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Google Maps Bringing Full “Offline” Support to Android

During today’s Google Maps event, the Maps team announced that “offline” functionality is here to stay and will be leaving its beta or Labs world behind. A similar feature was introduced back in July of last year, however, that involved caching of areas while this new offline mode allows users to download full sections of maps for later use.

We were not given a release date, and instead were left with “soon.” For now, if you would like to take Maps offline, head into Google Maps>Settings>Labs and check the box for “Pre-cache map area.” Then from the map view, long press in the middle, tap on the bubble of the location it finds, and then choose “Pre-cache map area.” You will then download the area of the map that you have in view. 


  • s maisonneuve

    I created a map with Google Maps on my computer under my galaxy tablet account but I can’t get to it on my tablet. Any suggestions

  • Jim Sheeran

    This will be perfect for using my old OG Droid for GPS permanently in the car. No more turning on the wifi hotspot with my Nexus just to do GPS on my Droid

  • socalrailroader

    Things like this are vital to those of us who live, work and travel in areas with little to no cell service, like here in Northern California. If Google gets this to full maps offline, it could put a huge dent in programs like Navigon and Tom Tom.

    • LionStone

      Yep it sure is…I like the other really useful tool; the Measuring tool. When you’re in Labs, enable the measuring tool, go back to Maps, tap on the ruler, then tap point A to point B and it will measure the distance and tell you elevation gain/loss. Google Maps rocks!

  • Bionic

    call me a noob, but how exactly do you cache a map?

    • LionStone

      Go to Maps, Settings, Labs, tap on pre-cache area, go back to Map, long press on an area, bubble will pop up, tap it, go down to Pre-cache area and tap on it. It will then pre-cache a 10 mi x 10 mi area.

  • Bionic

    this is GREAT GREAT news. Now, even if your in the middle of the desert with no cell signal, you can use google maps to see where the fck your going, lol.

  • VicMatson

    Is the GPS chip in my ATT Samsung Note strong enough to be able to navigate (like a Garmin) when my connection is lost? I do have ATT and it happens a lot, hense the Garmin!

  • This is awesome for the times you go outside of the country and don’t have service but still have a GPS device!

    or if you are like me and still have an old android phone (DINC) that can be kept in the car as a gps/music device.

    • Droidzilla

      Or if you’re like me and you’ve mounted a WiFi tab to your dash as the head unit.

  • 123456789101112131415

    cool, now if only i can have announced street names in my navigation (still running on downgraded v6.5 to get announced street names) le sigh 🙁

  • Story_Ninja22

    Can you Navigate with GPS through a pre cached map area while offline?

    • AnotherAndroidKid

      Currently with offline from the labs, yes you can. it is just such a small area, that it is not worth it driving. i have used it for walking.

      • Great for NYC & other crammed cities – places with tunnels and a dense population/traffic area

      • You can cache an entire trip on a tablet and take it with you. I do this regularly with my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0(Longest tablet name ever.)

        • Bionic

          how does one go about cache’ing a map or trip to do this? im going camping in northern MINN next year and i would want to cache almost the entire north part of the state if possible.

          • David

            I also would like to know the answer to this question.

      • Travis Keany

        Yes and no, in my experience. As long as I get directions while on a data connection and then stay on that course I’m ok. But when I wandered off course it did not recalculate without a data connection. I assume it wouldn’t give me directions in the first place without a data connection either.

    • Yes, you can.

      • SubMatrix

        meaning yes you can look up directions within a pre-cached area while offline?

        • It is my understanding that you can do anything offline that you can do online, as long as it involves the cached/saved portion of the map.

  • T4rd

    Even if it’s a few GBs, I wish they would give us the option to download an entire state or country. I’ve used this labs feature in cities I travel into and it works pretty well. I just have to remember to cache the city before I go out..

    • OhAaron

      I watched the briefing. You will be able to.

  • Story_Ninja22

    Can you navigate with the GPS while offline through a pre cached map area?

    • digitalicecream

      Yes you can.

      • digitalicecream

        The catch is, you have to cache your entire trip, as it caches a specific distance around your selected area. Just do multiple caches on your way from your location. Also if you use Navigation, it is going to cache your entire route, this keeps it accurate while going under tunnels, etc.

        • Story_Ninja22

          that’s pretty cool. Ill have to give that a try. Learned something new thanks!

        • Raven

          This will be great for tablet users as well. Just precache your trip and have a nice big map without tethering.

  • htowngtr

    Works great if you’re always in the same area so you don’t need to worry about radio/wifi.

  • RedPandaAlex

    It’s an incredibly useful feature. I used it last month when I went hiking in a low-reception area