Android Apps & Software smartphone Technology

Best GPS maps app and navigation app choices for Android

A good GPS navigation app what you need to have with you for finding directions to particular places when you visit a new city. You obviously need guiding when visiting areas you have never been before or you know little about. GPS apps can quickly become your personal guide to not only replace your old paper map but go way beyond that.

Most of these top GPS apps are design to help both drivers and those that travel by foot. They feature integrated bike-only and walking navigation routes into their maps. They as well assist everyone that uses public transport by showing the location of terminals, departure times, stations, turn-by-turn directions, traffic and safety camera alerts.

Google Maps

Google Maps GPS Navigations

Regardless of what people say on paid advertorials, there is no better GPS app for guiding than Maps by Google. The Google Maps directions provide routes for different traveling means. Such as by car, flight, transit, cycling, or walking. Google Maps transit supports almost all cities worldwide, but not all. Google has a publicly available listing of covered cities for transit routes.

Google Maps app offers the cleanest view of any part of the globe. You can view your favorite places on a map view, satellite view, or street view. The Google Maps street view is undoubtedly the greatest update Google gave to its map app. It allows you to see a 360-degree stitched imaging of every place Google Cars had the opportunity to be present. For the United States, the street view has a more imagery as they were taken not only by car but also by other means that add to the total availability of you seeing best places of the country. For $3,500 you can now become a contributor to Google Street View with the Insta360 Pro camera.

You can instantly receive Google Maps driving directions by tapping the Start driving button from your map app. It automatically finds your location and asks you to set a destination. It instantly prompts the distance and time of arrival. Google has a built-in search along route feature that lets you find restaurants, gas stations, or other significant places you wouldn’t want to miss on the go. It also tells you the traffic and allows you to view it in satellite mode if the map looks messy to you. Although it doesn’t.

Google Maps aims at providing sufficient data for anyone to search in foreign places like local. It offers real-time traffic information for you to defeat it, and will automatically re-route if an accident happens or a road is closed for some reason. You can also catch buses, and other public transport means by merely selecting a destination and then picking one of the route layers. You also have an in-doors street view of restaurants, shops, museums, airports, or malls. Google Maps involve comprehensive and detailed maps for 220 countries. While the transit schedules are for 15,000 cities.

You don’t even need an Internet connection to find directions on Google Maps. You can download Google Maps by visiting the Offline maps section and picking he Select Your Own Map option. This function displays a box that shows on a map how much of the surface will be downloaded, if you’re visiting Europe, you can download through it multiple states at once. Google Maps also support voice directions and detailed business information for over than 100 million places. You can also store and share your own maps via Google My Maps feature.

Maps - Navigation & Transit
Maps - Navigation & Transit
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

MapQuest

MapQuest Driving Directions

The MapQuest indeed is the best Google Maps alternative. It is one of the early map apps and has gone through many redesigning that added more features and a better view from the MapQuest Classic. To receive MapQuest driving directions, you should tap the Get Directions from the home screen or search on the Find Places bar. The first option shows MapQuest directions from one location to another while the search result shows guidelines from your site to the target point.

MapQuest map comes in map and satellite view. Its both layers differ from those on Google Maps. MapQuest offers turn-by-turn voice navigation for walking or driving directions and finds nearby points of interest as you’re on the way to reach your destination. It has multiple layers on both versions of maps that allow you to find locations of restaurants, gas stations, hotels, malls, airports, banks, schools, hospitals, and much more.

MapQuest will also find a new route for your trip in case you are facing a road closure. It shows traffic slowdowns, incidents, and traffic webcams when available. It also has a built-in weather app that shows temperature to your target city. With MapQuest navigation app you can also save money by comparing prices on nearby gas stations or make reservations and order food via OpenTable and GrubHub.

MapQuest GPS Navigation & Maps
MapQuest GPS Navigation & Maps
Developer: MapQuest
Price: Free+

Here Maps

Here WeGo Maps and Navigation

Here WeGo is the best service for offline maps and navigation. Its interface shares some features with Google Earth, and the homepage is not an app but a globe. You can swipe through it to zoom in and out on the map. Just like you’d do on Google Earth app.

The Here Maps receives your location upon installation by requesting access to your phone’s GPS. By writing a city name on the Where to search bar, you will receive distance and directions from your location to your target place. This navigation app also displays routes for various traveling means, and you can even book a taxi service. It also tells you public transport stations and itineraries. The Drive feature coming with Here WeGo tells turn-by-turn directions with voice guidance for a better guiding.

Although Here WeGo is one of the best map apps for directions, the main reason for choosing this one over others is its offline maps. Unlike Google that allows you to crop a part of the map for offline use, Here WeGo allows you to download maps for entire countries or cities. To download the map of the United States, you’ll need to have around 5GB of free storage on your device and a good Internet connection, but after that, you will be able to receive directions and find points of interest without having to rely on the Internet.

HERE WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS
HERE WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS

Waze

Waze is a Google-owned GPS navigation app that fills in the gaps left by Google on its own Maps application. Waze maps focuses more on notifying users via alerts regarding traffic, constructions, car accidents, and hazards as you’re driving. But it also functions pretty well as a standard offline maps and navigations app by making use of the GPS on your smartphone.

Upon installation, Waze app requests access to your GPS to find your exact location. It then uses that information along with the name of the location you type in the search bar to highlight the fastest route and proceed with displaying you detailed navigations. You will be receiving ETA traffic reports, and you can add stops such as restaurants, gas stations where you can see price comparisons, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, hotels, hospitals, and more.

