Getting GPS directions in Canada -must you begin with a wifi connection?

I will have my moto G6 in Canada.
I’ve downloaded offline maps to SD card.
Do I need to initiate google directions while I’m still at a wifi connection at my hotel?
Or can I initiate driving directions when I’m on the road, with no wifi?

Hi @donaldk.4at52s and welcome to the Republic Community!

That is such a good question!
I’m my experience with offline Google maps, I need to initiate the trip while on wifi before I start my trip. It (for me) never starts giving me directions if I don’t.
I would love to hear if others have success starting offline maps and getting directions when not on WiFi. Please note my experience is only with Google Maps so other mapping apps might act different.

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I use Google maps offline on a nearly daily basis, with no connection when I start the trip. As long as the maps along the entire route have been downloaded. I have no issue. I just tested by turning off wifi and cellular data on my phone an trying and it worked like a charm.


But are you doing this in Canada, where there will be no off-line phone connection?

It’s not clear whether the test you just did is the same thing.

Have you considered the Here We Go app where you can download the maps to your phone. No need for a data connection then.

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I just repeated what @louisdi did and…
My Moto G7 started talking and giving directions… I swear it usually whines about there being no connection. :crazy_face:
I noticed that for walking directions it stilled remained mute. But switching it to a car (driving), it acted like it should. Just as it did for @louisdi. (I’m beginning to think he has magic powers) :wink:

Being in Canada (or anywhere else) should not make any difference in the offline procedure so it should work there like it does at your home.

What happens when you try offline maps at home @donaldk.4at52s ( with cell and wifi off)?

Yes, the test I did (phone in airplane mode) simulates what it would be like in a place with no cellular signal and no wifi signal.

As far as the issue @supert describes is a different one that I believe is related to the app getting confused when it can see that there is data, but it doesn’t have access to it. This would be the situation when you use data freeze in the Republic App or on the talk/text plan.

The next time someone runs in to this I would bet big that if they turn off data on the phone either though the Android Data settings, or by putting the phone in airplane mode then it’ll work fine (assuming the maps downloaded).

Thank you @louisdi,
I’m starting to understand why I had/have the issue when you didn’t.
I never have the phone on “data freeze”. But I do (as I have noted in past posts), have Terrible cell reception at my apartment.

In my situation when I’m trying to use the offline maps (wifi off and bad cell on) it fails. If I have wifi off and airplane mode on it works. It also works if I have a stronger cell and wifi off (as it should).

I think you are correct:

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OK, as a test, I put the phone into airplane mode and turned off wi-fi.
I went to Google and asked for driving directions to xxx.
Google said to consider turning off airplane mode or turning on wi-fi.

I went to Google Maps and brought up a saved map.
I asked for directions to xxx.
Maps responded “looks like you’re offline. Connect to the internet to search this area.”

Do you have the maps for the area where you are already downloaded?

I’m going to test on the various phones we have in the household. It’ll take me a little while to get them all tested. Nexus 5X, Samsung S8, LG G7, LG V40, Essential Phone, Moto G4 & Samsung Note 9

EDITED TO ADD: I just noticed you said “asked for directions to”. Did you ask by voice? Do you have the offline language pack downloaded? If not, this might have nothing at all to do with Maps but rather with the voice command. What if you type the address in?

I will download this and use it as a backup alternative, as needed.

OK, that works!
I went back to Google Maps and typed “directions to xxx”.
It gave detailed directions but warned “offline-no traffic data”

I will report back after my upcoming experience in Canada.
I’m not convinced the airplane mode scenario totally simulates real life settings.

Thank you all, for your helpful suggestions!


I’m back from Canada and I’m happy to report that I was able to initiate GPS directions on the road!

To summarize:
I used a moto G6 with a 120MB area map downloaded to the SD card.
I could initiate directions on the road using Google Maps.
Google Maps gave directions to an address or to a previously saved location (e.g. a restaurant)
However it did not seem able to find other restaurants by name., whereas it could do that from a wifi connection.
Despite that anomaly, I am happy that I could get GPS directions on the road.

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