Apple Maps Finally Adds Offline Support: What to Expect in iOS 17

The iPhone's Maps app will soon get a feature that Google has had for years.

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Apple Maps GPS App on a phone

Apple Maps will soon let you download routes and directions to use them offline.

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Ever drive through an isolated area only to find yourself totally lost, with no phone signal to access the Maps app on your iPhone? Apple will be fixing that problem soon with an iOS 17 update that lets iPhone users take Maps offline.

In the next version of the iPhone operating system, Maps users will be able to select an area of any map and download the information locally. The downloaded maps will include turn-by-turn directions for driving, cycling, public transit or walking, as well as hours and information for points of interest within the selected area.

This isn't the only update coming with Apple's newest software. Electric vehicle owners will also soon be able to see real-time charging availability via Apple Maps. 

How will Apple Maps work offline? 

The iPhone is getting offline maps for its Maps app this year. That means you'll be able to access any map you've downloaded, even if you don't have Wi-Fi or a cell signal. For instance, if you're going on a trip, you can download the route and access it without using cellular data. This is helpful if you're low on data or if your route takes you through an area with little to no signal that would cause the Maps app to stop navigating correctly, potentially causing you to veer off course. 

What can you do with Apple Maps offline?

When iOS 17 becomes available, you'll be able to download designated areas and access turn-by-turn navigation while using Maps offline. Also, you'll be able to see your estimated time of arrival and find places in Maps, among other things. 

When will iPhone's offline maps be available?

Offline maps will be available on iPhone with the launch of iOS 17, which should be coming later this month. It usually gets released in September a few days after the announcement of the new iPhone, which we expect at the Apple "Wonderlust" event on Sept. 12. You'll want to make sure your iPhone is compatible with Apple's latest software. If it isn't, you won't have access to this new feature. 

What else is changing with Apple Maps?

Maps will make it easier to find thousands of trails in parks across the US. The app will also support drivers of electric vehicles with real-time charging availability information. This can be filtered by charging network and plug type, among other things. EV owners with compatible vehicles will also be able to designate a preferred charging network.

What else is Apple planning for iOS 17?  Along with changes to autocorrect and new Messages features, the new operating system for the iPhone will add a new NameDrop feature for sharing contacts and a StandBy Mode that will let your iPhone work like a smart display. If you'd like to try out the new version of iOS before it's officially released, the public beta version of iOS 17 can be installed right now, but be sure to prepare your iPhone properly first.