The Waze GPS app has its map taken from Google. There is a large variety of locations of interest you can find through it. But unfortunately, this isn’t the navigation app of choice if you’re planning on having a long trip. Its navigation guide is limited to 1000 miles.

Maps.me

Maps.Me GPS map and navigation

Maps.me offers entirely offline map directions and navigations. This Android GPS app is specially designed to not spend your mobile data by requesting map downloads before extracting directions from one place to another. Its maps require a relatively small quantity of free storage, the entire collection of U.S maps is sized at only 3.9GB. All the features you’ll be having on Internet-powered maps can be accessed offline via Maps.me app.

Maps.me maps are daily updated by the contributors at OpenStreetMap. The OSM is an user-maintained map alternative to Google Maps. What’s best about this Android navigation app is its offline search feature.

Maps.me tracks your location by making use of the GPS on your phone. Its search feature will allow you to find restaurants, hotels, gas stations, stores, and other points of interest around your place of residence. When you request for directions, you are asked to enter a starting point and a destination. Then you can download corresponding maps for those two locations to use them offline. The app generates routes directions for driving, cycling, walking, and also can find a taxi for you or tell you local bus stations and other means of public transport. You can also search for other points of interest whilst you are on the go.

Sygic

Sygic GPS Navigation and Offline Maps

Sygic prides its self for being world’s most popular offline GPS navigation app with over than 500 million users worldwide. That really is something to be proud of. Sygic fetches 3D offline maps from TomTom and displays real-time traffic data from global mobile operators, automotive operators, and mapping and traffic suppliers. All this information can be accessed without an Internet connection.

Upon installation, Sygic asks you to download maps of any country from all over the world. With the free app, you can download 3.5GB of data in maps. Couldn’t find a download for the entire United States, probably you’ll have to download single maps per state if you want access to every state in the country.

To access the Sygic navigation mode, you’ll have to grant it GPS access to your device and select a destination. Sygic provides voice directions and tells distance and an estimated arrival time depending on what the traffic data tells the app. You can also access Google Street View or download Sygic’s Real View app that is based on augmented technology. Sygic as well shows better route alternatives when needed, finds nearby places such as restaurants, parking, gas stations, and more, has a dashcam support that records while you’re driving, and will even tell you on which lane to drive.

TomTom GPS

TomTom GPS is one of the most advanced navigation apps for Android. It supports over than 150 countries worldwide and has downloadable maps for regions rather than single countries or states. Downloading TomTom maps requires more data and free storage than with some of the other GPS alternative apps. As TomTom supports multiple countries from a part of a particular continent, the entire maps for the USA reach above 5GB. Nonetheless, this is one of the best apps you can have to help you navigate places you don’t know very well.

TomTom Go Mobile displays real-time navigation and provides accurate traffic data. If something’s wrong with your current route, the app automatically generates another route. You won’t have to return back after finding out that an accident blocked the road or it is temporarily closed, the TomTom navigation app will save you from such problems.

TomTom app also predicts your arrival time and lets you share your new location with any social media app. It saves you from being fined by local authorities by telling locations of speed cameras and the maximum allowed driving speed on any road you’re in. TomTom has its own mapping and navigation system that took years in the making to arrive at the current conditions. It certainly is one of the best GPS apps for detailed directions.

MapFactor

MapFactor GPS Navigator

The MapFactor navigator app focuses on providing directions for offline maps and kinda ignores some features you find on other map apps. The app offers turn-by-turn visualized navigation accompanied with voice directions and nearby places of interest. Something that will make you love this app is its easy-to-access feature of recording your movements on a map. You can later playback those recordings or share them with your friends.

The MapFactor maps are comparatively small in size, and you won’t have to wait for long to download maps of large regions for offline navigation.

MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps
MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps
Developer: MapFactor
Price: Free+

CoPilot GPS

CoPilot GPS Navigation and Offline Maps

CoPilot is a great alternative map app for its low-memory offline maps. The maps for the United States and Canada take only 2.36GB. The lowest storage by far. The CoPilot GPS app is not entirely free, the US and Canda maps are free to download while the European maps are offered in return for a paid subscription. If you’re planning to visit Europe and don’t want to pay for an app, then maybe you should be looking at the other apps.

CoPilot app specializes on trip planings. You can pre-load settings for your trip, such as destination and stops for food, gas, hotel, bank, and more. The app also has a built-in navigator with voice support. On the premium version, it has 3D mapping, active traffic data, safety alerts and warnings and more.

CoPilot GPS - Navigation
CoPilot GPS - Navigation
Developer: ALK Technologies
Price: Free+

Scout GPS

Scout GPS and Navigations apps

Scout app is another GPS app for receiving directions that hosts information and data from OpenStreetMap project. The Scout Navigations support only the United States with functional maps, you can also download them to your phone for offline use.

Similarly to other navigation apps for Android, the app comes with a navigator that supports talking navigations, allows you to look for nearby points of interest and estimates your reaching time to the destination by calculating the distance from your location and what the traffic data tells about your driving speed. Scout GPS is a solid app if you’re traveling only around the states, but if your trip is intercontinental, then you’ll have to look for a better one.

Scout GPS Navigation & Meet Up
Scout GPS Navigation & Meet Up

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