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7 of the Most Useful Offline Maps Apps

Locate Your Way Around Without Relying on the Internet: 7 of the Best Offline Maps Apps. Whether you’re going off the grid, don’t have a local SIM card yet, or simply prefer not to be constantly connected, you’ll almost certainly find yourself traveling without internet access at some point.

The good news is that being detached, whether by choice or by circumstance, does not imply that you are lost. Many navigation applications can be used without requiring an internet connection, and the GPS in most smartphones and tablets may also be used without requiring a data connection. The paper maps can wait for a little longer.

Can I use GPS without Internet?

Yes. No internet connection is required to monitor your position on an iOS or Android phone using any mapping program, which is true for both iOS and Android devices. If you don’t want to get too technical, the GPS technology built into your smartphone functions in two separate ways.

When you have a data connection, your phone will utilize Assisted GPS, also known as A-GPS, to locate you. This method analyzes the positions of mobile phone towers and well-known Wi-Fi networks to get an approximate estimate of your location.

As soon as you launch your navigation app, you’ll most likely notice that your position is changing from a large blue circle to a smaller, more exact circle.

The large circle is derived from cell tower and crowd-sourced Wi-Fi information, but the smaller, more exact circle is derived from the addition of information from GPS satellites to the mix.

When there is no data service, A-GPS does not function, but the GPS radio may still get a fix straight from the satellites if necessary.

Though finding the original position may take longer with this strategy, and the accuracy will be more dependent on factors outside of your control, such as topography and neighboring buildings, this method is effective.

And My iPad? Is it GPS?

According to Apple’s great wisdom, it made the decision a long time ago to exclusively include hardware GPS chips in its higher-end iPad models. In contrast to Wi-Fi-only devices, those that integrate cellular data contain a GPS chip.

Those less expensive versions depend only on Wi-Fi triangulation, which means they’ll monitor your position to a certain extent if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, but not at all if you aren’t connected to WiFi. In as a consequence, they aren’t very useful while traveling and need to navigate without a network connection.

Does Airplane Mode Disable GPS?

The majority of people believe that switching their phone to airplane mode completely disables all radio services, however this is not totally correct. Even while Wi-Fi, cellular service, and Bluetooth all cease to function when in flight mode, there is one notable exception: the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Because the GPS radio can only receive signals and not emit them, it is not necessarily essential to turn it off while the aircraft is in flight. As a consequence, when you activate airplane mode on newer versions of either Android or iOS, GPS is not immediately turned off.

That’s a plus for travelers, particularly those who don’t have access to inexpensive phone data when traveling abroad. Maintaining your phone in flight mode allows you to avoid incurring roaming costs while still being able to use it efficiently for navigation purposes.

If you’re anxious about being monitored by GPS when you don’t want to be, you can still manually switch off the GPS radio on your phone.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services on your iOS device to turn off GPS monitoring. On previous Android versions, you’ll find the comparable options for disabling location tracking under Settings > Security & Lock Screen > Location, but on later versions, you’ll find them under Settings > Location.

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