Google, a company made famous for its Internet innovations, is going off the grid. More specifically it's bringing the grid offline. Starting November 10, Google Maps users will be able to navigate and search without an active cell connection. Now you can pull up directions deep in the signal-blocking confines of a parking garage or keep your directions coming while driving through a cellular dead zone.
Android users — IOS is coming soon — can now download map areas on the updated Google Maps app that offers offline navigation and can kick in if you lose your signal. And though it can't give real-time traffic updates, it still provides travel times based on previous traffic trends.
One of the biggest benefits to the offline navigation is giving people the ability to navigate without cutting into your monthly cell data. International travelers, especially, can avoiding huge roaming and international charges to navigate foreign cities. The only catch is that users have to select which map areas they want to download ahead of time. "Users now don't have to do all that screenshot jujitsu before they leave," Amanda Bishop, project manager for Google Maps told the BBC. Downloaded maps result in significantly faster load times for directions, she added.