Can You View Google Maps Offline on an iPod Touch?

You can download Google Maps from the App Store.
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Without the cellular capabilities of the iPhone, the Google Maps app on an iPod Touch can't load map data while you're on the road. Using the offline maps feature, however, you can tell the app to download map data while you're connected to Wi-Fi, storing the images for later offline use. Unlike the Android version of the app, Google Maps for iOS doesn't include a button to save offline maps; instead, it requires a secret code.

1 Loading Map Data

While using your iPod Touch with an active Wi-Fi connection, open the Google Maps app and zoom in to focus on the area you want to cache. Tap the search bar, type "ok maps" (without quotes) and press "Search." The app will show a loading bar that reads Pre-loading Map, followed by a pop-up message stating that the map has finished caching. Map caching will download your current zoom level as well as all levels further in, so you don't need to save each level separately.

2 Cache Limitations and Workarounds

Caching maps uses up space on your iPod, so Google Maps places a limit on how wide an area you can save at once. If you type "ok maps" while zoomed out too far, the app will tell you to zoom in further. If you need to cover a wider area, you can cache several small areas separately. Alternatively, hold the Home button and press the Sleep/Wake button to take a screenshot of the map's current zoom level, which you can access through your photo library, even when your iPod Touch is offline.

3 Accessing Offline Maps

You don't need to configure Google Maps to use offline versions of maps. After caching the areas you need, the app will automatically use downloaded versions whenever you open the app without an Internet connection. Uncached areas will appear blurry or not load at all, but areas you've saved will load and zoom as normal. You can test your offline maps in advance by turning off Wi-Fi on your iPod and making sure the maps work correctly.

4 Deleting Your Map Cache

When you're done using offline maps, you can delete them to recover space on your iPod's drive. Open the menu in Google Maps and tap "Settings," "About, Terms & Privacy" and then "Terms & Privacy." Press "Clear Application Data" and then "OK." This will also erase the app's history and log your out of your Google account. The app does not provide a method to delete individual cached areas.

5 Version Notice

Information in this article applies to versions 2.0 through 2.5 of Google Maps for iOS. It may vary slightly or significantly in other versions.

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.