Google is taking the offline feature seriously in order to help its users enjoy benefits even when they are not connected to the internet. Especially for travellers and those living in remote areas with lower or intermittent internet connection this comes as a boon.
Last year Google announced its offline feature for YouTube where users could download videos and save them offline for viewing at a later time. A few weeks ago, Google announced the offline feature for its famous Google Maps service.
Indian users could benefit from the offline feature available. With internet penetration still growing and data being spotty in places, the offline feature may just push the app usage further. Currently Google Maps sits at the 7th spot in the App store according to App Annie’s statistics while on Android the app is pre installed.
The new setting essentially lets users stop data transfers over cellular for Google Maps, while other apps that might require permanent data connection will still use mobile data on Android devices.
The other update that could help Indian users is the option of storing the offline data where the user feels is convenient. In a country where entry-level smartphones are high in demand, there is often space constraints due to lower internal memory space. Google Maps users with any storage capacity can download and use offline areas when they need them most. Google has added the ability to download offline areas to an external SD card (if your device supports them) on Google Maps for Android.
One feature that awaits its arrival to India is the service that provides a comparison between cab service providers. In addition to showing options from Uber, Google Maps is currently showing GO-JEK rides in three cities in Indonesia with ten more cities coming soon (Android, rolling out on iOS) and Grab rides in 24 cities throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand (Android, rolling out on iOS). It also expanded the availability of Gett, Hailo, and MyTaxi in select cities across Ireland, Poland, Italy, Austria, Russia, and Israel (Android, iOS).
With Android and iOS constantly challenging each other in terms of features, it seems like Android has taken another dig at Apple’s maps service and given them something to think about while Google brings in innovation and constant changes for better user experience.