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Sunday, April 13, 2014

How to Save Directions for Google Maps on Android 4.4.2

The major problem with consumer (free) apps is that they get updated as the suppliers see fit and users (consumers) just have to keep up with it - sometimes you just hope the older versions will come back.

For instance, recently I found that Google Maps changes so much with new features and hidden old features that I almost found it not helpful.

However, Google Maps keeps bringing me back the attention due to its ability to detect traffic congestion on my usual driving routes (and timing) - thanks to integration with Waze - and I found it to be very helpful.

Note: In order to enjoy this feature, you have to install the Google Search (Google Now) app from Google Play - it works almost like an information aggregation - another cool feature is the ability to send you updates on your search patterns, and it will also indicate current and weather forecasts.

Today, I am trying to figure out a way to save directions for Google Maps as preparation of traveling to an outstation location - I wanted to save money not to buy a dedicated GPS device.

I found that most information from the Internet are outdated; those information are based on older versions of Google Maps and Android - for instance:
  • 'Save to My Map' feature is only available in older version of Google Map.
  • Layers button is missing from Google Maps in Android 


Hence, here is a solution that manage to figure out which works:
  1. Search and locate the destination at home from Google Maps, then save it
  2. When you are near a destination, start Google Maps and click on 'Get Direction' button
    As long as the 'Location' services is enabled, you are able to 'Start Navigation' - even if you are on airplane mode.

    This is because you are communicating with GPS Satellites.

    Android 4.4.2 provides the 'Location' services in three modes:

    • High accuracy - uses a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks to determine location
    • Battery saving - uses Wi-Fi and mobile networks to determine location.
    • Device only - uses GPS to determine your location.
In other words, if you are in a remote area with no Wi-Fi and mobile networks, Google Maps may still be able to navigate to saved destination as long as there is GPS signal, failing which even a dedicated GPS device may not work as well.

Good luck on your journey!

Nevertheless, we still have to feel grateful for these free apps - thank you Google Maps and Waze.

1 comment:

Sook Teng said...

Thanks for the quick tip, very useful! Happy blogging.