Fire up your mobile device’s home app store and search for navigation apps, you’ll find that there’s a staggering number. It can be overwhelming and tedious to thumb through each one, hoping to find the best of the best. Which one is worth downloading? Is it free or will it cost me? Are there offline maps? What about traffic? Is there turn-by-turn voice navigation?
There are too many wants and needs that should be present within a navigation app. Make it easy on yourself and check out the 7 of the best navigation apps that can be downloaded for both Android and iOS down below.
Google Maps – Navigate and Explore
It goes without saying, you can’t talk about a navigation app without talking about Google Maps. You have no choice but to honor its presence. If everyone didn’t know any better, you would think as extensive as Google’s photography has gone to map most of the globe that they were looking for world domination. Fortunately, Google isn’t Skynet. Or is it?
Google Maps has just about everything you need in a navigation app, at least for the average joe. And with Google Maps always updating, there’s very few instances of running into outdated information. You can get the scoop on live traffic and redirections if you need them. You can find places to eat, drink, sleep and much more depending on what you need.
And as a bonus, if you’re looking to save on some of your data (boy, can it eat it up), you can download maps for offline use.
Waze – GPS, Maps, Traffic Alerts and Live Navigation
Waze is a testament to what you can do with crowdsourcing information and combine it with a navigation service. Much of the information can be invaluable, especially if you’re in a hurry.
For example, you’ll find accidents, construction, police, road closures, and other traffic related incidents placed on the map. This allows for any user to avoid those specific areas, especially if their daily route is obstructed by such events. However, it’s worth noting that sometimes the icons can get in the way.
Waze also comes equipped with a few quirks, like sharing gas prices in your area and having Facebook integration. You can post your location on your timeline.
MapQuest: Directions, Maps and GPS Navigation
Oh yes, MapQuest, the dinosaur, is still around and it’s made its way onto an app. After all this time, it’s still one of the best navigation apps you can get on both Android devices and iOS devices.
With that being said, MapQuest still has to compete with giants like Google Maps. While providing features other navigation apps have–turn-by-turn GPS navigation, driving routes and walking routes, and so on–it also has this neat feature of providing constantly updating live cameras. You can check them out if you’re considering a particular path and want to know what conditions are like.
MapQuest might be an old service, but it’s still one of the best. There’s no doubt about that, and being available on both Android and iOS keeps it alive awhile longer.
Komoot – Cycling, Hiking and Mountain Biking Maps
What is this? An app for bikers, hikers and nature walking? Yes, yes it is. Komoot makes it way onto this list because it actually isn’t for driving. Instead, Komoot markets itself towards the outdoors.
Here’s how Komoot works: you start by creating a route, and Komoot helps you navigate to your destination. You can plan out routes for hiking, backpacking and bicycles–both road cycling and mountain biking. And the maps you use can be used offline.
Komoot is a very niche navigation app, but who says bicyclists and hikers can’t have their own app? At least it keeps them off the road, right?
CoPilot GPS Navigation & Traffic
On the flip-side, CoPilot GPS is aimed towards RVs and larger trucks. Cars can make use of it too just as well, but the aim is certainly towards larger vehicles. CoPilot GPS makes its way onto this list for its route planning capabilities and offline use.
What makes this app wonderful for large vehicles is how you can customize your route plans. Take a large RV, for example. Let’s say you want to make it from Point A to Point B. On any other navigation app, you would get the fastest route. However, for CoPilot GPS, it will take into account your vehicle type.
Why does that matter? Well, larger vehicles tend to have problems running into road clearance. CoPilot GPS will spit out directions for your vehicle type that takes into consideration of low bridges and such. Important details like that can help you avoid accidents.
MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps
MapFactor used to be an Android-only application, but has since made its way to iOS devices. MapFactor is strictly for offline use only.
So, how does that work? Well, it’s constantly updated, but you have to be active in keeping your offline maps up to date, especially where points of interest are concerned. Since it pulls its data from OpenStreetMap data, most (if not all) points of interest are kept up to date as much as possible.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much other than having excellent offline maps. It isn’t the kind of navigation app that gives you traffic information. With that being said, if you need to download maps for countries, regions and cities, MapFactor GPS is pretty invaluable. It’s on this list for a reason.
Citymapper – the Ultimate Urban Transit App
Citymapper hasn’t spread its wings entirely… yet. In other words, it hasn’t been fleshed out entirely, only being available in a few cities around the world. However, that doesn’t stop Citymapper from giving you some great in-depth information–live information.
Like Waze, it gives you the scoop on traffic and obstructions. Citymapper can help you bounce back during a trip by offering alternative routes, should you run into any issues, maybe even getting you to your destination a bit faster.
While Citymapper may not be complete in the same manner as Google Maps, it’s a great app to have if you walk, take the bus or walk, provided Citymapper has a map for your location.
Even after being presented 7 of the best navigation apps for Android and iOS, it can still be a difficult task of choosing the right one. To make it easier, ask yourself what you need out of a navigation app.
Take Google Maps, for example. There’s no questioning Google Maps superiority. It’s good, really good. You would have quite a difficult time finding a better navigation app. But what if you were interested in bike paths and mountain trails? Well, then you might be better off going with Komoot.
What if you wanted to plan your route out without having Google Maps give you the best route? Perhaps you have several locations to visit and having the best route from Point A to Point B isn’t advantageous, like you would for road trips. You may feel more comfortable using inRoute Route Planner, since it’s equipped to handle several routes at a time.