How to save Google maps directions for offline use & travel

Google-Maps 2 how to use offline no wifiGoogle Maps can get you out of a jam if you’re lost or trying to find a place, but it doesn’t help you if you’re travelling out of country and trying to a avoid roaming charges from your cellular provider. The fix is to save Google Maps directions offline so you can access the info without using data. Here’s how to do it. (Hint: do this before you go offline)

How to save Google Maps directions offline

For Apple Users:

1    On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app.
2    Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
3    Search for a place, like Palm Springs, Madrid, you get the idea.
4    At the bottom of the page, tap the name or address of the place (in the white bar). If you search for a “place” like a restaurant, tap More.
5    Select Download.

maps download google maps offline use how to

How to store maps with no data – Use offline areas

You can save maps or areas for use later.  This is called “Offline Areas”.
After you download an area, use the Google Maps app just like you normally would. If your Internet connection is slow or absent, you’ll see a lightning bolt and Google Maps will use your offline areas to give you directions instead.
•    Get directions and see routes
•    Use navigation
•    Search for locations

It’s worth noting you can get driving directions offline, but not transit, bicycling, or walking directions. In your driving directions, you won’t have traffic info, alternate routes, or lane guidance. You also can’t modify routes like avoiding tolls or ferries.

For Android users:

Download an area to use offline
Note: You can store your offline areas on your device or an SD card. If you change the way you store your offline areas, you’ll have to download your offline areas again.

  1.   On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app .
  2.  Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
  3.  Search for a place, like San Francisco.
  4.  At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place. If you search for a place like a restaurant, tap More .
  5.  Select Download .

How to store offline areas to an SD card
By default, offline areas are downloaded on your phone or tablet’s internal storage, but you can download them on an SD card if you prefer.

(If your device is on Android 6.0 or higher, you can only save an offline area to an SD card that’s configured for portable storage.)

  1.   On your phone or tablet, insert an SD card.
  2.  Open the Google Maps app .
  3.  In the top left, tap the Menu Offline areas.
  4. In the top right, tap Settings.
  5. Under “Storage preferences,” tap Device  SD card.

Android: Use offline areas
After you download an area, use the Google Maps app just like you normally would.
•    Get directions and see routes
•    Use navigation
•    Search for locations
If your Internet connection is slow or absent, you’ll see a lightning bolt and Google Maps will use your offline areas to give you directions.
Notes:
•    You can get driving directions offline, but not transit, cycling, or walking directions. In your driving directions, you won’t have traffic info, alternate routes, or lane guidance. You also can’t modify routes like avoiding tolls or ferries.
•    To save cell data and battery life, use “Wi-Fi only” mode. In this mode, when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, Google Maps will only use data from the offline areas that you’ve downloaded. Before you use this mode, make sure you download offline areas. To turn on this mode, open the Google Maps app Menu Settings next to “Wi-Fi only,” turn the switch on.

Save money on roaming fees, save data usage and keep connected while travelling. Do you have map, gadget, or travel tips to share? Post them in comments below.

 

Heads Up display review: You’ll love Hudway Glass but hate its partner apps

We may not have self driving cars yet, but there are other ways to improve and streamline the driving experience. I recently received a sample of Hudway Glass. This compact plexiglass panel allows you to turn your smartphone into a heads-up display for your car. Continue reading “Heads Up display review: You’ll love Hudway Glass but hate its partner apps”

Christmas traffic; technology of when to avoid the road

It’s not your imagination; Christmas traffic gets crazy.  And there’s data to prove it. Waze, the guys who make the super cool traffic and navigation app, have released some info about when are the best and worst times to drive around some of the places that see a flood of vehicles around the holidays.

Is Christmas Traffic the worst?

How’d they do it? Waze analyzed Canadian user data from December 24, 2015 and flagged the busiest times for drivers and the worst periods for traffic. All of this lays out what times you should avoid certain destinations.   Continue reading “Christmas traffic; technology of when to avoid the road”

My Favourite Apps

My mother in law’s new iPhone is behind this week’s post of my favourite apps.  Here’s what I love, recommend, or can’t live without:

FOOD & DRINK

*STARBUCKS:  Add your gift cards, pay for coffee, and earn points for free beverages.  This app gets me going in the morning and keeps me going all day.  The only downside; the points you earn are per transaction, not per beverage, so if you’re buying for the office, you’ll get hosed.  (Unless you ask NICELY fo the kindly clerk to ring them in individually!)

