Jun 08 AT 1:01 PM Anthony Domanico 33 Comments

Google Navigation to get true offline mode this summer?

The folks over at AllAboutPhones have just uncovered some awesome news for fans of Google Navigation.

In the opinion of many, especially developers of alternative navigation applications, the main fundamental flaw of Google Navigation has been that it requires you to be connected to a data plan in order to use it.  Google has offered a partial remedy to this with cached routes, wherein Google Navigation will automatically store your route and the surrounding areas in case you happen to lose coverage along the way. Though this solution is helpful, it doesn’t go all the way; Google Navigation is rendered useless if you wish to navigate to a different location but happen to find yourself in a dead zone.

AllAboutPhones is reporting that a full-fledged solution should land on Google Navigation sometime this summer, adding full offline map support. Once this update drops, Android users will no longer need to rely on their data connection to get them from point A to point B. Judging by the delivery of this functionality in other applications, we assume Google’s solution will require users to download a maps package for their region (most likely U.S. only to begin with) and store that data on either the phone’s memory or an external SD card.

What’s missing from this report is what price, if any, Google will charge for this service. Though I would like to see Google continue to offer an amazing navigation service at no cost to the end-user, I have a feeling this may not be the case. That being said, we’re hopeful Google surprises us with this one.

What do you guys think? Will this service be free? If not, what would you be willing to pay for it? Let us know in the comments.

Via: Engadget

Source: AllAboutPhones

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website toddy

    were it to be free, android sales would skyrocket (even more)

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      I don’t know that it’d have that dramatic of an effect. Android is already perceived to have an awesome navigation system.

  • http://Website Mark

    HELL YES!!!!!

  • themetatron

    Love to see it, though i imagine the app would be enormous.

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Not the app itself but more like the map package would be huge. I think the Co-Pilot live map download is just south of 2GB

  • http://Website westy

    I would love it if it were free but i would pay 5-10 bux to download the united states with updates for a year.

  • http://Website JLishere

    I’m just wondering what happens if I download a map, say today, and certain business information or road changes are made. Would this new data be pushed periodically to my device, or automatically over wi-fi, or will Google choose to go with a subscription-based service in order to use offline mode (I hope they don’t charge for this)?

  • http://Website Thorpeland

    That would be huge and another blow to navigation tools like Garmin and TomTom’s. I really hope Google continues its free product theme. But, id pay for the maps separately as long as they were reasonable.

  • http://Website Taylor

    I’d pay up to about $25, or more if they added detailed topo layers at a better zoom.

  • LukeT32

    I would have no problem paying for it as long as I can update it. Say $15 a year to use offline, but it updates everytime they release an update etc…

  • http://Website AndroidLuvR3R1

    This is one reason why android will always be better that iOS

  • http://Website thetruth

    the moment they charge for this ia the same time I jump ship for ios5. this is their real edge right now over the iphone.

  • http://Website Cod3rror

    This would be fantastic!

    And of course is should be and probably will be free.

    Nokia Maps will be free on WP7, iOS will probably implement and improve the Maps app in iOS 6 and it’ll be free.

    If Google wants to stay competitive, they should offer it for free.

    Nowadays it’s all about the free services you can offer to your customers, cloud, navigation, etc…

  • http://Website Josh

    This would be great, but Navigation refuses to give audible directions on my Incredible. It gives the first direction, and then starts reading html in a robot voice until you cancel navigation. I think they need to fix that first!

  • http://Website Ben

    It’ll be free everyone will use, and google will make a ton of money through online advertising, which is why they invented android and release it for free to OEM partners.

  • http://Website Trey

    I could see Google adding different offline maps as in-app purchases.

    I think its a great idea and would certainly support it.

    Other companies are charging a decent amount for offline maps on GPS units. So I wouldn’t mind supporting Google in bringing offline map data to my Android devices.

  • AME

    If the maps package is ~2GB (as Anthony suggested above) they better have an option to download it via PC and transfer it to our SD cards… 2GB would:

    1) Take FOREVER for most users
    2) Cause a lot of users to max out on their “4G” data plan and get throttled

    Plus, I hope their updates are “smart” so there is no need to download the 2GB file every once in a while.

