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iPhone Navigation Even Offline: How to Get Offline Directions

Apple Maps and Google Maps for iPhone only work when you are connected to a cellular data connection over Edge, 3G or 4G/LTE. If that is not an option, you need offline directions or offline navigation to find your way using an iPhone. This is because your iPhone uses GPS for positioning, which is always available, but common navigation apps require a data connection for retrieving maps and labels as well as traffic information.

If you navigate using a gps-only map app, the requirement for a data connection is dropped and you are free to roam wherever you like. This is especially useful for motorcycle trips and going to very remote locations that may not offer cell service.

How to get directions while offline on your iPhone

App Store > CoPilot GPS

The GPS location retrieval of your iPhone works when it is not connected to the internet, but as explained above, Apple Maps and similar tools don’t work when you are offline. Therefore, you require the help of another navigation app. We recommend CoPilot GPS (Available in the iTunes App Store) for this purpose.

CoPilot allows you to download one map region for free, so pick wisely. We have documented the setup process below using a series of screenshots, which you can follow to pick the map that you require. Note that maps are best downloaded when connected to Wi-Fi, as the download size is quite large and thus will take a while to complete.

Additional maps can be purchased via an in-app-purchase on your iPhone. You get 7 free days of voice-guided navigation and traffic, but get to keep your offline maps and basic route planning forever, which is a great deal.