Google enables offline Maps

Google has unveiled an offline version of its Google Maps application, allowing phones to run the program without an internet connection.

The offline mode will be coming to Android shortly, according to Rita Chen, product manager of Google Maps for mobile.

The service would work whether the phone was abroad and without access to a network or in a train station with no reception, Chen said. Despite the lack of a connection, a device with GPS will still allow a blue dot to track the location on the map. Likewise, the compass would also work, if the device has the feature enabled.

The introduction of the new mapping service comes just as Apple is widely expected to drop Google's mapping application from iOS in favour of its own proprietary version. Google Maps has been a core part of the iPhone since its debut in 2007.

Maps mean big business for both Google and Apple. A large chunk of mobile revenue comes from ads that are related to its maps services, such as recommendations based on location and local searches.


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