I’ve been an Android user since my first T-Mobile G1 way back in 2008, and as such watched and used Google Maps through its iterations and updates: the introduction of free navigation, the ability to download certain area’s for offline use, etc etc, with each iteration making improvements to the app – all for free, remember?
Following another round of now-legendary beta-testing, Google has now released the latest version of the app, with a new “WiFi only” mode. When enabled, it will (not surprisingly) keep the app in offline mode, which stops it from using mobile data, but at the same time, other apps messaging etc can still connect to mobile networks. This will be a big help to people on a limited data plan or if travelling cutting down on roaming charges. Navigation can often be the only reason you need data on a trip.
The second part to this update is the ability save those downloaded maps to your device’s SD card. As Google points out, “entry-level smartphones come with internal storage as low as 4GB”… So you’ll never have to choose between selfies or getting lost again.
To enable Wi-Fi only mode, go Settings in Google Maps. As soon as you activate the feature, you’ll see a notification to save areas offline, and that a small amount of data may still be used while in Wi-Fi mode. The update is now live, but if you’re not seeing the offline mode just yet, try again in a few hours.
Source Google Blog