Feeling Lost? The Best Android Apps for Maps and Navigation
One for the Road
Navigation has significantly changes since the introduction of aerial mapping on smartphones. Android, being one of the highly customizable mobile operating systems, allows its developers to utilize nearly every aspect of the device to create feature filled mapping applications. With the right apps, you can instantly turn your android device into a fully featured navigation device capable of locating your presence and guiding you through the most obscure locations in any corner of the world. Regular updates and tons of features along with the ability to access maps offline allow users to navigate around locations without network connectivity.
Google Map stands on top of the chain by providing nearly every feature free of cost. Turn by turn navigation along with voice guidance allows users to navigate easily even when they are driving. Traffic updates and 3D view further simplifies user experience by providing real-time information about their route. Apart from Google Map, numerous other organizations have developed fully functional maps that add to the existing features to ease user experience. Users can download and use the free version but may have to pay additional fees to gain access to special features.
Here are the top maps and navigation app alternatives for the stock Google Maps on Android:
This is one of the top navigation apps on the Play Store with more than 10 million download. Apart from basic functionality, it automatically downloads map data onto your SD card for offline access. The app seamlessly synchronizes offline and online navigation without the user being aware of the lack of network connectivity. It retrieves data from OpenStreetMaps and support majority of countries. The organization behind it also provides a desktop application named Navigator free for windows. It also provides 2D/3D visual display of locations and routes allowing better navigation and recognition of locations. Moreover the also maintains an extensive database of street cameras, alerting you every time there is one ahead on your route depending on the speed of your vehicle.
Unlike usual navigation apps, Waze employs a community based navigation methods that allows users to get feedbacks and information from fellow travelers on the route. Drivers and people travelling through a route provide real-time data about traffic and other road related information that can immensely help users to save fuel and improve daily travel.
This is one of the most downloaded application for offline navigation. It downloads all relevant information to the SD card along with points of interest and alternative routes to ease user experience while travelling through places that lack proper network connectivity. It employs an effective compression mechanism that compresses downloaded data to save disk space while containing all possible relevant information about locations and routes.
This app tries its best to include all location information by collecting data from all available map databases. It provides the most extensive information about places while navigating through even the least described areas on earth. The app also uses all available meters and sensors to effectively track and monitor environmental changes and record necessary data in its database for by other users.
This app is a perfect replacement of Google maps as it provides multi stop destination features that allow users to add multiple stops to their route data. So if you stopped at a roadside joint for a quick bite, you can configure the app to change the route accordingly. Moreover, it tracks your navigation and adjusts your route automatically to the best possible alternative route in case you missed a street or a turn while driving.
Hundreds of apps on the app store provide necessary mapping data to navigate easily without using more than the necessary resources. Offline maps come in handy while traveling, therefore most apps support offline map data storage. Each of the above apps excels in one or more features necessary for frequent travelers. Select the one that suits your requirements.