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Soon, you’ll be able to rely on Apple Maps even when offline, thanks to its upcoming ability to download a certain map section via iOS 17. This adds to Apple’s current iOS features, which let users continuously rely on Apple devices even without connectivity.

Apple’s next update is exciting due to the slew of new features and improvements it could bring to the system. One of them is the new download option in Apple Maps, which will allow you to save a portion of a map for later use. When downloaded, it will include all the essential details you can view even when you go offline. For instance, opening the map should still show you the nearby places, estimated time of arrival, and travel directions (driving, walking, cycling, and public transit). You can even zoom in on the areas and see them on your paired Apple Watch. Nonetheless, note that these details will only be available as long as you stay within the map region you downloaded.

The move is a part of Apple’s initiative to make its iPhones and other devices continuously functional and useful even without connections. To recall, Apple launched its Emergency SOS via Satellite service in September last year to allow users to send messages to their contacts when in places without connection completely. It can be helpful for exploring unfamiliar places, including deserted areas and more. By combining this functionality with offline maps, iPhones could turn into emergency devices that users can rely on everywhere they go.

The new download option can be accessed by launching your Apple Maps and tapping on your avatar, where you’ll see the new Offline Maps button. There, you can select “Download New Map,” and you can search for the region you need to download. The map will give you a cropping-like tool to mark the downloaded area, and your iPhone should inform you how much storage is required for this download. Once you have identified the area, tap on the “Download” button, and you’ll be able to see the offline map in the Downloaded section of the app. Alternatively, the newest beta of iOS 17 shows that Apple Maps will automatically suggest a download link for you in advance when it detects that the route you plotted might experience connectivity issues. 

You can use this map when you go offline or when you go to places where the signal is unavailable or spotty. Yet, if you keep your WiFi or mobile on at all times, the map should update automatically when it finds a connection to include the latest updates when you’re already moving. If you want, you can also turn this function off, so it won’t have to update and include unnecessary updates.

What do you think of these features? Let us know in the comment section!


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