address at the company’s I/O developer conference today, Google said the offline support will launch “later this year,” reports

You won’t be able to pull up a map without an Internet connection, say if you’re underground on the train and just realized you have no idea which stop to get off at, however. Instead, users can download maps to their devices while connected to the Internet that include turn-by-turn voice directions they can use when they go offline. They’ll also be able to search Maps within those downloaded maps and get suggestions or reviews for certain locations, where available, without Internet access.

It’s unclear how many countries will be supported in the new offline feature, but Google says it wants users be able to “explore the world literally wherever they are.”

Google Maps goes offline, complete with turn-by-turn directions [CNET]

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