Google announced yesterday that you can now specify and download maps for areas of interest or regular use. The latest update allows you to download an area and then if or when you lose connectivity it will “continue to work seamlessly”. Previously you could get a simple view of maps offline, however now the downloads include navigation (turn by turn directions) and business information including opening hours, contact details and ratings.
You can download an area by searching for a city, region or country. you then tap “Download” on the resulting place sheet, or by go to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tap on the “+” button. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route. Thankfully the default is set to only download areas to your device when using a Wi-Fi connection to prevent large data fees.
Why should you care?
This is more good news for retailers as there are still plenty of mobile users on prepay plans that do not include data and especially good news for those retailers in areas with poor connectivity and on tourist routes.
It is also great if you are heading overseas and don’t necessarily want to pay for a foreign sim card or horrendous roaming data charges and you can use your phone instead of a GPS for directions
The more opportunities you have to get in front of those potential clients in that are looking for something now the greater the likelihood they will arrive at your door. This again highlights the need to keep your GoogleMyBusiness listings up to date.
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Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.