Offline maps for Apple Watch

SubhamOctober 8, 2022
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Offline maps for Apple Watch Ultra were a top feature request in the initial reviews. It’s true that Apple Maps has almost no support for offline viewing yet. Fortunately, some expeditious Apple Watch users have turned to other solutions with success.

Apple Watch alternatives

If you’re truly going off the grid, the safest solution is to have a good old-fashioned paper map for reference along with your iPhone for more capability. Apple Maps doesn’t support offline mapping on iPhone either, but Google Maps does allow downloading areas ahead of time.

This isn’t as convenient as following navigation on your wrist, but the iPhone has other perks too. For example, many iPhone 14 users will soon have access to emergency calling over satellites when the service launches in the US and Canada to start.

Apple Watch offline maps

Today the best solution for saving offline maps to your Apple Watch for use without a signal is an app called WorkOutDoors. It currently goes for $5.99 in the App Store as a one-time purchase. You can read more about everything the app does here before buying.

“WorkOutDoors displays a fully functional vector map (just like the maps on the iPhone). The map is perfect for outdoor workouts because it includes paths, trails, tracks & pistes,” says the app’s developer, Ian Muriss.

“Maps can be smoothly panned with your finger and zoomed by using the digital crown. They can also be stored offline on your watch for use when there is no data signal. Choose from standard maps or topographic maps with contours and hill shading. Maps for the whole world are included. There are no subscriptions or extra payments,” Muriss adds.

Years before the missing feature was highlighted about with the Apple Watch Ultra, the app was already being used to fill the feature gap on Apple Watches. While searching for a solution, I came across this 2018 blog post on

I tried a lot of things before finding the WorkOutDoors App. It lets you save a segment of a map (of any size) to your phone in complete zoomable detail and will even show a track of where you have been and a persistent compass pointing back to your start point. […] Went from wanting to run in a straight line and back in unfamiliar places to feeling confident to go wherever after one run with it.

More recently, Joonas Lehtinen published a blog entry that gives a fair and detailed assessment of the process involved.

Another alternative solution is a workout-tracking app called Footpath that we’ve previously covered. “With Footpath Elite, you can send routes to your Apple Watch, with full support for GPS tracking and turn-by-turn audio navigation, even offline,” according to its website. Elite is a subscription tier that currently goes for $3.99/month or $23.99/year. There’s also a single route option for $1.99 and a seven-day free trial before subscribing.


Whether you have a brand-new Apple Watch Ultra or the original or new SE, these solutions work for offline maps thanks to the built-in GPS in all models since the Series 2. Have your own experience with offline maps for Apple Watch or even iPhone and iPad? Let us know in the comments.

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