Google Maps for Android includes ‘Wi-Fi only’ mode

Google has been quietly rolling out an update for its Maps application that will provide users the option to run the app in ‘Wi-Fi only’ mode.

This makes for a welcome development as it will help saving on data costs. Google though has stated some data might still be used though it will be ‘significantly less’ than what it has been so far. Post the said update, there is going to be a new toggle switch under the Settings tab which will let users set the ‘wi-fi only’ mode if so desired.

However, Google seems to have embarked on a phased roll out of the feature as it is now available to only a select user base. The latest update is a further development on version 9.32, which means users will need to have that version installed to qualify for the latest update. Those who have the new feature installed will get to see the new ‘Wi-Fi only’ toggle switch under setting where so far it has been showing ‘offline areas.’

Also, what seems evident is that the update is being rolled out based on user accounts. What this means is that users won’t be tied up to a particular device. All that they need to do is sign in using the same account irrespective of the device to avail of the new feature.

Once set to on, there will be a new blue coloured bar displayed along the top to show its status that it is no longer drawing on cellular data.

The new feature will also be able to provide users with information pertaining to the mass transit system. That includes updates like if there are delays or a re-scheduling of bus or train services. However, for that to work, users are required to have the disruption alert turned on on their devices. This way, users will know in real time which route would serve best to travel to their destination.

The above changes come on the back of other improvements introduced to the mapping application a while back. That includes much-improved picture quality so that the images look sharper with much better contrasts.

Google attributed that the credit for better cloud free coverage goes to the new Landsat 8 which replaced the previous Landsat 7. Not only is Landsat 8 able to capture clearer images, but it also does that twice as fast. All of this ensured better quality and more up-to-date images beamed to our devices each time we turn to the map app.