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Access Google Maps Without Internet or Cell Service

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! Many of you are likely gearing up to spend some time in the car, driving to see friends & family for the holiday. You might want to check out some exciting news below before hitting the road to improve your travel experience... It's happened to the best of us: You're driving to an unfamiliar destination for the first time, diligently following the turn-by-turn instructions conveniently dispatched from your smartphone's Google Maps app. You meant to print out a hard copy or take a closer look at the geography before leaving, but when you were running late and had to choose between that and breakfast... the latter won. You'll make it just in the nick of time. That is, assuming you won't get lost. Half-way through your trip, you hear the dreaded "Recalculating Route." You've lost your connection, and you feel as though you are now doomed to drive in circles for the rest of eternity, never to reach your destination. Luckily, this is soon to be a thing of the past. Google just announced that it will be rolling out an update that allows you to access Google Maps without internet or cell service.  "Download" specific areas of a map to your phone -- anything from cities to countries. In doing so, your phone will be able to continue its navigation of that area seamlessly. Even the beloved turn-by-turn directions will continue without a blip. You'll also retain access to other helpful information, like nearby destinations and their hours of operations. And, the best part is that the app is smart enough to know when you're in a spotty service area or not. It will automatically switch into "Offline Mode" when you need it, and switch back to the standard "Online Mode" once you return to a place with connectivity. Also, you don't have to worry about insane data charges, because the app will only download maps to your device when you are on a Wi-Fi connection (unless you explicitly tell it otherwise.) This sounds so awesome! We can't wait until these updates hit iOS, too, so we can all play with the functionality. Will you use this? Tell us in the comments below.