offline google maps

As most of you have probably heard by now, Google posted a significant update to its iOS Maps app last night. The 2.0 update brought about a number of new features, including enhanced navigation, indoor maps, iPad support and more.

One thing not mentioned in the change log, however, is support for offline maps, leading users to believe Google had once again snubbed this important feature. But as it turns out, the feature is there, you just have to know how to use it…

As noted by several readers, the new version of Google Maps includes an easter egg —similar to the one discovered in the Android version—that allows you to view maps offline. It’s hidden, but once you know how to find it, it’s very easy to use.

offline google maps 2

All you have to do is navigate to, or zoom into, the area that you want to cache for offline use and type ‘ok maps’ into the search box. This will save data at all zoom levels (down to the street) unless you are too far out, which it will warn you of.

The implementation of this feature isn’t ideal, but it would certainly work in a pinch. For instance, if you were flying into a new city, you could cache the area just before boarding the plane so you could familiarize yourself with it while in the air.

Looking to clear the cached data? That’s easy. Simply tap on Settings > About, Terms & Privacy > Terms & Privacy > Clear application data. An alert will pop up, prompting you to agree to the move. Which you of course will, and the data will be cleared.

At any rate, the feature is there and rounds out an impressive update to Google Maps. It’s one of the few app offerings I can recommend as a solid Apple Maps alternative. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can find it in the App Store for free.

  • Markus Hudobnik


  • Vitaliy Anonymous

    I am curious how long the cache will last?

    • Xee

      and how do you delete the cache if its taking up too much space?

      • trumpet444

        On my non-jailbroken devices, I use PhoneClean for Mac.

        This is one of my major gripes with iOS, no centralized way to clear cache without a computer.

      • leart za jmi

        iCleaner 🙂

      • Arthur Geron

        Settings > About, Terms & Privacy > Terms & Privacy > Clear application data

  • interesting

  • Kamil Tetido

    Maps pre-loading is not available in this area. ~_~

  • The cache feature doesn’t work in my country – Bulgaria.

    • Grande PHD

      The same in Brazil

    • jjdmcook

      Doesn’t work for Barcelona, Spain, but seems to be working for Ansbach, Germany.

      • ilona

        Doesn’t work for me in Canada. Keeps trying to take me to OK Oklahoma? Ideas?

  • Sumeet Gandhi

    This reminds me of some videos that we saw sometime back of Google Glass. There the wearer of the glass use to say “OK GLASS” and here the user has to type “OK MAPS”. Sounds interesting with “OK” in most of the Google Apps and Devices 🙂

  • genXhippie

    I wish for fully downloadable maps, as Nokia maps (free too) provides. Not this half baked feature. 🙁

    • MarcPhilippeB

      I guess there must be some legal reason, as caching is different than acutal downloading or storing permanently.

  • MarcPhilippeB

    Why would they hide a key feature that much?

    • Likely because it’s not ready for prime time.

      • Milad Khahil

        but how do you use this saved map after you save it? how do you delete it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • re

    but how do you use this saved map after you save it? how do you delete it?

    • Milad Khahil

      Very good question …

      • Milad Khahil

        Found the way to clear it ,on the app go to Settings / About Privacy/Term&
        Privacy/ and clear app. Data…

  • Eduardo Cruz


    Just excelent!

    Thank u, thank u, thank u!!!

  • Shane Fela

    i have saved a map how do i view it with airplane mode on? how do i view my saved maps?

  • Yujin

    nice, it worked when i zoomed out to manhattan,queens and brooklyn so not bad for later viewing

  • Allan Fickling

    This also works if you tap the microphone and say, “ok maps”. Then tap search and it caches the map.

  • Jesse

    This will be awesome when i’m hunting and do not get service at my camp. Now I can see where i’m at with GPS on the map because its cached

  • ok nice tips i will try this at home

  • Arr U. Gaetü

    Is this just a lame screen shot? Or is your GPS location shown on it?