Just the other day my father-in-law and I were discussing different navigation apps and their pros and cons. We both had our preferences but with Google’s announcement today, I may have the ammunition required to convince him that I was right and that Google Maps is the best of the apps we discussed.
My father-in-law uses Republic Wireless and has their lowest data plan. As he has almost no data he has chosen to use HERE by Nokia Apps LLC. He was very positive about the app and his favorite features were the offline maps as well as having the ability to customize the voice on the turn-by-turn directions.
I myself use Sprint and have one of the old Unlimited data plans that Sprint cannot get me off of. As my data on Sprint and roaming are both unlimited I have always used Google Maps and have had no issue. If I was on another carrier it would be another story. Now don’t make fun of me, but I am terrible with directions. As I am navigationally challenged there are months I use upwards of 10GB of data on navigation alone.
Back in May at Google I/O it was announced that Google was working on offline navigation for Google Maps and now six months later we are finally seeing it!
The update allows you to download an area to your phone so that when you have no service you are still able to have turn-by-turn direction, search for destinations and still get some information such as hours of operation and ratings.
Some users have reported that after updating the app they didn’t see any differences and were not able to use offline maps. For me the update was available immediately after installing the updated app.
I tested the update in the parking garage at my office where I never have any signal and was able to seamlessly transition from the offline map to the online map as I exited the structure. The only changes I saw when it transitioned was when the screen updated to show existing traffic conditions and to update the time of arrival at my destination.
If you would like to try the update you can get it here: APKMirror
Now the tricky part is working out the details of my discussion with my father-in-law so my case is ironclad when I explain again, with more authority than before, that Maps is much better than HERE. Thank you Google!
Roy likes to dabble in all things Android and contributes everywhere he can. He owns the site rwilco12.com and its accompanying forum, he develops his own apps and ROM’s, is a Moderator and Recognized Developer on XDA-Developers.com and is the VP of Public Relations for AndroidFileHost.com.