Every time I write about Google, I am always a little bewildered. Not only are they a hugely popular search engine, but they also develop and support Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development. It is one of the most highly valued companies in the world and yet they offer many of their services for free.
However, no matter how big and powerful they are, they continue to develop ways that will give people who live in areas that don’t have access to a good internet connection a fighting chance. I get frustrated at times because they seem all powerful and can change their formula (such as algorithm changes and products that get the ax) without a word’s notice, but they still champion the little guy and their humanitarian projects are quite impressive.
Initially, most people used a PC to search, work, and discover and their Internet connection was generally stable. But now that people are much more mobile with smartphones and tablets, this isn’t always the case. So, Google is advancing methods that will allow you to work offline until an Internet connection is available. The following article outlines the products that they are focusing on for offline work:
Google Is Quietly Rebuilding Itself Offline | Co.Design | business + design
Google is never down. It’s the most resilient, expansive cloud infrastructure ever built, with layers of redundant servers to promise that when you ask Google to look up some inane piece of trivia or search your email—from a restaurant, or in the middle of the night—it’s always there to respond.
Yet for the past few years, Google has been quietly updating its offline capabilities. Search. Maps. Docs. Chrome. YouTube. Each of Google’s largest branches is now fit with some level of functionality, even when the internet is out of reach. Maps will download cities to your phone. YouTube Red automatically downloads your favorite songs. Chrome can save webpages so you can view them even without Wi-Fi. And most recently, Google announced that even good old Googling can work without a connection. On Android, the searches will queue up when you don’t have a connection, then the system will automatically alert the user with results when a connection comes back online.
Read the full post here: Google Is Quietly Rebuilding Itself Offline | Co.Design | business + design
Using Google offline isn’t like being connected, but it is definitely better than nothing. Through some settings on your phone, you can queue up a search and be notified when the search results are available. This video demonstrates how to work offline using your smartphone:
One of the best offline functions they have cultivated is using Google Maps offline. This works really well to store specific locations on your device or an SD card so if you happen to be where your phone doesn’t have service, you can still utilize the saved map to find your way around. You have to think ahead and search for the area you need to save while you have Internet, but once you are connected you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
These are the step-by-step instructions straight from Google support:
- On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app .
- Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
- Search for a place, like
- At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place. If you search for a place like a restaurant, tap More .
- Select Download .
Read more here on the Google Support Page
This post from CNET gives a few more helpful tips on using Google offline. Keep in mind that the instructions are pretty much identical for iPhone and Android users:
How to use Google Maps offline mode on iOS, Android – CNET
You’ll then be tasked adjusting the area to be saved via panning and zooming around, making sure to pay attention to the size limit alert along the top of the screen. If the mapped area is deemed to large, you’ll need to zoom in and repeat the process for the area left out. Once you’re happy, tap on Save and give the offline map a name.
To access your saved maps, slide you the menu draw and select My Places from the list of options. Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you should find any offline maps still stored on your device.
Keep in mind that any saved maps will only remain on your device for 30 days. Presumably, after that the app will purge a saved map to clear up space on your device.
Read more here: How to use Google Maps offline mode on iOS, Android – CNET
Google continues to amazing me with their innovative and charitable ways. In the end, though, it really comes down to the fact that Google wants to encourage anyone they possibly can to be part of the community as well as a potential paying customer.