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The Google Maps for iOS update brought native iPad support, but perhaps the most useful feature of the new Google Maps app is the ability to save cached maps for offline use on iPhone. It’s very easy to use, so the next time you’re planning to leave an area with poor reception or no cellular signal, quickly visit Google Maps beforehand to save cache maps locally to your iPhone or iPad.
Before you can use this feature, make sure to update your iOS device to the latest version of Google Maps through the App Store.
Save Google Maps cache for offline use
You must first use this feature when your iPhone, iPad, or Android still has a cell phone signal or Internet connection to download the map cache locally to your device.
- Launch Google Maps and use the search function to find the destination or area you want to save offline
- Now use the search function again, but type “Ok maps” and then press Search
A short message will be displayed when the area/cache is saved locally, and a small message will then appear at the bottom of the screen to confirm that the map is cached for offline use.
You can continue to use Google Maps as usual, but the safe area will still be available even if you don’t have a signal or internet connection. To find it, simply reopen Google Maps and search for that area to pull up the cache map, even if you no longer have a data connection on the device itself.
This is invaluable for individuals planning to visit areas with no or weak reception, which is common enough to make the property more visible. In this regard, it’s a little surprising that there’s nothing more obvious like a “Save Map Offline” button, and instead relies on a long-hidden easter egg feature in the Android version of the app. Still, this is a very nice ability to have, and something that the original Apple Maps app also needs.
Clear your Google Maps cache
Since you can save Google Maps locally, it only makes sense that you can also clear cache of saved offline maps
- Open Google Maps and swipe to Settings, then go to About, Terms and Privacy.
- Tap “Terms and Privacy” and then tap “Clear app data” to clear all caches on the local map
You don’t need to do this very often because Offline Maps don’t take up much space unless you’ve downloaded the entire continent to your device and suddenly the other “space” in iTunes has risen to some astronomical level. However, it is a useful feature that the application is native. Something to remember is that in order to clear the cache, you need to have active Internet service, either through cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection.
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Apple devices only.
mac OS or iOS
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