Google Maps, the stupidly good and free mapping service from the big search engine in the cloud, could well be getting a significant upgrade: offline maps access.

At the moment Google Maps does offer a cached version of its maps – through an Android update and only for selected places – but it looks like this could be fleshed out and actually let you search for new map destinations without the need of a data connection.

Get your maps out

This is something TomTom and Garmin already offers but they do this for a premium. If Google did offer this then it would be offering the same sort of functionality found in Nokia Maps, which comes with selected Nokia handsets, and is pre-loaded on many HTC handsets too.

And if offline maps are offered, then there's no reason Google couldn't add its Navigation service to this – something that would make every GPS manufacturer quiver with fear.

According to All About Phones, the new feature is expected to land this summer.

Via Engadget