Meet the New onX Offline Map Streaming Technology

September 8, 2020 | Products

The team here at onX is excited to have recently released our new streaming Offline Map technology out into the wild for hunting season.

This has been a seamless transition and everybody that has downloaded the latest version of the App is already enjoying the new Offline Map experience and features. As a team of hunters we know how important the Offline Map experience is, and it’s something we are committed to having rock solid for you. In addition to all the features you will read about below that are out right now we have a few more things coming out throughout this hunting season to improve the Offline Map experience. We invite you to read the detailed info below to understand the new streaming map service and how it will impact you and improve your days in the field.

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New Streaming Technology

Our new Offline Map streaming technology is a complete replacement of our older Offline Map experience. The features outlined below are already available to users but rest assured we will be using this technology to quickly add additional Offline Map features that our customers have been asking for (you might be able to guess which ones!).

  • Speed, Speed, Speed: We are excited to announce that our maps now download twice as fast. Two minutes now equals one minute or faster! During testing we have seen even faster times but this depends on your Wi-Fi or cellular speed. With streaming you don’t have to wait for the maps to queue or process, basically as soon as you hit “download” maps will start streaming to your device instantly. Why is this important? Well, when you are in areas of limited service or on top of a mountain getting that map onto your phone as quickly as possible is important.
  • This also ties in with the ability to now Pause and Resume Offline Map downloads. If you are driving in and out of service, on top of a mountain and lose service, or just walk to your mailbox and drop WiFi your Offline Map will now pause the download instead of failing. As soon as you get service again you can resume the download from where it left off and not have to start the whole download over again. This means less failed maps! Be sure to keep the App active and check the Offline Map area to restart any Offline Maps that have been automatically paused due to loss of service.
  • With streaming Offline Maps you can now queue up multiple maps to start saving. This means you no longer have to wait for the first map to finish downloading to start the next map. You can quickly save 10-20 maps in two to three minutes and then sit back while they all download for you.
  • Partial map downloads will still load. If your map download only gets to 90% you will still be able to use that 90% of the map offline.

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Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop
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List View

The new list view of your Offline Maps gives you all the information you need in an easy-to-view format. We removed the thumbnail icons that took up space to get you right to the info you need.

  • Right off the bat, you will see our new icon area where you can see the status of each of your Offline Maps with easy to understand icons which are standard in other apps you might use such as podcasts or music apps. You can quickly see icons for maps that are downloaded, need to be downloaded, are in progress, paused maps, maps with updates available, and the feared failed icon (read below about our new streaming technology to learn why those will be less common).
  • One nice feature is the ability to name your maps and then sort them by date or name. So taking the time to label your maps “Missouri Deer Trip” or “Colorado GMU 211” will allow you to quickly find those maps and see the status of them. You can also tap the map name to pan the map screen to the location of the map.
  • Finally, you can use the three-dot elliptical to edit the name of the saved map, delete the map from your phone to open up storage, or delete the map from your account all together. The difference between deleting the map from your phone or account is explained below in more detail but basically it’s a new tool we have implemented to allow you to manage storage on your phone and then quickly resave areas that you are interested in.
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Updating Saved Maps

One of the unique features exclusive to onX is our ability to update your saved maps. You already know our commitment to keeping your maps updated and your Offline Maps should have the same data at all times as well. This means no more deleting and resaving the same old maps every year to make sure your ownership, public lands, and hunting units are updated.

With our streaming technology we can detect when there has been an update to your map and will allow you to download those changes to your Offline Map. For example, if you have an Offline Map that is 250 MB and we update some information for that map we will only prompt you to download the updated map information which could be really small at like 5 MB. You don’t have to download the whole map again, just what has changed. At this time, look for the red dot icon on a downloaded map to find updates. Shortly, we will be following up with a setting to let any updates download automatically but we wanted to get this feature out ASAP and then follow up with that setting.

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Save an Offline Map From the Web

We have already covered so much, but we might have saved the best for this section. Imagine sitting at home scouting in Web Map on the onX website and being able to send Offline Maps directly to your phone, that would be pretty awesome right? Well, we thought so and we built it. Now you can maximize that precious scouting time and remove duplicate work. Just use the new Offline Maps button in Web Map to start selecting maps and send them to your phone.

  • Once you have saved maps made in Web Map open your phone and go to the Offline Maps tab and tap download for each map to start the process.
  • If you aren’t already using our Web Map tool to scout you should check it out. Not only can you view maps on a bigger screen from your computer but now your e-scouting has been taken to the next level with an Offline Map tool.

Experience New Offline Maps

Scout on Web Map then send Offline Maps to your phone.

Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop
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Saved Maps Are Now Part of Your Account

With this update we are now considering your Offline Maps as part of your onX account. Basically, that means they act like a Waypoint or Track and now they are attached to your account and not just your phone. What we do is save the bounding box for the Offline Map you have created to your account. Now you can access those bounding boxes for your Offline Maps on any phone and start the download process. So when you get a new phone you can just instantly start downloading your maps again without trying to find all those areas again. This is what allows you to save maps from Web Map to your phone or from your iPad to your iPhone. Basically anywhere you are logged in you can see your list of Offline Maps and manage which maps are downloaded to that device.

  • One of the cool things about this is the ability to manage storage on your phone now. If you have hit your storage limit you don’t have to delete the Offline Map you can just remove it temporarily from your phone. Basically, the concept is that you can remove a map from your device or from your account. When you remove a map from your account it is permanently deleted from your account and all devices you have. If you just delete the map from your phone you still have the ability to redownload that area quickly to any device you log into but you have removed the file from your phone to open up storage.
  • If you are hunting multiple states, traveling a lot, or have limited space on your phone this is going to be a new feature that will make your life easier and allow you to manage your Offline Map experience in a more efficient way.

Other Things to Know

1. Please note that all Offline Maps include aerial, topo, and hybrid imagery along with ALL onX layers automatically.

2. Android will let Offline Maps download in the background when the App goes to sleep. Apple does not allow this so the user will need to keep the app open and active in order to finish downloading maps. These are operating system settings that onX has little control over.

3. You can also see the status of each downloaded map on the map screen while in the Offline Map tool. You will see maps that are completely downloaded have a bright green box around them. Maps that are currently downloading have a dull green box. And maps that are in your Offline Map list but are not currently downloaded to your device has the red and white outlined box coloring as shown in the example. Reminder these boxes are only shown while in the Offline Map tool. If you want to remove these boxes all the time you can find the setting in the main menu under “map settings”.