Waze 101: How to Download Routes for Offline Use on Android

How to Download Routes for Offline Use on Android

Google's Waze app sets itself apart from other navigation apps with its seamless use of your Android's GPS and internet connections to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions. And if you scratch below the surface, you'll even find an awesome feature within the app that lets you navigate through areas with poor internet connection without a hitch.

Waze's offline routes are a little different from a similar feature offered by Google Maps. The route that's saved within Waze is kept in cache, so it's essentially a backup that Waze can automatically retrieve when cellular service is spotty. The main advantages to this are that it takes up less space on your phone, and it does away with the need to stop mid-trip to manually retrieve an offline route, which makes for a safer trip overall.

Unfortunately, this feature is currently only available for Android devices, as Waze on iOS simply doesn't support it. We'll be sure to post an update if and when offline routes arrives for iOS, so stay tuned if you're an iPhone user.

So, if you want to save a Waze map offline, open the Android app and enter your destination as you normally would (with either Wi-Fi or cellular data enabled), then tap on the "Go Now" button once you're satisfied with your chosen route. Once the navigation starts, either tap on the magnifying glass in the lower-left corner, or swipe in from the left edge of the screen to pull up Waze's dashboard.

On the dashboard, tap on the cog-shaped settings button in the upper-left corner of the screen, then scroll down and select "Display & Map" under Advanced Settings. Inside "Display & Map," scroll down and tap on "Data Transfer" all the way at the bottom. Once inside the page, tap on "Download traffic info" to turn the feature on.

From now on, Waze will automatically download your navigation routes, which ensures that you'll reach your destination even as you drive through areas with poor cellular service. In other words, any time you ask for directions and start navigation, Waze will automatically download the map before you even start driving.

It's worth noting, however, that vital traffic updates, such as accidents, police traps, and roadwork, will not function, as the app depends on an internet connection to provide real-time data. Nonetheless, what do you think of this feature? As always, share your thoughts by posting in the comment section below.

Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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1 Comment

Just installed Waze today, 1/15/2019, and this feature no longer exists. There is no "Data transfer" option on the Map display panel.

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