10 reasons offline maps make our apps world beaters
HERE for Android stands out among some brilliant sat-nav apps, not least because you can download maps for countries around the world for free and use the app offline. This can save a fortune when traveling abroad, but it also means you can do lots of things without needing an internet connection. Read on for 10 top reasons for having maps stored in your smartphone!
It’s easy to download maps using HERE for Android and Windows Phone, and once they're on your phone, you won’t need an internet connection to browse, get directions or turn by turn navigation. And having maps available in offline mode could make all the difference to your journey.
1. Cutting down on roaming costs while traveling
Most smartphone sat-nav apps gather mapping information as you go, requiring an internet connection to make sure you have all the route details. If you're abroad and roaming, downloading large swathes of data on foreign networks can be prohibitively expensive (think hundreds, if not thousands of pounds), and in this respect HERE really comes into its own.
2. Not using your monthly data allocation on maps
Going offline also means you won’t be using up your allotted data if you’re on a contract with a limited amount of data, letting you use it for other things like web browsing, VoIP calls or sending picture messages.
3. Making searches on underground trains
Although an increasing number of underground transit systems are now getting Wi-Fi, there's still plenty that will leave you without any data, or with much slower GSM or EDGE data connections, but with HERE that's just fine. You'll still be able to browse your maps offline, and you'll still be able to look for places - try that with competitor mapping products!
4. In the wild
Head out into the countryside, and although you may see some of the most picturesque scenery around, there's a good chance you'll also take a hit when it comes to connectivity. That shouldn’t be a worry if you’re using HERE maps to get you home, though.
5. Faster loading times
It's not just about cost, as our offline mode also boasts loads of other benefits. It's particularly fast to load, for a start, and because all the information is already stored locally on your phone, you won't need to wait while route information or map tiles download. There's no stuttering, no buffering and no chance of missing your turn while the connection catches up with your position.
6. Hybrid use: Fast loading times, AND real-time traffic updates
Just because HERE offers an offline mode doesn't mean you need to use it completely offline. It's possible to download maps to your phone, offering super-fast loading times, while at the same time benefitting from online features, like real-time traffic updates, too. Fast speeds, low data costs and an enhanced set of features, and if there is ever a lag or interruption in your cellular connection, rest assured that you won’t lose out when it comes to mapping; what's not to like?
7. In the heart of the city
There may be more telephone masts in the heart of a city than in the countryside, but that doesn't guarantee a good mobile reception. Head into cities like London, with loads of tall buildings that can have an impact on your network connection, and it's all too easy to lose your directions when you need it most if you're using online mapping. With the map on your phone, however, that won't matter one bit, and you'll still be able to see exactly where you're going whatever you're surrounded by.
8. Faster panning and zooming
Offline access doesn't just mean your maps will load quicker at the start either, but each and every time you pan or zoom, the information you need is already right there on your handset. No more waiting for maps to load and appear on the screen, no more infuriating blank tiles when maps don't download properly - just the maps you need, right when you need them.
9. Best of both words: The ideal cross between PND and smartphone app
Offline maps turn your phone into a PND (Personal Navigation Device), with fast, smooth and reliable mapping, but the fact you have a mobile connection offers so much more. In fact, It's the best of both worlds!
10. Better battery life
One of the extra benefits from using HERE in offline mode is that limited or zero data requirements have the potential to add an extra couple of hours to the battery life on your phone. When you’re making a long journey that could be the difference between arriving at your destination on time and seeing your phone die en-route.
Which of these benefits makes the most difference to you?
image credit: Gayvoronskaya_Yana, Max Topchii, Iurii
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