The new update to Google Maps was released today which brought a lot of nice new features, but one additional feature is the ability to download map data for offline use. This is something we have been all waiting for. Unfortunately, you are still unable to use it for navigation, but you will be able to download a 10 square mile area for viewing anytime you do not have a data connection.
To do this you need to go into maps and hit Menu/More/Labs. The third choice down should be “Download map area.” All you need to do it tap that to enable it (you will see a check mark). To actually download an area, there are 2 ways:
1) You can search anywhere on a map and long press in the area and after the box appears, tap that and you will see “Download map area” at the bottom of the screen. Tap that and your download should take about a minute.
2) From a Place page you can tap “More options” and you will see “Download map area” at the bottom.
To access your downloaded areas, from the map screen, hit Menu/More/Cache Settings/Downloaded map areas. Select one of your download areas, and it will appear with a black square surrounding it. Only map tiles are loaded (no satellite, traffic, etc.)