    Otherwise, I am stoked and willing to pay for this product!

  • http://punmobile.net punzz

    I am not sure but if it is true, it would use huge cache memory for that, and downloading the maps seem un efficient for me, it is not a real time.
    cmon navigation should be used in a real time.

  • http://Website Pavan

    offline maps on a phone is not a viable option. Google navigation works great even on edge. its makes sense to have atleast a basic data plan these days, if not then you are only good for a conventional GPS device. Also the navigation can be improved in dead zones with a smart algorithm that looks on the network layout to cache more data onto the destination. All this said, if you change your destination in a dead zone, that still poses a risk.

    • http://Website bob

      Offline navigationa makes LOTS of sense to anyone, like me, who travels regularly abroad and where data is still too expensive. I have a classic GPS unit, but hate carrying many devices, so it stays in my car all the time. Now if I need it while being in a friend’s car or on foot, or… then I’m stuck without GPS (and also if the standalone GPS dies on me for whatever reason, or fails to receive GPS signal for no apparent reason, or its maps are not good/detailed/updated for a specific region as happened to me last summer, etc, etc).

      So I would like to have an option in my phone with similar capabilities and guaranteed up-to-date maps, etc.

    • pechano

      Yes, Maps and Navigation works great even on Edge. But what about the times you go to another country and have to pay 20 dollars pr. megabyte? The main advantage of offline maps is obviously not being able to turn off 3G in your own country, it is off course to be able to use Maps and Navigation in a foreign country without going broke.

  • HipHopIsLyfe37

    This will have such a positive impact!!

  • http://Website Simon Charles

    The offline mode is certainly very interesting but I just wish they would add more countries that have access to the navigation service. How come it’s available to be used a hack in certain countries but it’s not officially available.
    I live in Estonia by the way.

  • pechano

    The worst part about Maps and Navigation is that you bascially can’t use them outside your home country, unless you are willing to pay insane roaming charges. This may not mean anything in a huge country like the US, where going across state borders doesn’t matter. It does however have a significant impact on the usefulness of both Maps and Navigation in Europe. Just crossing the border from Denmark to Germany or Sweden renders the service completely useless.

    So please, let us cache entire countries in the near future! I would very much be willing to pay for this service. Imagine going on vacation to some far away place and always having a detailed map with positioning at the tip of your fingers. Extremely useful, and something Google really needs to make.

    • Ozista

      I agree, from Australia I am in Rome right now. The hotel is providing WiFi which could download me the local area like pre-cashe which is now working on Android 4.xxx. Having GPS help works great home but when away – traveling, that is when you need it most. The exorbitant data charges when roaming is not popular and I am not sure why but fleecing the tourists trying to get around?!

      Finally I bought a local prepaid SIM with enough data download so I could get around with all the functions of voice navigation and the lot … My next country is Hungary. After landing I would like to get an other local SIM card but to get that one going, I will be late driving to my hotel or just have to guess my way before I have time to set it up again:(

  • http://Website Wou

    Hell yeah! Would love that! Except for the US-only Maps. I mean, all the maps are available, they just need to be downloaded, so why limit it!

  • http://Website Noel

    Excited abt this…i use Google navigation all the time. Commented on a few blogs abt the need for an offline Google maps for navigation…i think it is the best and it is free

  • http://Website Nick

    If it is FREE, then I’m interested. Otherwise, there are plenty of free GPS apps available. The reason Google is so successful is they figured out how to deliver their product FREE and yet make A LOT of money doing it (i.e., Search Engine).

  • http://Website Jay

    Offline map still doesn’t support “get direction” and “search” functions…..

    It’s a shame

  • theetrueyoshi

    Things will be cracked and side loaded… but i would love to see it free but with that being said that’s the pirating side of me. Logically it takes time and money to keep things like this around so i would assume their would be a price and yes i would pay. I travel and drive way to much and i think it would be great to have this not use data.

  • HP4367

    Certainly Google Navigation is very impressive. I also use COPILOt which doe snot neeed data plan. I downloaded all North America maps (including Canada). An option to consider.

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  • Cliff

    I guess AllAboutPhones was wrong…