Using Apple Maps without data connection

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 9 months ago
I've recently purchased an iPhone SE and have started expermienting with turn-by-turn navigation.  I've read that you can avoid using up your data plan if you chart out you trip ahead of time.  The route information apparently stays in memory.

Does anyone know how you would have to chart out the route in order to capture sufficient details in memory for turn-by-turn navigation?  It seems to me that the latter requires quite a bit of map detail.  Would you need to (for example) pan through the whole route at a particular zoom level?

I'm not sure if it really matters, but I'm using voice navigation.
Photo of andymhancock

andymhancock

  • 2,018 Points 2k badge 2x thumb

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Goran

Goran, Mobile Master

  • 90,800 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
If you're using Google maps you can download detailed sections of areas in settings and there's no need for you to follow along or anything. It works less well for very long distances but it'll dow load areas nonetheless. It'll just up for memory quickly.
Photo of andymhancock

andymhancock

  • 2,018 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Thanks, Goran.  I know that Google Maps allows explicit download of maps.  I just wanted to start small and use the native apps at first.  If I can't find a way to make the native Apple Maps avoid using data, I *may* spread my wings, which case there are a number of apps that keep popping up in my web searches (Google Maps being a primary candidate).  I say "may" because I don't anticipate using navigation often, but from past experience, not having it can throw me for a time-costly loop.
Photo of Goran

Goran, Mobile Master

  • 90,800 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Fair enough. However google maps is much more established and I'd say still better than Apple maps. I wouldn't sweat it too much using it, or another one that's dedicated offline, as an alternate to the native version.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 103,784 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
The only way I might have found is this one : http://mashable.com/2015/09/16/offline-maps/#.DqeAb5kS8q1
Photo of andymhancock

andymhancock

  • 2,018 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Goran, my concern with Google Maps isn't its functionality.  Google collects enough data on me as it is.

Robert, thanks for the link.  I'm not sure if the information is out of date or there's some weird mode on my Apple Maps, but I can't actually find a way to get to the written instructions.  It seems that turn-by-turn is fine, but there is no link or icon that gets me the written instructions.  Not that I want them, they're pretty hard to follow when you're driving.  Anyway, the Apple Maps portion of that webpage doesn't address the offline turn-by-turn functionality of Apple Maps.  I've run across the advice in my web browsings that I should simply choose a route, and that caches the necessary map info.  That's what I'll be testing soon.
Photo of andymhancock

andymhancock

  • 2,018 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
From experimentation, if you choose one of three routes to a destination, Apple Maps will guide you along that route without cellular data connection turned on.  If you deviate from that route because you prefer another route, it wil persistently show that it is recalculating, but never actually do it.  It has the map info to show where you are, but apparently, the intelligence to recalculate the route is not resident on the phone.

I also found that the direction in which the car was facing was not properly depicted on the map until I started moving.  I find this understandable, as the phone itself was not oriented directly facing forward.  The orientation of the phone depends on where it is mounted, and how it is angled for best visibility by the driver.
(Edited)
Photo of David

David, Mobile Master

  • 89,178 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
The direction shown on your map will not correct until you have moved enough for the phone to calculate your direction of travel, so you will need to move a bit for it to register.

You can also download GPS apps for your phone which contain the mapping info in the phone, rather than diwnloading on the fly. I use Copilot GPS, a paid app, and download the needed map segments before a trip. Others have recommended Here Maps, a free alternative.
Photo of andymhancock

andymhancock

  • 2,018 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Yes, that's what I see, that your orientation is inferred from your movement.  It's a bit misleading to show any orientation at all before it has been determined.  I initially thought that the compass might determine the orientation, but as I said, the phone might not be aligned with the vehicle.

As for alternative apps, i appreciate the suggestion.  Here Maps is highly recommended from my web search.  My first alternative to try, however, will be Google Maps, simply because of my familiarity with it on the desktop . I am hoping that it calculates new desired route based on the user specification of geographical locations that he/she would like to pass through.  I downloaded it last night, will see how much of a test drive I can take it for.