Google Maps was updated last night (9-July-2013 v7.0.0). While there's a lot they added, one thing they removed was the ability to cache maps offline.
I relied on that functionality in poor-coverage areas. Is there anything I can do?
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Open Google Maps and search for the area you want to cache (or just zoom in on it).
You'll be dropped back at the maps view, and you'll see a notification that the area was copied to your clipboard or otherwise cached. Now, even offline you'll still be able to zoom down to the same level you were at on that map area.
Update: Apparently there was enough of a hue and cry about it that they've added a button, although "ok maps" will still work.
Not the same as the old offline maps, but better than nothing I suppose.
Having come under fire for (mostly) removing the option to save offline maps in its new Android app, Google has pushed a new update that makes it easier for users to save local areas to their device. In a post on Google+, the company notes that its "engineering team has been working around the clock" to add a "Make this map area available offline" card inside the app, mimicking the functionality of the 'OK maps" command.
(source: The Verge)
At least I'm not the only one who regrets the removal of this feature.
The other problem with the redesign is that Google (mostly) removed the option to save offline maps — a feature that was only a year old to begin with. Power users still have a way to cache maps locally, however. Daniel Graf, director for Google Maps, tells us that the company's engineers were just as unhappy with the loss of the feature as we were, so they built an Easter egg. When you type in "OK maps" (or "okay maps") into the search box, it will save a cached version of the visible map area locally. It's not as convenient or manageable as proper offline maps, but at least it's an option — assuming you remember it's there.
(source: The Verge)
The best free offline (Google) maps is (rmaps). First, you will need to download Mobile Atlas Creator version 1.8, which allows you to download Google Maps of anywhere and any size, on your PC. unlimited.
NOTE: Select map source (Google Maps). Zoom level (17 is good for cities). Atlas settings (format: RMaps SQLite). Then create it. Then, insall (rmaps) on phone. Copy-paste the saved maps to
phone memory > rmaps > maps. Then, open
rmaps > settings > user defined maps > select the maps. It works great. I have all Europe (Google Maps) saved on my phone.
You might want to take a look at little helpers like e.g. MapsOn Free: Offline Map:
Offline GPS travel maps. Cache maps to SD card and use them when traveling without network coverage.
This one fills GMaps' map cache (at least it did before it was renamed; the current screenshots confuse me a little concerning whether that was changed, but it's certainly worth a try with the free version; if that works out, you can still decide whether to "go pro").