Google Maps: increased offline retention
Google Maps supported the downloading of maps to the local device in the past. The feature downloaded the selected region to the local device where it remained accessible for 30 days before it expired.
Offline map access is a useful feature in many situations. It is ideal for situations where Internet connectivity is not available at all or only unstable since you don't need an Internet connection to access the map and some of the functionality of Google Maps.
It may also be handy if you would have to buy a sim card for connectivity just to access Google Maps online.
Tip: Check out our Google Maps offline guide to find out how to save map data to the local device so that it can be accessed while offline.
Expired map data could not be used anymore which meant that users had to download it again to renew the data. Google Maps included an option to renew the map data automatically if only 15 days were left until the expiration date but only if a wireless connection was available.
While 30 days does not sound too bad especially if you take the automatic renewing of the data into account if the device is connected to a wireless network at one point in time during the 30 day period, I always found it quite the hassle to keep an eye on the expiration date of map data.
I always keep a copy of local maps on my device which is quite handy at times as Internet connectivity is not great everywhere. I do download maps of cities and regions that I will visit in the future as well to have it at hand if needed.
It appears that Google increased the limit of offline map data recently on Google Maps for iOS and Android. The change does not affect map data downloaded prior to the change but if you update the data or download new offline map data to your system, you will notice that the new expiration date is set to a period of a year and no longer to 30 days.
It may still be a good idea to update the map data in the 365 days period as it may grow old quickly depending on the location. You can update the data with a tap on Menu > Offline Maps, a tap on the Menu button next to the map that you want to update, and the selection of update from the context menu.
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I just updated my local map. It’s still set to expire in 30 days. The new feature may not have rolled out everywhere yet.
Much to my surprise; I just did an update to my “Google maps” offline maps and presto ! I year expiry.
There’s stuff of F-Droid that can work offline, like PocketMaps and others. And they’re not spyware loaded unlike everything touched by Google.
Google making it hard to use their app offline is just their usual bullying of users, because they want to spy on them more easily.
I downloaded offline maps for only the second time ever a few hours ago and thought it was a bug that it showed “expires August 25” after downloading. To think it meant August 25, 2019 is amazing. I live in a rural area and nothing much changes around here while updating a dense urban area every 30 days was hundreds of megabytes of data, when people might not be able to afford it in some countries. Better late than never
Locus Maps works better for offline mapping. And it works well with the GPS out in the back woods where there is no cell coverage.
I use OsmAnd~. Nowadays also for privacy reasons and because the maps have higher detail in less known regions, but I initially switched specifically because it had happened twice to me that I was in a place I didn’t know, with no internet connection, wanted to pull up my previously downloaded map and it was just gone.
I didn’t know that there was a time limit for it, which is also just stupid.
An outdated map is still a million times better than no map. And in 30 days, not that much is going to change.
Extending it to 365 days is obviously much more reasonable, but I still find it unnecessarily user-hostile that there is a time limit to begin with.
Show a warning over the map that it may be out of date, but don’t risk that someone gets lost without any map at all.
“An outdated map is still a million times better than no map.” Completely agree. However I prefer Sygic, it is very fast to recalculate the route, easy search and easy history access to get all sites.
I was fed up with this expiry business as it is difficult to keep in mind to update every time. So I started using Here-we go since last month. It has improved SO MUCH since I used last a few years ago. Not going back to google maps. Also gives a speed limit that Google maps doesn’t. I actually deleted google maps from my phone.
There are so many offline-solutions to find, I don’t see any point in using google maps.
On each of my last 3 smartphones I had at least maps.me, magic earth (free version) and also tried out wikiloc (for special commented hiking-enabled maps).
Especially maps.me is very useful because it employs openstreetmap data, which is in many cases much more detailed on offroad regions. It really saved our butts (mine and a handful of good friends) years ago, when some stupid tried to hijack our group to a tourist-rip-off in cambodia :-)
Seems like I’ve been searching for an answer for months :
” I have an iPhone 6. How long does Google Maps store my location history for ?
I had TWO expired maps. I tapped on one and ONLY it started to update and the other one DISAPPEARED from the list.
I got to my list through a Notification.
I know the general area of the other map I saved so I can just go select it again, but heck I’m lazy and don’t want to have to do that. What if I don’t get the spot that I actually wanted?
How do I get it back?
Mine show a one-year retention of offline maps…..