Apple Maps is getting a feature that users have been wanting for years: offline maps. With the launch of iOS 17 later this year, you’ll be able to download portions of a map for offline access to turn-by-turn navigation.
Just like when you’re using Apple Maps online, the offline map will be able to show nearby places and your estimated time of arrival, along with directions for driving, walking, cycling, and public transit.
This especially comes in handy if you’re traveling through an unfamiliar area where service might be spotty and need a set of backup directions in case you lose signal. It doesn’t cover the areas that you don’t download, however, so you might not want to take too much of a detour from your route if you don’t know where you’re going.
The lack of offline maps has long been a complaint among Apple Maps users, with my former colleague Mitchell Clark saying the app “turns into a brick” without Wi-Fi or cellular service. Even our news editor Jay Peters noted that it’s one of the major drawbacks of using the app as opposed to Google Maps, which has supported offline maps for several years now.
In addition to offline maps, Apple says it’s making it easier to find park trails throughout the US and will also include place cards that include details like trail length and type, difficulty, and elevation gain. It will also add real-time availability for electric vehicle charging stations that you can filter by charging network, plug type, and other options.