There’s a key reason why HERE smartphone apps have the option to work completely offline once you’ve downloaded your maps and why the ‘Use app offline’ switch is the most prominent item in the menu.
While the trend is for smartphone apps that continually poll remote services, whether for content updates or advertising, that continual data usage can be very off-putting for many people.
Mobile advertising company Jana points out that a key statistic to watch is the match between the minimum wage in a country and the cost of a modest 500MB a month pay-as-you-go data plan.
In Germany, this is very affordable. A minimum wage worker can pay for that data plan in just under one hour’s work. In the US, it would take a still-pretty-affordable 6 hours.
In other countries, however, the cost of a pay-as-you-go data plan is higher, and/or the minimum wage is lower. In the worst examples in Jana’s study, Brazil and Mexico, you’d need to work for nearly a whole week to afford that 500MB plan.
So you can see why data-hungry apps can be very unpopular. An unchecked app could easily cost someone a week’s wages in just a couple of hours.
Jana notes: “In every market (India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico) data expense was among the main reasons for smartphone users not to download an app. Overall, 25% of respondents considered it the greatest single obstacle to app consumption.”
Finding your way should not require an internet connection
You can browse the web and chat with your friends on Whatsapp for longer if you don’t have to use data to navigate. With HERE you can download the whole map for more than 100 countries and if you don’t want to use too much of your phone storage, in some countries you have the options to download only some areas or states.
What’s even more important is that you can search for places, plan routes and get turn-by-turn navigation without using any bit of data.
Online use adds extra enhancements to the apps – with live traffic data and more venue information – but it’s entirely optional.
It’s not just for the benefit of people in the countries mentioned by Jana, though. At some point we all have to use our smartphone without an internet connection: perhaps you’re roaming, in the subway or just lost signal for a moment.
This is why we always advise that you have your relevant HERE maps downloaded before you leave home or the office.
There are lots of other reasons why offline maps are better, though, as well as the cost. Here are nine more.
Image credit: T Photography (Shutterstock)