Why doesn't Apple Maps let you download offline maps?!


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I know I may receive some flak for saying this, but I have never enjoyed using Apple Maps on my iPhone for two reasons.

First, as stated in the title, Apple Maps does not offer an option to download offline maps. Google Maps, on the other hand, does permit a user to download as many offline maps as he or she desires. I don't understand why Apple cannot simply add in this helpful feature. If I am low on my data, I am not going to want to drain the remainder of it on my maps app. With the extensive phone storage available these days (iPhone XS alone can have up to 512 Gb), it makes perfect sense to take advantage of offline maps, however, Apple is far behind its competitors by not providing any version of offline maps.

Secondly, Apple Maps LOVES your battery. My battery drops 10% from using Apple Maps for even 10-15 minutes. To put it into perspective, Instagram is a battery consuming app due to its continual loading of videos and photos, yet it uses less battery on my iPhone than Apple Maps. Even Google Maps uses considerably less battery than Apple Maps. I can get 30 minutes of usage time of Google Maps and only lose 10% of my battery (at most). Google Maps is twice as battery efficient as Apple Maps in my experience. Why is that? Far be it from me to know. If anyone has any ideas why this may be the case, then please tell me, because I am baffled. The only logical explanation I can ascertain is that Apple Maps is loading more map content from the internet more often than Google Maps because it can not download maps like Google Maps can. Maybe that is the reason. Maybe not. I don't know for certain.

I have to be fair, so I will include one major thing I am not a fan of when it comes to Google Maps. Apple Maps does an excellent job of providing subway routes when I am in NYC; however, Google Maps does not show any subway transit options. Google Maps only offers bus routes. For me, that is very disappointing because I am still learning the subway routes and I can use any map assistance I can get. I am unsure why Google Maps has not yet provided map directions for traveling via subway, but I am hopeful that they will include such an option in the near future.

Sorry for the long post, but I had to get that off of my chest lol. Which one do you guys prefer? Apple Maps or Google Maps? I know a lot of people use Waze now, so I am probably behind the times even talking about Apple vs. Google when it comes to maps.

Regardless, share your comments about which map service you use most (doesn't even have to be any of these three) and why you like/recommend it.


macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
Offline maps would indeed be useful for me. I like them when I travel to foreign countries so I don’t have to use data. Is it a be all and end all? Probably not. I use Google Maps or Pocket Maps in a pinch.


macrumors 68040
Jun 7, 2015
Seattle WA
I'm traveling through Europe and using Maps.me with maps downloaded at home - works great. This is an absolute, deal-breaker necessity in a maps app for me. The Apple maps icon is hidden away on my iOS devices.


macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
Offline maps are essential when traveling to areas with poor cell reception. That's a lot of the USA.

I just wish Google Maps would let you pick a shape of the downloaded map. If you're trying to download an east to west (or vice versa) stretch of highway you end up with a much larger download due to the portrait shape.
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