Trying to use Maps without a data connection doesn't work unless you downloaded the region ahead of time, but that's now a lot easier too. If you're tight on internal storage space, you can load maps directly to an SD card if you have one. As Google points out, "entry-level smartphones come with internal storage as low as 4GB ... [so] you'll never have to choose between snapping more food photos or the ability to navigate offline." It's is a bit late to this, though, as Here and other services have supported offline and SD storage for a while.
The new features will not just benefit travelers, but mobile users in emerging markets where data is often pricey and sparse. It's also helping ride-hailing users in those regions as along with Uber, it now supports Go-Jek in Indonesia and Grab in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. In Europe and other parts, it works with Gett, Hail, and MyTaxi in Ireland, Poland, Italy, Austria, Russia and Israel.