Jun 6th, 2012

Google have announced at their Maps event that offline maps will now be graduating Labs, and with the drop of its beta status, new functionality will be introduced. Whereas before you could cache data for areas depending on a route, Google Maps will now let you download an entire area to your phone for long-term use.

While being able to download a full map of any given country would be more ideal, this is better than nothing and it could be a potential first step into something just like that.

It was crucial for Google to introduce something as compelling as this with Apple hot on their heels with what is believed to be a maps-filled WWDC. In any case, some of Google’s cards are now on the table and Apple will need to respond with a strong hand in five days’ time. [image via Engadget]