Yesterday, following the update to Google Maps, we learned that the offline maps option had been taken out of the application. This invaluable feature was relied on by many-a people, and folks cried out to have it return. Google actually left it in the application and made it possible to prompt the action by searching for “OK Maps,” but its lack of a traditional menu option had us worried that it would soon be gone.
We’re glad to say that isn’t the case. Google has listened to user feedback and brought the menu option back in a new follow-up update. Users can select the ‘Make this map area available offline’ card below the search box for easier access to the feature.
So why was the menu option removed in the first place? An earlier post by Google on Google+ revealed the company would soon be looking to introduce a new implementation of the offline maps feature, telling users that it would eventually return in one way or another. It made no sense for Google to take the menu option for the current implementation out before it was ready, though, so we’re pleased it’s back as a stopgap for the real deal.
This update to Google Maps also brings a “Where’s Latitude” link that will explain to users why there is no longer an option to use Google Latitude. If you haven’t heard, Google has decided to completely retire Latitude beginning August 9th, though the company has already removed remnants of the feature from its various Maps applications. You can get the upgrade from the Google Play Store.