A new updated Google Maps app for Android has just been released on Google Play that brings support for downloading and saving of maps for online use. Previously, it was not possible to use Google Maps without an Internet connection. Those who wanted their maps to be available offline had to download them using a computer and transfer the downloaded maps to their Android device. These maps can then be opened in alternative mapping apps like MapDroid and RMaps.
With the new Google Maps app, this isn’t necessary. Simply open the app and find the area that you wish to download. Then click the Menu/Options button on your phone and from the menu select “Make available offline”.
A rectangular square will appear over the map marking the area that will be downloaded. Below the map, you’ll see an estimate of the size of the download so you know how much space it will take on your device. Resize the map so that everything you want fits within the square and click the “Done” button.
Once the download is completed, you can access your offline maps from under the “My Places” section in Google Maps. If you have GPS enabled on the device, the blue dot will still work without a data connection so you know where you are, and if your device has a compass you can orient yourself without 3G or WiFi connectivity.
The app supports more than 150 countries for offline line and you can save up to six large metro areas (e.g., Greater London, Paris, or New York City and surrounding area).
[via Google Lat Long Blog]