Recently I took a tour in Japan, I visited Hamamastu City which is in Central Japan I did more than over eat and look for awesome Japanese gadgets I actually biked around Lake Hamana. Like most travellers I turn the roaming off and try to figure out the best offline apps to keep me connected while I’m disconnected. Since Google has yet to roll out offline maps I’ve got a few alternatives so you can figure out where you are.
Even if you’re in a city with Offline Google Maps you’re only able to download part of a city not the entire country, if you’re making the rounds on your trip this might be something to consider. MapDroyd allows you to download the entire country and even though you’re not connected the GPS on your phone will allow you to figure out where you are on the map. The thing that you have to remember with GPS is that it takes a minute or so for your phone to make contact with the satellites flying around the earth, so be patient.
Here is my video review of both Maps with Me and MapDroyd
Maps with Me
This offline maps solution was my prefered map while travelling in Japan, I preferred the detail on the map better and found that the app made quicker more accurate use of the GPS. You are also able to can search places, cities, street names, establishments completely offline. And if you upgrade to Pro you’ll get the Auto Follow mode where the map orients according to your position. Since Japan is rather difficult to travel I suggest you pay for the Pro version so you have every advantage you can get.
If found the Maps experience fluid and fast it except for turn by turn I felt like it had everything that I needed.
MapDroyd lets you download entire countries which is much more than what Google Maps offers you when it ususally only allows you to download a city. You’re able to search offine for addresses and places, which will help you get to your next destination. You’re also able to see where you are and you’re able to tilt and rotate your map view in any direction as well as jump from 2D to 3D.
I found the experience of this offline map stuttry and slow, it did technically work, but at times I found it unable to find my location when at the same time Maps with Me would work great. Also, it would freeze when I was panning the screen. It’s nice to have a back up, but I would go with Maps with Me.
If you wanted to check out some photos from the 80km bike tour around Laka Hamana here you go!