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Maps.Me: a travel app which works anywhere

22 July 2014, Mike Williams

Every smartphone user needs a good mapping app, something to get them from A to B with the absolute minimum of hassle.

Google Maps is a great first choice, and of course there’s plenty of other options. But if you need something that will work anywhere, up mountains or down dirt tracks, then Maps.Me is a must-have.

Launch this straightforward Android/ iOS app (formerly known as Maps With Me), zoom in on a country, tap the “Download” button, and Maps.Me grabs the necessary OpenStreetMap data for you.

The download process takes a few seconds, but you only do it once. And afterwards maps work everywhere, no need for an internet connection, no roaming charges, no lengthy delays while you zoom in: it’s all very quick and easy.

Maps are packed with local detail

The maps are extremely detailed, too, covering restaurants, railway stations, tourist spots and a whole lot more.

The interface is simple and straightforward, an improvement on the previous Maps With Me. Everything you need is available from the main map screen. You’re able to zoom in and out, your current location is displayed and updated via GPS, and a menu gives you the option to share it with apps and online services.

The free Lite edition stops about there, unfortunately. If you want offline map searches, location bookmarking, maybe to have the map orient itself to the direction you’re travelling, you’ll have to upgrade to the $4.99 version.

That’s not a bad deal, though, especially as once you’ve bought it for one platform, you can use it on as many devices as you like. But even the basic Maps.Me Lite can be very helpful. In particular, OpenStreetMap often provides many more details than you’ll get with other apps, so it’s probably worth keeping as a backup – even if you mostly use something else.

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