Offline Maps: A Game-Changer for Apple Maps in iOS 17

Apple Maps has undergone significant improvements in recent years, yet one crucial feature was notably absent: the ability to use maps without an internet connection. With the introduction of iOS 17, this limitation is a thing of the past, as users can now download maps for offline use.

In contrast, competitors like Google Maps have long offered offline map capabilities. Now, iOS 17 empowers users to download maps for an entire city or region and store them on their devices, enabling navigation without an internet connection.


Everything you need to know about Offline Maps on iPhone

Offline maps come to the rescue not only when traveling abroad but also within your own country, particularly in areas with spotty data coverage, such as remote rural or mountainous regions. Offline maps ensure you stay on course, even when you’re off the grid.

With iOS 17 and Apple Maps, you can save an entire map region directly to your iPhone. As long as you remain within the boundaries of the downloaded region, you can receive turn-by-turn directions whether you’re driving, walking, cycling, or using public transportation, all without an internet connection. Furthermore, exploring and zooming in on the map within the Maps app becomes virtually instantaneous, as there’s no need to wait for data to load, resulting in faster navigation. Offline maps also provide information about points of interest, including opening hours of establishments.

Another noteworthy feature is that maps downloaded to your iPhone will also be accessible on your Apple Watch as long as your paired iPhone is nearby. However, please note that the watch itself does not possess the capability to download maps independently.

How to Download an Offline Map in iOS 17:

Fortunately, downloading offline maps is a straightforward process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Maps app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your profile photo and select the new “Offline Maps” option.
  3. Choose “Download new map.”
  4. Search for the region you want to download; iOS will suggest your home area automatically.
  5. You can adjust the region’s boundaries in the preview, and the app will display the required storage space for the map.
  6. Confirm the download by tapping the “Download” button, and the map will appear in the Downloads list.

Keep in mind that the download size increases with the selected map region’s size. You have the flexibility to repeat the process and download multiple regions according to your needs. Offline maps update to reflect the latest changes whenever your iPhone connects to the internet, ensuring you’re always up-to-date. By default, downloads occur over Wi-Fi networks, although you can adjust this setting to allow downloads over mobile data.