Nowadays GPS apps make it easy to explore new places and to find the best route for your destination. So today we will talk about the best 15 application you might want to use for your travelling needs. Some of them have cool perks and most of them are free to use. Others come will monthly or annual fee for premium features. So let us jump right in.
1. Google Maps
You knew it has to be on the list, is not it? Google Maps is the most used program for GPS navigation all around the world. It is from Google, so if you use Android it is built right into it. The best feature of the app is it has many forms of transportation, from walking to train. If you are in a car, Google Maps will update you if there is any jam on the road and recommend better routes.
On the other hand, there are no social media sharing options as of now. Also, if you take a wrong turn, most of the time the app will still show you the same route, other than exploring a better way from where you already are. Although, the best part is Maps is completely free to use.
Formerly known as FreeMap Israel, Waze is another good GPS tool which is a subsidiary of Google. It provides turn-by-turn voice navigation, real-time traffic, and other location-specific alerts. The app is known to be a community-driven GPS navigation app which is free to use in any smartphone or tablet.
When it comes to the negative points, the icons for roadwork and other obstructions can clutter the map. Also, as the application is running constantly, you might face a little bit of extra battery drain.
A division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago founded MapQuest in 1967. Commercially it was launched in 1996. This was the first program which is available in a desktop format and also exists as a smartphone app. Other than providing driving directions the best feature of the app is it can tell you where to find the best gas prices.
Sadly the app works only while online and the mobile version is still not perfect. Sometimes it may give wrong directions, which is a bummer. It is an advert driven tool, so the pop-ups might be a bit too much for many users.
Next on our list is Maps.Me which is a mobile app for Android and iOS providing provides offline maps using OpenStreetMap data. Previously it was known as MapsWithMe. Other than offline mapping it comes with features like auto-follow mode, turn-by-turn directions and traffic data. While online you can also share your location with friends and family.
As most of the features of the program work offline you do not have to worry about the battery that much. But the map is not updated everyday and business places can be outdated sometimes.
5. Scout GPS
Developers of Scout GPS proudly bills itself as the ‘only social navigation app’. When it comes to the feature set, it comes with turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic information, speed updates. From the social aspect, you will be able to easily find local businesses and restaurants. There is also a text feature which can send a message for you about your arrival time depending on the traffic.
When it comes to the price, all the basic features are free. But premium features like GPS cost $4.99 per month or $24.99 per year. The tool is only available in the USA as of now but the developers are trying to add more country in their map.
Next on the list is inRoute Route Planner. It is a great GPS app who wants full control over their route planning. It allows users to add multiple stops during the journey. Other than that it can suggest you route depending on elevation and weather and can easily find hotels and gas stations.
There is a free version, but the turn-by-turn directions and other features will cost from $14.99 to $29.99 per year. But you can try the app for free for seven days. Also, it is harsh on your battery as it runs always on the background.
7. Apple Maps
One of the biggest competitors of Google Maps is Apple Maps. It comes pre-loaded in all Apple hardware like iPhones and iPads. The app has all the features like turn-by-turn directions and voice navigation. Also, there is a Flyover which lets you see your destination virtually in 3D.
Sadly it is only available on iOS devices and the routes are not perfect in all the regions, like India. If you are in the US you will not face any problems though. Some users have also complained that business information is not always accurate.
Related Article: Waze vs Google Maps – Which Navigation App Is Best for You
If you are looking for a GPS application which will work completely offline, MapFactor should be one of your top preferences. It allows you to download maps of whole countries, region or cities for offline usage which are up to date. It is available on all the major platforms like Android, iOS and Windows.
Sadly as it works offline you will not be able to get traffic data and some reviewers say maps have inaccuracies. On the other hand, there are optional features like alternative routes, head-up display and many themes.
Everyone does not travel in a car, there are people working and travelling with RVs and larger trucks. CoPilot is focused on those people. You can customize routes for all vehicle types, taking road width or low clearance into account.
While offline you can search for restaurants. The app is available everywhere and the premium subscription costs from $13.99 to $99.99 per year. The app is available on both Android and iOS.
Next on our list is OsmAnd. Their app is available on Android, iOS and Amazon App Store. For map data the developers used OpenStreetMap and it works both online and offline. When it comes to features other than that you got voice guidance, lane guidance, ETA and even cycling routes.
The user interface of the tool is a bit outdated compared to Google and Apple Maps. But when it comes to details you will not any issues. The program is free to use but for extra features, you have to get the premium subscription.
11. TomTom Go
Now it is time to talk about TomTom Go. Other than the funny name, it has some good feature set. To start with it features live traffic information, voice navigation, offline functions and 3D maps. Not only in the USA, you can get map data for other countries also.
You can use the application for free for 50 miles will all the features, but after that, it will cost costs $19.99 per year. The app is available on both iOS, Huawei and Android.
12. Here WeGo
Originally developed by Nokia, Here WeGo is now under Here Technologies. Previously it was known as Here Maps. It was released for Android on 10 December 2014 and later for iOS on 11 March 2015. Nowadays it is the default mapping app for Amazon Fire tablets and smartphone.
On the flip side, the interface and the features can be improved. Also, in some Android smartphones, the map does not go full screen. But the developers are working hard to fix these issues.
If you mostly need GPS for cycling, Bikemap will be a really good application for you. The main features of the app is you will be able to get the best cycling route in the countries like UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Hungary and many more.
If you download the map, you can use the app offline and there is support for intelligent voice navigation and variety of map styles like Basic, OpenCycleMap, OpenStreetMap, 3D and Night Mode. Some of them is only available on the premium version.
14. Karta GPS
Another good map alternative is Karta GPS where you can download maps for free for later use. Also, there are a ton of customization options like changing the voice over and navigation icons. It can give warning of upcoming speed-controlled zones, lane assistance, and help to find parking.
Sadly, many users stated that the routes are not always up to date and it fails to locate constructions and obstructions on the way. You can download the app for both iOS and Android.
We will end the list with Polaris GPS Navigation. The app is focused on the people interested in outdoor adventurers. It can give turn-by-turn driving directions based on information from other navigation services. Also, it will inform you about nearby hiking and biking locations.
The overall user interface could get some touch-ups and it is not meant to be used as your primary GPS navigation app. For now, the app is only available for Android and free to use.
So these are all the popular GPS navigation apps which will come in handy on your next road trip. I have tried to include apps keeping in mind different needs for different people, so you will be able to easily choose the best one for you. Do let us know in the comments if you have an any better alternative in mind, that will also help your fellow readers.