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raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
166
55
My old vehicle has a Pioneer CarPlay head unit but it also has native navigation and maps that work offline. This is invaluable in so many places when if you try to navigate with Google Maps, or Apple Maps and there is no data connection you are SOL. I am getting a new vehicle that does not have native onboard NAV so this is going to be an issue.

I know you can download offline maps in Google Maps but you need to plan ahead. I have done this in the past and it works fine. But sometimes you get caught out in places where one would not expect to be off the grid, but it turns out that it is. You stop for gas on a rural interstate or highway then try to resume and you can be SOL. Or you start from home to go mountain biking, do your ride, and then try to navigate home and no data, Arrrrggghh.

So, the question: is there a way or an app to download a permanent set of offline maps for the US and use that with CarPlay? The systems like my Pioneer manage that with only a couple gigs of onboard storage so that should not be the issue with modern phones.
 

asus389

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2019
337
231
USA
Well for google you can tell it to download multiple areas. I have, at times had whole states or regions on there. But beyond that, Tom Tom has an app that downloads the maps. IIRC it does it one state at a time but you can have multiple states downloaded. The limitation is the storage on your phone. Might give that a try.
 
Last edited:

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
166
55
The problem with that is the need to plan. And IIRC, the Google offline maps expire after a month or 2. Not sure about TomTom, but I will check into that. But is the TomTom app even CarPlay compatible? Seems like there should... or needs to be... a way to have a set of baseline maps that work without a data connection to get you out of the black holes you find yourself in. The data load should be manageable for our modern phones with many gigs onboard.

It would suck to have to start carrying around my ancient Garmin as a workaround. Using one of those with a kluge mount is so 2000s.
 

asus389

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2019
337
231
USA
The tom-tom app does do CarPlay. You could load the entire country on there and then you wouldn't need to plan I guess?
 

doobydoooby

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2011
209
255
Genève, Switzerland
I download multiple apps on google maps: just search for a town in the middle of the area you are looking for, hit download and zoom the box out as far as it can go so that you download a massive area. You can set the maps so that they don't auto-update if you like, and then they just stick around forever in your phone and you can update them manually. That works really well for me, but I also use a different app specifically for driving in the car: navmii. You can download maps for free and for the USA you can either download everything in one batch or you can specify which to download by state. Navmii is an impressive app. No idea if it talks to carplay, unfortunately...
 

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
166
55
The tom-tom app does do CarPlay. You could load the entire country on there and then you wouldn't need to plan I guess?

If it lets you and if they don't expire. Maybe the best strategy is to download the Google maps for the states I might be driving through and then keep those up to date. This is one of those things that puzzles me greatly. I don't understand why Google or whoever doesn't let you download a snapshot of the full US data and always have that as a backup for when you are offline. You think that situation would be rare, but it really isn't.
 

asus389

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2019
337
231
USA
If it lets you and if they don't expire. Maybe the best strategy is to download the Google maps for the states I might be driving through and then keep those up to date. This is one of those things that puzzles me greatly. I don't understand why Google or whoever doesn't let you download a snapshot of the full US data and always have that as a backup for when you are offline. You think that situation would be rare, but it really isn't.
I used it for a period of time because in my area google maps wasn't providing accurate routing due to an ongoing construction project. I was able to download 3 states on Tom Tom and it kept them stored on my phone for the month or so I was using it. It worked fine, although it did take up a bit of space. The issue you will run into with offline maps if you are planning on staying offline indefinitely is that the POIs will go out of date as businesses close and open. It's the same problem we used to have with non internet connected car or portable GPS devices 20 years ago. The solution then was to manually load updated maps periodically, which is essentially what google does when it "expires" offline maps and updates them. In any case, I think the Tom Tom app is worth a shot.
 

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
166
55
Not going offline indefinitely. Just need that function when you are in a place where there is no data and you need to get started on a new NAV route. Otherwise, all you can do is to randomly pick a direction and drive hoping to find a signal and then get on track.
 

Five_Oh

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2017
396
311
Flyover Country, USA
If it lets you and if they don't expire. Maybe the best strategy is to download the Google maps for the states I might be driving through and then keep those up to date. This is one of those things that puzzles me greatly. I don't understand why Google or whoever doesn't let you download a snapshot of the full US data and always have that as a backup for when you are offline. You think that situation would be rare, but it really isn't.
I have come to the conclusion that Google is trying to limit liability because maps can become out of date fairly quickly and they do not wish to be responsible for incorrect routing.
 

bransoj

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2013
1,553
733
I use the above mentioned Maps.Me for their walking paths etc and you download the areas you want which then work offline. I would think pretty much any offline option is going to need you to have planned ahead to an extent to have the areas you need on there ready to go. Its just a case of how you decide to do it. Maps.Me will also provide mapping updates that need to be downloaded every so often.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,852
872
Location Location Location
My old vehicle has a Pioneer CarPlay head unit but it also has native navigation and maps that work offline. This is invaluable in so many places when if you try to navigate with Google Maps, or Apple Maps and there is no data connection you are SOL. I am getting a new vehicle that does not have native onboard NAV so this is going to be an issue.

I know you can download offline maps in Google Maps but you need to plan ahead. I have done this in the past and it works fine. But sometimes you get caught out in places where one would not expect to be off the grid, but it turns out that it is. You stop for gas on a rural interstate or highway then try to resume and you can be SOL. Or you start from home to go mountain biking, do your ride, and then try to navigate home and no data, Arrrrggghh.

So, the question: is there a way or an app to download a permanent set of offline maps for the US and use that with CarPlay? The systems like my Pioneer manage that with only a couple gigs of onboard storage so that should not be the issue with modern phones.
HERE Maps.

Before going overseas, I’ll often download an entire country’s map before going. You can’t search for specific shops without a phone signal, but I think addresses OK.

Not sure if CarPlay map navigation will work without a signal, but it should operate fine with bad or spotty reception, as long as you occasionally get 3G or 4G so it can update.
 

Sorig

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2017
316
249
Google Maps allows you to download huge chunks of a State and the offline maps do not expire for one YEAR (used to be 1 month years ago).

Taking one minute a year to update the offline map data is absolutely worth it. Sometimes it will even update in the background automatically if you're using the app while connected to wifi.

Any other alternative where you download once then you don't have to plan ahead means you will also be using outdated map data.
 

bransoj

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2013
1,553
733
A few years ago we travelled over from the UK to California for a relatives wedding in the Hope Valley near Lake Tahoe. We'd been warned that phone signal was sketchy and i knew the car we were hiring had CarPlay so ahead of going i downloaded a big chunk of Google Maps that covered our travelling from arriving at San Francisco up to the Lake Tahoe area and it worked fine. You just dont get bits that need a phone signal like live traffic but in terms of navigation it worked fine.

Initially i used the built in sat nav on the GMC Yukon we had but that played silly games getting us through San Francisco deciding to take us off the interstate when there was some traffic and route us through San Francisco itself past the baseball ground that was chaos as well. After that trip which took over 7 hours instead of 4 i ditched the built in one and used the offline Google Maps instead.
 
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