Apple Maps is rapidly becoming a formidable competitor to Google Maps. In certain regions of the world, the navigation and street view features are superior to those of Google. Apple Maps could not be used without an internet connection prior to this update.
With the release of iOS 17 (currently in public beta), Apple is eventually rectifying this situation. There is now support for offline maps, although it is somewhat concealed. Once you have downloaded a portion of the map, you will have access to all of its details, including points of interest, road information, estimated time of arrival, and travel directions for driving, walking, cycling, and public transportation, even if you cannot locate a cell signal.
But before you can do any of that, you must manually download a local map to your iPhone. Launch the Maps application and select the Profile icon to the right of the search field.
Choose the Download New Map option in the Offline Maps section. Your home region will be suggested by default, but you are free to seek it anywhere in the world. On the preview page, after selecting the area, you will be able to compress or expand the map area to download.
You will also see how much data and storage space the offline map will require. Once satisfied, click the Download icon. Maps are only downloaded over WiFi by default, but you can alter this in the settings.
Once the procedure is complete, the map area will be available in the Offline Maps section. You are free to download additional offline maps, and the Offline Maps section allows you to manage and eliminate downloaded maps. As more details are added or altered, offline maps will continue to update automatically.
Apple also offers an intriguing Use Only Offline Maps toggle. Once enabled, the Maps application will only use the downloaded map data for navigation and will not use your cellular connection.
This option can be useful if roaming data charges are expensive or if you’re concerned that intermittent network connectivity will drain your battery quickly. Remember to download sufficient map data in advance so you don’t run into difficulty.