Navigation apps such as Waze and Google Maps are a must-have when you’re on the road, especially if you’re navigating through a strange city or need to find the quickest possible route to your destination. Unfortunately, most of these apps require an internet connection to connect to GPS satellites and give you the road and traffic data you need. This isn’t a problem in most cases, but it can be an issue if you’re in a place with a weak internet connection or if you’ve used up most of your mobile data plan and don’t have much left.
Luckily, you can work around this by knowing how to use these navigation apps offline. That’s right: there are ways to use these apps without an internet connection, and you can start by using the guide below.
Using Google Maps Offline
Google Maps has a feature that allows you to download and save maps. However, to use this feature, you’ll need to have internet access first. Using your cellular data or Wi-Fi connection, open and sign in to Google Maps then search for the place you’re looking for. Tap on the download button to store the map in your phone memory or SD card (depending on the app’s settings). Once you’ve downloaded the map, you can use it offline the same way as you use Google Maps when you’re online.
Take note that some downloads can take up to 500MB (so your device should have plenty of extra space) and that your downloads will only stay in your phone for 29 days. Some regions also don’t support offline downloads of maps due to contractual limitations and other reasons.
Using Waze Offline
Unlike Google Maps, Waze doesn’t have an option that lets you download maps and use them offline. But you can find a way around this by using your home or hotel’s internet connection to open Waze before your trip. Enter the address where you want to go and, once the app finishes creating your route, you’re good to go. The application saves the routing in its cache so, as long as you don’t close the app or your phone doesn’t turn off while you’re driving, you can view the map and the plotted route until your reach your destination.
Use these tips now to have access to navigational help even when you’re offline!