APP WATCH: Google Maps 5.7 for Android

Good news when you are lost and without a decent phone signal – Google Maps 5.7 for Android will show you the way home.

Yes, Google Maps has been updated for Android users as an 'experimental' feature, but it doesn't work by magic, you'll need to do some pre-planning before you head out. According to Crave, you download your chosen section of map onto your phone, rather than accessing on the fly. Once there, you can search the map, zoom in and out, and find your way round the area without needing to connect to the net at all.

That's great news if you happen to be going for a wander round (for example) a rural area, where the signal might be weak and the area might be alien to you. In the city you'll probably have a decent signal to fall back on. But if you happen to be holidaying in mid-Wales (as I've found from personal experience), that particular comfort is unlikely to be available. On an equally practical note, downloading maps in advance via your home Wi-Fi, especially if you are planning a trip overseas, should save you a bit on data charges too. Pretty useful on the Underground too.

How do you do it? Just wait until you are in a Wi-Fi or 3G area, find the section of the map, then from the More options menu choose Download map area. You can then save a piece of map covering a 10-mile radius around your destination.

Once out of the experimental zone, expect this headline feature to land on your iPhone too. In the meantime, Android users are free to gloat.

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