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How Good Are Offline Maps in iOS 17?


Apple’s Maps app has a serious new function in iOS 17: offline maps. With offline maps, you possibly can obtain designated areas out of your Maps app onto your iPhone. That approach you possibly can entry maps when you do not have a cell sign or if you wish to lower your expenses by not utilizing your knowledge. 

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However how nicely do offline maps work? To seek out out, I downloaded a map of my hometown and used it to get round for a few days. My spouse and I went to get espresso downtown earlier than strolling to an out of doors market, we drove again to our dwelling and went again downtown for dinner after an NFL recreation ended. I additionally used offline maps to drive to and from my gymnasium, in addition to to stroll my canine across the neighborhood.

Here is how one can entry offline maps, and what to learn about them.

The best way to obtain a map to make use of offline

It may be a good suggestion to have a map of an unfamiliar space, like a brand new city or climbing path, in case you do not have Wi-Fi entry or a cell sign. So this is how one can obtain a map to make use of offline.

1. Open the Maps app.
2. Discover the realm you need to obtain a map for and lengthy press on the realm. A pin ought to drop in your display screen.
3. Faucet Obtain alongside the underside of your display screen.

A top level view will seem over your map. This define represents the realm which you’ll obtain a map for. You’ll be able to resize this map till you are happy after which faucet Obtain to begin downloading the map. A banner will announce when your map is completed downloading.

Here is how one can entry your offline maps settings web page after you have downloaded them.

A map in the Maps app on iPhone

Whenever you use offline maps, you may see a banner throughout the highest of your Maps app.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

1. Open the Maps app. 
2. Faucet your profile image within the bottom-right nook of your display screen.
3. Faucet Offline Maps

From right here, you possibly can entry settings like including a brand new offline map and a swap to set Maps to solely use offline maps. Should you toggle the swap to solely use offline maps, you may see Utilizing Offline Maps throughout the highest of your map. You’ll be able to faucet this to get again to the offline maps settings web page, too.

Offline maps will get you there, however anticipate a number of points

Utilizing offline maps was much like utilizing the Maps app when on-line. You open your Maps app, sort in the place you need to go and hit Go. You may as well choose your mode of transportation and whether or not you need to add any stops alongside the best way. 

Whenever you’re on the highway, offline maps act much like on-line maps. The map follows you and exhibits close by eating places and companies. Should you’re driving, offline maps can even present you the velocity restrict for the road you are on. Siri will learn off instructions the entire approach, telling you when to show and the place your vacation spot is on the road.

Offline maps showing estimated times to a destination

Offline maps exhibits you the way lengthy it should take you to drive to your vacation spot primarily based on predicted visitors, not real-time visitors.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

Nonetheless, there are a number of variations between offline and on-line maps. The largest challenge is it will not know precisely whenever you’ll get to your vacation spot. Whenever you lookup instructions, offline maps will show an estimated time of arrival, however it could actually’t take into consideration real-time visitors patterns because it’s offline.

After I used offline maps to search out my strategy to a downtown restaurant after an NFL recreation, for instance, offline maps advised me it could take me about quarter-hour to get to my vacation spot. In actuality, it ended up taking me about 40 minutes to struggle by way of visitors and get to dinner. 

That results in my second challenge with offline maps: Should you veer off its path, it takes awhile to recalibrate and discover you once more. When getting by way of the visitors talked about above, I took a number of impromptu turns down aspect streets and offline maps nonetheless confirmed me the place I turned off the trail for a minute or so.

In any other case, offline maps take issues again to the times of bodily maps. It’s possible you’ll not be capable of predict how a lot visitors will delay your drive, and should you take a unsuitable flip it would take you a second to determine easy methods to get again, however you may get to your vacation spot… finally. Pack some snacks simply in case.

For extra, take a look at my iOS 17 evaluation, the iOS 17 cheat sheet and easy methods to obtain the most recent working system.


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