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.
Now You: Do you use Google Maps, another maps service, or none at all?