Google has just recently updated its Maps app, but a subtle yet extremely useful change was sort of overshadowed by most of the new features. Now version 8.0 of the Google Maps app allows you to better manage your offline maps for use when you don't have an active Internet connection.
Offline maps in Google's app has had a long history, with the feature returning to the app after an outburst of complaints about Google removing it in an update last year. However, the feature, while useful, was quite limited and limiting, which naturally kept it from being that useful in the end. Now, Google has pushed an update that brings a bit more sanity into offline maps, but there is one catch.
Previously, you'd have to trigger a research before you can get to the Save button. Now, you can do so anywhere by tapping on the user button at the top right toolbar and scrolling all the way down. If you don't have any saved map yet, you will be invited to save one. If you already do, you will be pointed to the offline maps manager. Saving maps for offline use is easy. And this time, you can actually name the maps as you save them. Actually, now you can also rename, update, or delete them as needed, all from the offline maps settings. It definitely makes it a lot easier to sort through multiple offline maps that you may have stashed.
As for the catch, these maps now have limited lifetime, 30 days to be exact. After that period expires, Google Maps will try to force an update and will block you from using the map unless it has successfully update. Of course, the other limitations of offline maps still apply. You can only view, pan, and zoom in on them, but you can't search for specific places or get directions, both of which require an Internet connection. Offline maps might not exactly be that useful compared to their online counterparts, but they are still probably more convenient to carry around than a bunch of paper maps.
VIA: Android Police