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*My Fitness Pal: surprisingly addictive, this app counts the calories FOR you.  You put in your info, tell it whether your goal is to gain or lose weight, or just keep truckin’.  It calculates how many calories a day you should be eating, then keeps track of your intake, as well as factoring in any exercise you do.  It allows you to manually add foods, or use the built-in scanner to upload nutritional info.  Great to get an accurate picture of what you eat; which for many of us is MORE than we think!

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Everyone has a favourite picture-taking app; I have a few. And unlike most of humanity, I only used Instagram for about 3 minutes. I like these better.

*Hipstamatic: Awesome old timey camera settings come with the app, then you can buy fun films, lenses and flashes after.  The app works just like an old fashioned camera with the ability to swap and combine settings.  The films and lenses are so interesting and unique that I keep picking up new ones. With a “Shake to Randomize” setting, you can take cool photos and be surprised at how they turn out. You don’t need an account to use this, unlike Instagram.

hipstam

*360: a cool app that lets you take panoramic view shots that, as the name implies, allow you to completely visually circumnavigate the area around you. Playback makes it look like you’re there.

*PicJointer: allows you to stitch photos together into collages.  Great for then uploading to your social media websites.  Speaking of which..

SOCIAL MEDIA

They probably don’t need explanation, so ’nuff said that they’re on the list.

*Facebook

*Twitter

*Pinterest

TIMESAVERS

*ShopShop: a list-maker app, this keeps needed groceries on hand.  The list keeps track of your frequent purchases so you don’t need to add again and again, and lets you cross off and/or delete what you’ve picked up. Handy.

shopping

*ScanBizCards (Lite): Just like the name says, scan business cards, and they are automatically input into your contacts list.  So handy, and eliminates paper clutter and the need to re-type.  Lite version allows you to scan 5 cards/week, which is enough for me.  Downside: sometimes is has a hard time reading some fonts, so double checking the input is a must.

*Flashlight: when you need it, it’s there.  You can use different colours of light from the screen, or turn on the LED/flash. When you can’t find the darn flashlight, you can probably always find your phone.

HELPFUL APPS

*WhiteNoise Lite: Annoying children on the airplane?  Need some background noise to drown out the neighbours’ wind chimes? Try the sound of crashing waves, babbling rivers, cricket, or the rain. Helpful to get you to sleep, or just to cover other noise.

noise

*Shazam & SoundHound: Both apps that ID music that’s playing aloud.  I find that when Shazam can’t find a song (which is frequent), SoundHound can.  Both also keep lists of the songs you check so you can remember them later.  They’ll also allow iTunes purchases of the song if you like it that much.

NAVIGATION

*Google Maps: For my money it still way outdoes Apple’s map software. Much easier to navigate, and to look up addresses and phone numbers.

*Waze:  Making traffic and commuting into a game! You pick a little teardrop shaped avatar with a cute face, and off you go.  The app starts you as a “Baby Wazer” complete with diaper and soother.  The more you drive, the closer to an adult wazer you get, where you can personalize your avatar into a soccer mom or a ninja.  Climbing several status levels could eventually get you to Waze Royalty.  Also a pretty reliable map.

Waze-navigation-app

GAMES:

Need to kill time in the doctor’s waiting room? Stuck on an endless bus ride?

*Carcassone: A city-building game that’s a big tough to get into, but completely addictive when you do. based on the very popular European board game.

carcassoneimages

*Ticket To Ride: Woo wooo!!  Build rail lines across Canada and the USA, and watch out for your competition competing for the same real estate.  You couldn’t call me a train buff, but this game is surprisingly fun, easy and addictive.

ticket

*Harbourmaster:  Boats come into your harbour, and you need to dock them and unload the cargo.  The faster you dock, the faster they come in, and with bigger cargo loads. Don’t land your container ship on the bottom of the sea!

harbour images

Other built-in apps I get a lot of use out of are Podcasts, Weather, Videos and iBooks.

In case you want professional advice, here’s PC Magazine’s list of its Top 50 Free Apps of 2013.

I’d LOVE to hear some of your top apps…word of mouth is often the best way to find something useful you never even knew you needed!  Leave your list in Comments below.

-Erin