What Google Maps WiFi Only Option Can do to the App’s UX

According to some users, Google Maps have updated their setting features, adding a “WiFi only” option, which can be toggled between online and offline.

The new feature will allow users to be offline and connect to Wi-Fi towers to load previously undownloaded maps. This is contrast to the current “offline areas” mode, which will reconnect automatically to your cellular towers as soon as you have reached an area with cellular data. This new feature should save frequent map users a lot of data.

Currently, this feature is still in testing mode, and based on its need or success will roll out to more users over time.


The Expected Contribution of Google Maps WiFi Only to its UX

By making a relatively simple update and listening to user feedback, Google is now on the brinks of an important update which will improve its user experience. Apple has its own maps feature and there are other apps such as CityMapper as well. Google has given users more incentive to use its maps over other competing apps, by giving an added incentive for users to stay.

In addition, Google Maps is reportedly rolling out with a new feature which will allow users to set up alerts and notification when there is a delay or disruption in their usual subway/transit route. Again, Google uses its wealth of knowledge to improve its user experience.

Since Google has not officially rolled out this update for all or even most users, it’s hard to say at the moment how users will respond to the update. As I stated before, this does seem like a step in the right direction of improving Google Map’s user experience.

Upon the rumors of this update circling the web I did see one comment which struck me as very true: Recently I used maps 3 times for less than 90 seconds each time & accrued $1.40 in data charges. Not much money, but ridiculous none the less……… Google is so capable, yet so incomplete.”

Although T-mobile users with unlimited data plans were not thoroughly impressed with this news.  Hopefully, Google will roll out with this update to the general public, for the company’s sake sooner rather than later.

Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com