When it comes to your smartphone arsenal, the addition of offline maps is an excellent choice. The trouble is, you cannot rely on having Wi-Fi or network access always available, and you certainly don’t want to find yourself lost in an unfamiliar area with no coverage. You can stop yourself from having such a misfortune, especially in those more remote areas, by downloading the top free offline maps for Android.
1. Maps & Navigation — OsmAnd
If you haven’t heard of OsmAnd before, it’s time that you get to know it better. It has offline navigation possibilities that will impress and amaze you. OsmAnd does an excellent job of offline maps routing. Today, there are a few other apps that do a good job of routing, but OsmAnd has been doing it for a long time and so you can put your confidence in the app’s abilities.
It uses the same OpenStreetMap data as MAPS.ME does and it offers the same degree of accuracy but in a package that is significantly different. If one was to complain about OsmAnd, it would say that it offers too much map data.
OsmAnd offers you rich offline navigation that includes search, turn-by-turn voice guidance, and re-routing. OsmAnd is free. However, the free version has a 10 map download maximum (the world base map is required to be one of those downloads). There are some map add-ons, like contour lines for example, they are available in the paid version. Still, other features like audio/video notes, trip recording, and distance calculator just have to be enabled.
2. MAPS.ME – GPS Navigation & Map
If you want an easy to use offline map app, MAPS.ME is the app for you. This app began as Maps With Me and over time it has only gotten better. MAPS.ME is a commendable competitor for the title of top Android offline map app. There is no limit on the country downloads – if you want to download the whole world you can do so.
Offering free offline global maps based on OpenStreetMap data, MAPS.ME has all the essentials covered: clear, easy to read maps (including street numbers) with just the right level of detail, offline navigation, searchable points of interest and addresses, location sharing, no roaming charges, and no requirement for online data transfer. This app truly offers a one-stop offline map solution and it’s easy to use.
3. City Maps 2Go Offline Maps
City Maps 2Go is not nearly as in-depth as OSMand is, but for some people OSMand is just way more maps than they need or want. City Maps 2Go offers the basic version in offline maps. With City Maps 2Go, the user doesn’t get as many street numbers or building outlines and you can’t get as close a zoom as with some of the other apps, but for those looking for general reference maps rather than a step-by-step index will find City Maps 2Go a better fit.
City Maps 2Go lets you search for points of interest, addresses, restaurants and more, all while you are offline. It doesn’t have the same offline navigation options as other apps, but it’s linked to Wikipedia and by default it offers you detailed information.
4. HERE Maps – Offline Navigation
This app’s producer is Nokia, and it’s a perfect addition to your Android apps family. It provides a very different experience than most maps available for Android. For example, if you want to download maps to use offline, you will need to register first. Once that’s done, you will be able download as many free offline maps as you like – no limits here.
HERE Maps offers turn-by-turn navigation, search, traffic and satellite imagery, and very different feel in an offline map. You can setup HERE Maps so that it stays offline so that it doesn’t suddenly start consuming your precious mobile data again. If you’re looking for a fresh take on offline maps, especially one that looks different from the others, give HERE Maps from Nokia a try.
5. Maps by Google
No list of offline maps would be complete if it didn’t include Google Maps which lets you download maps to use offline as well. The latest update of Google Maps has even better offline functionality than before, and it is able to maintain its impressive navigation system even without internet access. Google Maps automatically switches to the offline map version when it detects either no internet or an unstable internet connection to provide the user with the best experience.
What’s nice about Google Maps offline features is the majority of users are very familiar with it and already have it on their smartphone. All you need to do is go to your Google Maps settings, choose Offline areas and then add the maps for the areas you want. The map is in effect for 30 days, after that it is deleted automatically.
6. Galileo Offline Maps
Galileo Offline Maps was first available on iOS and has now made its way to the Android platform. These maps are not interactive like Google Maps, but rather they are pictures like those in map books. When Galileo opens the map, it is of the current continent you are on, and when you zoom into a location you are, the app asks you if you want to download the map. If you prefer to avoid the fancier maps many of the other apps provide, preferring effective, smaller, alternative options to a physical map, then you will like the Galileo Offline Maps app.