If two things on the smartphone have become an inseparable part of our lives, I’d say one of them was 3G/Cellular data and the other is Maps on my iPhone.
You just can’t think of an iPhone without a data plan of any kind because most people use iMessage, check emails, connect to social websites and do much more through the network. So, when you go abroad on travel without a good roaming data plan, you’ve got to keep it down to save money.
But then, how would you use Maps when there’s no connectivity? After all, when you are away from your city, the Maps app would be one of the coolest ways to find out POIs, go to places you want to go, find routes to take you there and much more.
That’s where Offline Maps come as a totally useful service. Having offline maps is akin to being online with Maps: although there are certain limitations.
Using Offline Maps
Most offline Maps are made in such a way that you can download or cache a city, a place of interest or a part of the map to your device. This makes it available even when you are not connected to the network. Of course, to download the data, you’ll need to be online.
The Only Downside
Unlike most online maps like MapQuest or Waze (through Safari, because Apple threw Google’s Maps out in iOS 6), offline Maps are usually going to cost you some money. It’s cheap with most of the apps selling for $2.99 or less and if you go on tours frequently, it would be a worthy investment.
Here are some of the best and the most-popular offline maps apps for iPhone and iPad:
Go where you want with Maps.me. It’s simple and perfect in terms of guiding you to reach your destination without any hassles and that too without Internet connection. The app is fully loaded with maps from around the globe that are free to download on your iDevices. Maps.me is pretty useful when you travel to an unknown place and don’t have any idea about the restaurant, hotel, parking place or even Wi-Fi spot. All I can say is Maps.me is your travel guide to never let you lost again. The app is now available for Apple Watch too. So get directions on your wrists now!
#2. City Maps 2 Go
City Maps 2 Go is yet another app which gives you map directions offline. All you have to do is just turn on your GPS and see your location. The GPS will automatically detect your location and you can now reach your destination with the directions given by the offline maps. Besides that, you can also get detailed reviews and inspiring stories of all the places you visit (if any) so that the users can know the place better in a better way. You can search for a place, save the directions, book a hotel and all this can be done within the app!
Download City Maps 2 Go
It’s not just a map guide, but you can get a lot more information from Sygic app on your iOS devices. The app offers voice navigation besides just guiding you to reach your destination. It warns you whenever you are about to reach your speed limit or about to pass through speed cameras. The junction view gives you a clear idea of taking contingency on highways. All the major continents’ maps are included in the app to give users the best experience. The app now supports Apple Watch too!
#4. Pocket Earth
Make your travel stress free with Pocket Earth app, says the app developer. And up to some extent the word seems to be true with the kind of features offered by this app. The app works on GPS system to provide you the offline maps and directions right at your fingertips. It has more than 1 lakh places in the database, which makes sure that each and every corner of the world is covered. Supports various file types and allows you to share it with your friends so that they never get lost. Pocket Earth also has some special maps and directions for adventurers, especially for hiking and cycling.
Download Pocket Earth
#5. World Maps Offline
This is a really simple, neat and clearly focused offline maps app. The best thing about this is that unlike many other apps, there is no in-app purchase: it’s all yours. You just buy this one, select patches to download and it all gets saved to your iPhone.
Download World Maps Offline
#6. Galileo Offline Maps
Okay, this should have been on top because it’s totally free and does almost everything that the others do – but with one important difference. It works based on cache, which means there’s no concept of downloading maps here. You just take a look at the map which you want to have for offline use and it gets cached at all the zoom levels that you see it on. Read full review of Galileo iPhone app.
Download Galileo Offline Maps