Google is helping Android users navigate on holiday without racking up big bills by downloading maps before they leave the country.
The new feature – included in version 5.7 of Google Maps for Android – lets you download maps for a specific area, meaning you won’t have to pay expensive roaming rates to find your way in a foreign city.
First of all you’ll need to update to the latest version of Google Maps, released today. Once that’s done you then open up the Google Places page for somewhere you want to visit. If you then click on the ‘More options’, under ‘More info’ you will find the option to download map area.
This will then download the map data for a 10 mile radius around the place you have selected.
Maps expire and will be automatically deleted after 30 days, but you do have the option to delete them at any time to free up space.
The downloads will only store maps so you won’t be able to use the 3D building functionality or satellite view without dipping into your data.
You will need to plan ahead, but it does mean you can use wi-fi hotspots abroad when planning your day and not have to rely on roaming.
Google has also introduced a Scale feature to help you judge how far away you are from something and a Measure tool to allow you to work out exactly how far one point on the map is from another.
For more information visit Google’s blog.