Following an update a couple of weeks ago, Google has today announced another update to Google Maps for Android that brings along some useful new features. These new features are aimed at those who are looking to save a bit of data on their mobile plans or who may live in areas where mobile data isn’t available.
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The first big addition is a Wi-Fi only mode which limits the app to offline files only when on mobile data. When on Wi-Fi users will be able to save areas for offline usage including the standard navigation features. This feature will be easily accessible via the app’s settings menu and can be activated or deactivated with a toggle.
We’ve all been through this — whether in our own backyard or a different country. You need to get directions, but you don’t have service. Or you do have service – but it’s spotty – so you find yourself staring at the map in a perpetual state of loading while you sit in your car waiting to find out which way to go. Now, when you know you’ll have spotty service or just want to save on data, you can toggle to “Wi-fi only” to use Google Maps entirely offline on Android. And the best part is that you can still use other apps and the rest of your phone as you normally would. You might even save on battery life too.
To go along with the new Wi-Fi only mode, Google Maps has also finally picked up the ability to save offline files to external storage rather than the internal memory. That means those who have a device with microSD card storage will be able to save their internal storage for apps and save even more data to the SD card as those generally have more space available. The option to choose between internal and external storage will also be presented before saving maps offline, as well as presenting the amount of storage available on each device in MB.
The last addition to this update is improved ride service tools. Google previously added features for those who use services such as Uber earlier this year, however with this update that feature extends itself to more ride services and also to new countries. Services such as GO-JEK, Grab, Gett, Hailo, and MyTaxi have all been added in select cities throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Poland, Italy, Austria, Russia, and Israel.