Comparing 4 best Offline Maps Apps for Smartphones

Visiting a new city? Well, it’s always a good thing to have the offline maps of the city you are visiting. There are several advantages to that, for instance:

  1. You don’t have to spend money on data, while on roaming
  2. Offline maps works even when there is no signal
  3. They are much faster to respond and save battery

Now, there are many offline apps in the market. Some specialize on route details and navigation while others on a travel guide. But the question is, how do I find the best app, that serves my purpose.

best offline maps apps

Trying out every offline map is not an option. They will ask you to download several hundred MBs of data before you can see what it look like.

So to make things easy for you, I tested four most popular offline maps app. In this post, you will the pros and cons of each app and comparison table.


The Best Offline Maps


#1 Google Map

Google map is good. But it *lack complete offline support. You can only cache a small part of the city. Not the entire state or country.

Though you can always save more area by downloading them separately. But, that will make the lookup process difficult.

*Update:

A Few months back, Google made a major update in their maps app. Now you can save much larger area (up to 120,000 square kilometers). This is sufficient for an entire city or even a small state.

But still not enough, if you want to take the whole country offline.

To save a map offline, open the Google map app > search for the place, say New Delhi > at the bottom, touch the bar that has the name of the place > then tap on more icon three vertical dots > download offline area. If the area you selected is too big, you will have to zoom into a smaller area.

TLDR;

Great map app. Streets are detailed, also lets you see the point of interest and save places for offline use. And the new update has increased the capacity of offline maps.

Google maps offline

Download Google Maps | Android | iOS

#2 Maps.me

Maps.me (previously know as maps with me) is one of the most popular offline maps.

When you first open the app, you will see a world map. And as you zoom in, it will ask you to download the offline map of that country (or city if that is in the option.)

Once done, you have the complete maps offline. You can zoom in to see detail overview of the street and point of interest. You can also search for the address and bookmark them for later use. All that, without being connected to the internet.

Maps.me use OpenStreetMap (or OSM for short). It’s like Wikipedia for maps, users can edit them or add new towns/roads etc by themselves. However me personally, I am not a fan of OSM, they are not as detailed as Google maps, especially in the developing countries.

However me personally, I am not a fan of OSM, they are not as detailed as Google maps, especially in the developing countries.

Another thing that it miss is the dedicated navigation (like turn by turn instructions). But that’s not a big deal as you use GPS for that.

TLDR;

Good offline map, you can save an entire country or a big state. However, since it uses open source database, the maps are only good for first world country.

maps with me offfline maps

Download Maps.me | Android | iOS | BlackBerry

#3 Triposo

Triposo is an all in one travel guide with a decent offline maps support. You can pick any city or country and download its offline guide. It also includes suggestions for sightseeing, nearby restaurants and nightlife etc.

This app works by crawling data from open source media like Wikipedia, Wikitravel, OpenStreetMaps etc and then arrange the information structurally in their app.

While testing I downloaded offline maps of Mumbai (India). The suggestion was quite impressive but maps were not very detailed (OSM).

TLDR;

Overall Triposo is made for people who are visiting a new city and don’t know what to do there. It has an offline map support, but that will only give you an overview.

Triposo offline maps and travel guide - Copy

Download Triposo | Android | iOS

#4 Here

The lack of decent offline support in Google maps has encouraged other players. And here maps (previously called Nokia maps) has filled that gap very well.

Unlike Google maps, Here is specially design for offline use. You can download maps of the entire country or a single state.

The complete offline map of India, weight around 1.5 GB. Maps.me and Triposo were around 300 MB only. Needless to say, this makes here maps more detail.

Here maps also support voice navigation along route planning, travel guide and point of interest etc. In short, it’s a good combination of both Google maps and travel guide.

Here offline maps

TLDR;

HERE maps is the complete package. Like Google, they have their own database of maps which they have developed from a ground up (remember the ovi maps) and it’s extremely detailed. Sometimes even better than Google maps.

And since, this app is made for complete offline use, you get other important features like voice navigation as well.

Download Here | Android | iOS | Windows

Comparison Table 

Google Maps Maps.me Triposo Here
Availablity Android, iOS &
Web
Android, iOS &
BlackBerry
Android & iOS Android, iOS &
Windows
Maps type Maps develop by
Google
Free OpenStreetMap Free OpenStreetMap Maps develop by
Nokia
Download options Can’t download more
than 120k KM sq
Download maps of entire country or city Download maps of entire country or city Download maps of entire country or city
Offline Navigation No (but you can use GPS) No (but you can use GPS) No (but you can use GPS) Yes, voice navigation
Offline Search No Yes No Yes
Advantages Detail maps,take less space Small size, located place like ATM and hospitals etc Travel guide, point of interest suggestion, small size Detail maps, voice navigation, TripAdvisor review
Disadvantages Cache area too small OSM maps are not detailed OSM maps are not detailed Maps size too big
Final Verdit Good only if you want to save small area Decent offline maps with small size Great travel guide with built-in maps Details maps for route planning and navigation

Conclusion

In this article, we compare 4 best offline maps and here is the final verdict.

If you first priority is detailed maps, and the size not an issue then go for HERE maps. It’s the best option when you are going for a big vacation.

If you need a travel guide with a decent map support go for Triposo or Maps.me.

Google maps are good when visiting a single city and won’t be doing much sightseeing.

Also see: Useful Travel Apps for Android (With Video)

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-