When you’re out in the sticks somewhere, you might get to a place where there’s no signal. How will you ever find your way home (or to the next party) without your trusty Google Maps app?
Well, with a little foresight, you can make sure Google Maps continues to be useful, even when you’re not within range of cellular data. Here’s how to use Google Maps offline to make sure you never get lost again when your smartphone goes offline.
Note: This tip will work with Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.
Google Maps is getting offline navigation to ensure you never get stranded in a strange place when your data connection disappears. Users can download entire areas onto their smartphone, then get turn-by-turn directions even while they’re offline.
If you have young children, the last question you want to hear on any long journey is, “Are we there yet?” It’s never asked just once; it’s asked again and again and again until you angrily threaten to turn around and go home, or you plow into a tree.
The question is so infuriating that even Google Maps can’t take it. Ask the maddening question a few times while navigating and you’ll get the angry response you deserve.
LAS VEGAS — Remember the Hammerhead? It’s a device that attaches to your bicycle, links to the GPS on your phone via Bluetooth, and guides you along a pre-chosen route by flashing a left or right light when you need to turn.
Schwinn‘s new CycleNav does one better. Like the Hammerhead, it attaches to your bike (via quick release) and flashes an LED light to alert you to an upcoming turn. But it also speaks voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation to you through a speaker, just like your iPhone does.
It’s become horribly obvious that the more a driver fiddles with their phone, the better chance they have of becoming involved in a car accident. But even taking one’s eyes off the road can be problematic — so Slovakian-based Sygic has added a head-up display mode to their iOS turn-by-turn navigation apps that tries to alleviate the problem by keeping the driver’s eyes focused on the road.
Ever tried using an iPhone or Android phone to navigate with GPS through crowded streets? It’s pretty difficult, even for a veteran cyclist like me, to split my focus between the road and tiny symbols on the phone’s tiny screen.
Plugging in to a headset to hear turn-by-turn directions sometimes works, but cycling with headphones can also be a pain (not to mention illegal in places under certain conditions).
The answer, of course, is a heads-up display like Google Glass; but until it’s ready, there’s the Hammerhead, a light-powered navigation aid with some other cool tricks up its sleeve.
Komoot (like commute, only not) is a gem of an app for German bikers and hikers. Or rather, it was: with today’s v5.2 update, the navigation app now comes in English, and adds support for a slew of new countries.
The short form: If you ever take to two wheels, then you need this app.