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Apple just gave hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders a great reason to use Apple Maps and ditch Google Maps

Go anywhere and never get lost

Apple Maps update press release photo
Apple Inc.

Google Maps has long been a dominant player in navigation, known for its comprehensive data and ease of use. However, with the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced a game-changing feature that’s set to make Apple Maps the go-to choice for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Apple is finally introducing offline maps, and it’s a feature that will revolutionize the way hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders navigate the great outdoors.

iOS 17 unveils offline maps for Apple Maps

Apple Maps has come a long way since its initial launch, and it’s continually striving to offer users a more robust and feature-rich experience. With the launch of iOS 17 on September 18, 2023, Apple is introducing offline maps, a feature that will be a game-changer for those who love outdoor activities.

Offline maps allow users to select specific areas to download to their phones. Once downloaded, these maps can be accessed and used without an internet connection. This makes it possible to enjoy turn-by-turn navigation and conduct searches even in remote areas where internet connectivity may be unreliable or nonexistent. It works similarly to Google Maps in the sense that you do need a WiFi connection to download the maps, but after that, you’re good to go off the grid.

The perfect companion for outdoor adventures

For outdoor enthusiasts, this feature is a dream come true. Whether you’re hiking in the wilderness, camping in a remote location, skiing down the slopes, or snowboarding in the mountains, having access to offline maps can be a lifesaver. Here’s how this feature can benefit different adventure seekers:

1. Hiking: Hikers often venture into areas with limited or no cellular coverage. With offline maps, hikers can plan their routes, track their progress, and ensure they stay on course, all without needing an internet connection.

2. Camping: Campers can explore remote campsites and backcountry locations confidently, knowing they have access to offline maps that provide navigation assistance and the ability to find nearby points of interest.

3. Skiing: Skiers can now navigate their favorite ski resorts with ease, even in areas where cellular signals may be weak or non-existent. The ability to access trail maps and conditions offline ensures a seamless skiing experience.

4. Snowboarding: Snowboarders hitting the slopes can use offline maps to discover new trails, locate their friends, and track their performance without worrying about connectivity issues.

A look at other Apple apps for winter

While Apple Maps’ offline maps feature is a game-changer, there are also other apps that cater specifically to outdoor enthusiasts, providing additional tools and information to enhance their experiences. Here are two noteworthy apps:

1. Slopes: Slopes is the ultimate companion for skiers and snowboarders. It offers live location sharing, real-time recording on interactive trail maps, resort maps and conditions, smart recording features, detailed statistics, and even friendly competitions with friends. It also integrates with Apple Watch, allowing users to monitor their fitness and heart rate while on the slopes.

2. OpenSnow: OpenSnow is a great app for anyone passionate about snow-related activities. It provides weather forecasts for any location on Earth, daily analysis from local forecasters, high-resolution maps to track storms, essential powder-chasing tools, and more. Whether you’re a backcountry skier or simply planning a winter camping trip, OpenSnow has you covered.

Both Slopes and OpenSnow offer premium versions with additional features, making them valuable resources for avid outdoor adventurers.

With the introduction of offline maps in iOS 17, Apple has given hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders a compelling reason to switch from Google Maps. This feature ensures that you can confidently explore the great outdoors, even in areas with poor connectivity. However, it’s also worth exploring dedicated outdoor apps like Slopes and OpenSnow to make the most of your adventures and stay informed about weather conditions and trail information. As you prepare for your next outdoor adventure, remember to charge your phone, download your offline maps, and get ready to experience the great outdoors — offline maps can make the outdoors a lot easier, but you will need that WiFi connection to download, so be sure to plan ahead.

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Sarah Joseph
Sarah is a lover of all things outdoors. With a bright sense of adventure and a heart for the mountains, she is always…
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