Are you going for a long drive? Whether you are deep in a National Park or just on a highway in the middle of nowhere, you may not have a cellular signal. This is how your iPhone can continue to instruct you while you are off the grid.
The problem: no offline navigation in Apple Maps
Years after its launch, Apple Maps is a surprisingly robust map app . But the iPhone’s built-in Maps app has one big omission: There is no way to download maps for offline use.
If you start navigating to a location while you have a signal, Maps can help you get there smoothly, even if your signal is interrupted along the way. However, if you try to start navigating again when you have no data signal, Maps will not help you.
This makes Maps particularly useless for getting out of many national parks, for example. You can take it there, but you can’t return it.
To solve this problem, you will need an alternative mapping application to fall back on when you do not have a data signal.
Option 1: Download huge offline maps on HERE WeGo
There are many offline map apps for iPhone. We like HERE WeGo . It’s free, it works with Apple CarPlay and allows you to download large areas of maps. You can download a map of the entire US, for example, or download just one or more states. You can also download maps of other entire countries. (A map of the entire US uses approximately 7.83GB of storage on an iPhone.)
This isn’t just a basic map showing your location either; you can ask HERE WeGo for navigation directions and search for places and points of interest on the map, all completely offline.
Even if you prefer Apple Maps, it’s a good idea to have a backup app like this while traveling long distances. If mobile data is not available, you can access your maps offline.
To use this feature, download the app and launch it. Open the panel at the bottom of the screen, tap “Manage Maps”, scroll down and tap “Download new maps”. You can then choose the continent and country for which you want to download maps.
Option 2: Download offline areas on Google Maps
Unlike Apple Maps, Google Maps offers offline maps in its iPhone app. It’s not as comprehensive as HERE WeGo though – you can only download smaller areas, and Google Maps insists on downloading updates for them regularly. However, Google Maps will allow you to search for places on the map offline and will also give you navigation directions.
Despite these limitations, this feature is still quite useful. After all, Google Maps is a solid map app. In fact, you can download quite a large area, so it is particularly useful for downloading your city and the nearby area or an area you are traveling to. However, it is not ideal for a trip long for road , and there is certainly no way to download an entire country at once.
To use Google Maps offline on an iPhone, download the Google Maps application and start it. Touch your profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen and touch “Offline Maps”. From here, you can tap “Select your own map” and zoom in or out to choose a specific area of Google Maps that you want. download for offline use . Repeat this process to download multiple areas of the map.
These are not the only ways to get maps offline, of course. You will find many other offline map apps on the iPhone App Store. We just wish Apple provided a decent way to use Apple Maps when your iPhone is disconnected from the internet.