New Google Maps update brings offline turn-by-turn navigation and search, at long last

Stuck abroad without a data connection? Feel lost no longer

Offline functionality in Google Maps isn't new, but it's definitely lacked two long-requested features - offline navigation, and search. Until now.

Google has announced that both turn-by-turn directions and the ability to search for destinations and look up information like closing times and opening hours, will be landing in a Google Maps update.

Downloading maps is easier than before too. Simply search for a country, county or city, tap download, and you're sorted.

If you happen to then lose your data connection (or if you're abroad or in a dead signal zone with no data whatsoever), then it'll seamlessly switch over to offline mode, letting you search for directions and useful information.

Functions like live traffic alerts will still obviously be unavailable, but the update makes Google Maps a far more useful tool, especially if you've been hit with massive roaming charges in the past.

The new functionality is landing on both iOS and Android versions of the app, so keep an eye out on your respective app stores to get in on the action.