We’re pleased to announce a major new version of the CycleStreets Android App (version 1.4), our fourth update in just over a year. It brings a great new feature … Offline maps!

 Download the app update and install the map pack now!


Up until now, the CycleStreets app has had to download maps as it needed them. As you move around the map, or zoom in and out, the downloads new parts of the map – the tiles – as it goes. The different map styles it offers are provided by simply downloading the tiles from different servers. Generally, this works fine. But if you’re on you’re out and about and have a poor signal, or want to try and eke out your battery life, it can be a problem.

This new update provides a solution – a free downloadable map pack covering the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. The map pack is available from Google Play as a separate download, and once installed, you need never download another tile again. All the map data CycleStreets needs is there, on your phone, and it will render the maps it needs as it needs them. (Routing itself still uses the network, but this is a tiny amount of data by comparison.)

To set up the offline maps download the app update and install the map pack. Start the map pack app and it will set up the offline maps automatically. You can always switch between online and offline maps using the Settings screen.

Plan cycle-friendly routes from A to B, via C, anywhere in the UK!

  • Plans routes through the full street and path network, including Sustrans routes and other networks
  • Innovative & quick “three taps” system: Set current location, tap the map to set destination, and plan!
  • Or search for any location in the UK, including full postcode support and local/national placefinder
  • Choice of map styles (including the great OpenCycleMap showing contours, and Ordnance Survey Street View, and offline style)
  • Downloadable maps for offline use
  • Turn-by-turn itinerary view
  • Choose from different types of routing – fastest/quietest/balanced/shortest
  • Easily switch between route types (e.g. quietest to fastest) having planned a route
  • Takes account of hills automatically
  • Routes automatically saved for later use
  • UK-wide (NB some areas of OpenStreetMap are better than others)
  • Share your route by Twitter, Facebook, or email

CycleStreets for Android is an open source project and the code is available on GitHub. If you’d like to get involved with the code – and Android development is easier than you might imagine – do get in touch.

Please do add a review of the app too!

– Jez

16 thoughts to “CycleStreets android app now with offline maps

  • Photo Book

    Congratulations on your great app.

    Is your fourth update this year the same as version 1.4?

  • Martin

    I’ve updated the post to clarify that this is release 1.4. That happens to be the fourth update we’ve released this year – the Android team and Jez in particular have been working hard on it!

  • Matt Turner

    Wow, brilliant release, great feature.

    What is the plan for feeding tile updates into the map pack?

  • Jez Higgins

    We’ll revise the maps every few months. They’ll be published through Google Play, and you’ll get an update notification on your phone in the same way you do for any other app.

  • Fabian Rodriguez

    May I suggest that you also consider publishing the app and maps via FDroid? From their site (http://f-droid.org):
    “The FDroid Repository is an easily-installable catalogue of FOSS applications for the Android platform. The server contains the details of multiple versions of each application, and the Android client makes it easy to browse, install them onto your device, and keep track of updates.”

    See “Submit applications” here:

  • Nigel

    This is a great idea, but I’m afraid that the tiny text on these maps makes them almost unusable for me – and when I zoom in the text gets even smaller! I think this is a major accessibility issue.

    The OSM rendering used by MapDroyd (which also has offline maps) isn’t perfect but has much bigger and clearer text than CycleStreets, so it is possible.

  • Jez Higgins

    Hello Nigel. It should be possible to make to the text on the maps larger – I’ll see what I can do about it for the next release.

  • Brian Davison

    App looks great, esp. offline feature. Too late to incorporate this for Coderace 2012, but certainly a priority for 2013.

  • Rob Norris

    How big is the map pack?

    Not everyone has unlimited downloads on their mobiles …

    Therefore is it possible to download the file separately and transfer it to the phone via USB?

  • Rob

    How big are the offline maps to download?

    If it’s large, can it be downloaded on a PC first and then transfer it to the appropriate location on the phone? (presumably somewhere on an SD Card – or some other more detailed setup method…)

  • Jez

    Hi Rob. The map download is in actually in two parts – a small application and around 500Mb of map data. Google Play now supports large files like this and will download the maps directly to your SD card. You shouldn’t have to do anything special – just install in the app as normal and it will all happen transparently.

  • Paul Lowe

    Is this feature coming for the iphone?

  • moylan

    brilliant feature that allows me to carry all maps for ireland on my android tablet. is there a chance we’ll be able to search for places and streetnames in rhe offline maps? doesn’t seem to do that now without access to internet.

  • JPM

    Why does the app have permission to read contact data? I prefer not to install apps with excessive permissions.

    “Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people. Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people.”

  • Martin

    It’s so the app can do ‘route to a contact’.

    There is no uploading of data to any server, and the app does not store the contacts or save them anywhere.

    The source code is at https://github.com/cyclestreets/android so this can be independently verified.

  • Chris Stone

    Wow what a great app. Excellent work!

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