Google Maps Is Going Offline, & The Helpful New Feature Will Change Your Life During These 4 Frustrating Times

On Thursday, major news came out that will affect anyone who's ever been lost and without Wi-Fi or data: Google Maps announced that it will soon work offline. Later this year, Google Maps will allow searches and turn-by-turn voice navigation while offline. No longer will the trusty map guide you to a new location then suddenly disappear, leaving you stuck and confused. The new feature's main goal is to help people in developing countries use Google services when they don't have a reliable Internet connection, but it will be useful for smartphone users everywhere.

Similar offline support has also become available for YouTube and websites on Chrome recently. YouTube Offline, currently available in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, allows people to download videos and keep them on their device for 48 hours without an Internet connection. The new Network Quality Estimator for Chrome optimizes search results and webpages in Google Chrome to use less data. All three of these developments are a part of Google's aim to make its services available to everyone across the globe.

The ability to access Google Maps while offline will make everyone's lives much easier, especially the directionally challenged. Here are four situations when the Google Maps improvement will change your life.

While Traveling Abroad

Using data on your smartphone is really expensive when you're out of the country, which is why most people turn theirs off while traveling abroad. However, this leaves you stuck navigating around a foreign city with an old-school map that's more confusing than it is helpful. With Google Maps' offline feature, tourists can ditch the paper maps and let their phones lead them around like a true 21st-century traveler.

When You Run Out Of Data

For those of us who don't have unlimited data on our smartphones, running out toward the end of the month can be a real struggle, especially when you don't know where you're going and can't look up directions. Not being able to check your Instagram feed at the drop of a hat isn't really a big deal, but constantly getting lost gets old really quick.

When You're In the Middle Of Nowhere

Even if you have plenty of data, there are still rural places that get very little or no cell reception. Now you won't have to worry about getting lost in the middle of nowhere because Google Maps will always be by your side.

While Taking the Underground Metro

Underground metros are like a vortex of no cell service that you can't escape until you resurface to street level, making it impossible to look up where you're going mid-route. Yes, there are maps in most stations and trains, but if you don't know how to read them or are completely clueless as to where you need to go, they aren't very useful.

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