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Did anyone use offline maps really anyway? I know I never have. I bet the number of people that actually used the offline feature was a small percentage anyway.

Just use OpenStreetMaps (aka https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.osmand ) and download half of Europe if you wish. Just works, and the navigation was for me (at least in Italy) better than with Google Maps.

I guess it depends. I found Google Maps much better than OSM while on vacation in Turkey.

Thanks for the tip!

also check out Oruxmaps. not free software but free of cost and very feature heavy and fast.

I use it all the time. And it was one of those things I told other people about -- look, you can use maps without even using your precious data plan megabytes. This is very annoying.

> I bet the number of people that actually used the offline feature was a small percentage anyway.

So do I, because it was impossibly difficult to find.

Otherwise, it was quite a useful feature. For Europeans, on holiday, where they'd otherwise have to pay insanely high roaming charges. Unfortunately Google tends to be rather US-centric, so I guess as far as they were concerned it was a useless feature. Oh well.

After moving to Europe, I started using that functionality all of the time. I'll be rather crushed to see it go.

I'm from Europe myself, but I'm only marginally crushed to see it go. The feature provided you with an offline map of an area, to be sure, but you couldn't navigate using it as calculating routes is done online. On a small phone screen, figuring out which route to take is not an easy task.

So I used the feature, of course, but only to figure out where I was in very limited geographical areas, in other words, mostly for small hikes.

Definitely used it alot when travelling around Europe. We still have inflated fees for date roaming here, so having offline maps comes in handy for visiting cities abroad.

I use it extensively when travelling outside my home country, i.e., where data roaming charges are insanely high. I also use it when travelling in my home country when far from major urban centres (hey, Canada is huge, man, even Ontario is huge - get too far north of the Windsor-Quebec corridor and forget about coverage).

To me, offline maps were a huge win for Google Maps, and "OK Maps" or some other weirdness is a usability nightmare.

-1, Google, -1.

Every time I'm not in the same country as my SIM card provider.

Which is fairly often, if you're not in an enormous block like the US.

Maybe because the offline experience wasn't good? I have been using Nokia maps on my Symbian / Windows Phones and they have been invaluable to me, especially when traveling. I know many users of Nokias who swear by offline maps.

Very useful when you're on an underground train - its a killer feature in London

On my android phone? Not yet but I want to in future. On my previous phone, a nokia N900, I had downloaded the whole world.

When you're in the wilds of Australia, and go days or even weeks without mobile signal, it's invaluable. Without this I may need a dedicated GPS device.

> Without this I may need a dedicated GPS device.

I find this ridiculous, but you're probably right. I could run a complete offline maps application back on WinMo 7ish years ago. TomTom had the complete maps for the entire continent, text-to-speech synthesis, and directions being calculated all client-side on general-purpose phone hardware. There is no reason we should need a dedicated GPS device.

Then again, there probably already exists a similar app in the market for Android that provides all of this service offline, we're just ignoring it because it costs north of $50 or something.

Yeah, it looks like Tom-Tom is available, but they want $80ish for Europe, $60 or so for Australia etc.

This may not be historically unreasonable, but I am now used to having the world for free!

I really really tried to on a recent trip overseas. It totally didn't do what I needed (I don't remember the exact details but I think it didn't allow for offline searching or something).

As a backup I had two other free nav apps on my phone (well, on my phone and also installed on an older phone and my tablet just in case) and one of them worked well enough that my wife could just watch it and yell out turns.

The hardest part was finding destinations on the map in a country without a proper addressing system (I'm looking at you Ireland). Before the trip, I had to go to google maps, find the place and get the coordinates, then save that waypoint in the app (I think it was Navfree) as a destination.

It was fussy, but functional and better than a paper map or nothing. The thing I really need from these kinds of apps is a good offline point of interest search. Unless you just happen to have the address (or coordinates!) of every place you might want to go, you end up missing this feature really quick. And even if the app has it, the data quality can by a major issue.

> It was fussy, but functional and better than a paper map or nothing.

Were you using the aforementioned free apps because there aren't paid nav apps on Android, or because said apps aren't any good/not suitable for you purposes? Not that your strategy is terribly bad, just wondering why it was necessary.

In the presence of workable and decent free apps, I didn't feel the need to pay for marginally better paid apps, especially when I would probably never use the app again after the trip.


If you have high roaming charges (or don't have data connection)

This doesn't happen very frequently but it's at the times you most need a map

I use it all the time, it's wonderful. I cached the entire city I live in and it's much faster.

Also, I went on holiday recently and cached the entire country I went to, so I only paid for roaming data on directions, which was quite cheap.

I use maps (actually ViewRanger) with my phone in airplane mode and the tiles pre-cached, to increase battery life while traipsing around.

Well, beside the fact that 3G is slow as molasses outside of major cities (if there even is any coverage), data plans are severely limited (and expensive as hell if you even try to use them in another country), and that network access is slower than local storage (and more power-intensive), why would anyone want to use it, right? [/sarcasm]

I use it all the time as well, especially when making a road trip or just doing touristy stuff in DC. My phone is slow enough that I can usually figure out what street I'm trying to get on by the cached map before the network data finally starts streaming in.

Offline maps is what's kept me on the Nokia Symbian platform for so long. There are quite a few places in the US with poor or non-existent cell coverage and those tend to be the places where I really need access to map data.

It's great for traveling in other countries when roaming charges are high

I'm not 100% clear on what that feature includes. If I'm on a roadtrip and I'm moving into an area with spotty coverage, do I lose the previously cached map? Were offline maps automatic before?

One more for the 'yes' chorus. Whenever I'm going somewhere I'm not familiar with, I'll download a map of the city in advance, to avoid data charges.

I have the offline map of my city downloaded on my WiFi tablet. I often use my tablet when I am travelling when I can't be bothered to waste my phone's battery.

I've often presented offline map as one of the best (or only) reasons to own an Android over an iPhone. That and the keyboard. I would be mad to see it go.

I use it all the time due to not having a data plan (I don't need it often enough to make the expense worth it).

Without offline maps maps is pretty useless to me.

It's useful if you are underground (e.g., subway).

I used it all the time when travelling anywhere.

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