There are a number of reasons why offline maps are a good addition to your smartphone arsenal. For starters, you can't always rely on network access or Wi-Fi. Usually when you want maps, you've found yourself in an area you're not so familiar with which may also have poor reception or none at all. To save you from some weird calamity in far flung regions, these are the best offline maps on Android.
1. Maps.Me - for ease of use
I've been a fan of Maps.Me for years, since back when it was called Maps With Me. Things have only improved since then and Maps.Me is a worthy contender for the title of best offline map app on Android. You don't even have a limited number of country downloads – you can download the entire world if you want to.
Offering free offline global maps based on OpenStreetMap data, Maps.Me has all the essentials covered: clear, easy to read maps (including street numbers) without too much detail, no roaming charges or need for online data transfer, searchable points of interest and addresses, offline navigation, location sharing and more, this app is a one-stop offline map solution. It's also the easiest to use and nicest looking.MAPS.ME –Offline Map & Routing
2. OSMand - for every detail
I came across OSMand a long time ago and was floored by its offline navigation possibilities. While many offline maps allow routing these days, OSMand has been doing it well for a long time. Based on the same OpenStreetMap data as Maps.Me, OSMand provides the same level of accuracy but in a very different package. If anything, OSMand provides a little too much map data.
OSMand provides rich offline navigation, including turn-by-turn voice guidance, re-routing and search. OSMand comes in both a free and paid version. The free version limits you to 10 map downloads (one of which must be the world base map) and some map ''add-ons'' like contour lines need to be paid for. Others, like trip recording, audio/video notes and distance calculator simply need to be enabled.OsmAnd Maps & Navigation
3. City Maps 2Go - for the minimal version
City Maps 2Go is nowhere near as detail-heavy as OSMand, which, admittedly, might be too much map for some folks. City Maps 2Go provides the bare-bones version of offline maps. You won't get as many building outlines or street numbers and you can't zoom in as far as some of the other offerings, but for those that need more of a general reference map than a step-by-step index will appreciate City Maps 2Go.
City Maps 2Go allows you to search for addresses, points of interest, restaurants and so on, all offline. It doesn't have the offline navigation options some of the others have, but it's is very much tied into Wikipedia and offers more information by default (several other map apps require you to download Wikipedia entries separately).City Maps 2Go Offline Maps
4. Google Maps - for the familiar
Of course, no offline maps list would be complete without mentioning the fact that Google Maps allows you to cache certain map areas for offline usage. You won't be able to cache entire cities and the data will expire after 30 days, but a fully offline Google Maps will appear later in 2015 alongside Android M.
The good news about Google Maps offline is that most people are already very familiar with it and have it on their phones already. All you have to do is go to the map area you want to cache and either type or say ''OK maps'' and then save the amp with a name. You won't have access to offline search and it's pretty slow, but you will have a decent level of map detail, depending on how much you cached.Maps
5. HERE Maps - for something a little different
Nokia's HERE Maps is a great addition to the Android offline map apps family. Coming from Nokia, it's a very different experience to most Android maps and you'll need to register if you want to download maps for offline use. Once you've done that though, you'll be able to download unlimited free offline maps.
HERE offers turn-by-turn navigation, search, satellite and traffic imagery, and altogether just a completely different feel to an offline map. You can even set HERE to stay offline, meaning that even when you are connected to the internet again that it doesn't suddenly start consuming data again. If you're looking for a fresh take on offline maps, especially one that looks very different to the others, give HERE a try.HERE
Bonus tip: Did you know there's quite often offline maps for a specific city in the Play Store too? You can also download zoom-able PDFs for transit, city streets or points of interest for most major travel destinations in the world. They're a great alternative to occasionally rather large offline maps if storage space is at a premium.
Which offline map app do you use? Any we missed?