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The creation of the smartphone has brought with it a range of technological wonders. But one of the most popular and useful is the growth of GPS apps. Whether you are driving in your car or simply walking along the street, being able to input your destination and let the app do the navigation work takes away a lot of stress. Also, you can simply scan around you for interesting businesses, restaurants, tourist attractions, and anything else that you would like to find.

But while companies like Google dominate the GPS map scene, there are plenty of different options out there. And don’t assume that you only need one app. Each one serves a different purpose, and we will do our best to highlight some of the key features right here in this article. For example, you could be looking for one to use offline, another to use while driving, one for walking, cycling etc.

So, in this blog post, we are going to give you an overview of 10 of the best and their key features to help you determine which is best for you.

The Best GPS Apps

An app which has grown significantly in popularity over recent years, HERE We Go provides maps from all over the world. In the past, it was only usable on Nokia devices, but the company has now expanded its offering, and you can get it for free on a range of Apple and Android devices.

Download Here: Google Play Store

The interface is simple and stylish, while you can also customize the maps, allowing you to save places for quick directions. Downloading the maps offline from as many as 100 different countries helps when you don’t have easy access to data. You can also get access to traffic information and public transport wherever they are available. In comparison to some of the bigger and more complex apps like Google Maps, it takes up a lot less space on your smartphone.

Download Here: App Store

When you are traveling in the car, you can turn on the voice navigation function for easy instructions. If you are going on foot or by bike, you can find information on how hilly the route is, as well as getting step-by-step instructions. Best of all everything is entirely free to use!

While it still doesn’t have the brand recognition of some of the other big players in this area, it is an app which continues to grow in popularity.

If you are looking for a high level of detail in your maps, look no further than this app by Sygic. Everything is in 3D, and the individual maps can be stored offline, reducing your chances of accidentally making a wrong turn at any point during your journey. As an extra vote of confidence, the maps and details come from TomTom, which is a highly recognizable brand that has been around for a long time. Over the course of the year, free map updates are available to improve its offering. Many people trust it for the accurate guidance and traffic information that it provides.

Download Here: Google Play Store

There are millions of places of interest available, so you can discover what is going on in your local area – and perhaps find some hidden gems. There are also advanced safety features including speed limit warnings, dynamic lane assist, and a heads-up display.

Download Here: App Store

Tens of millions of people have already put their faith in this app. While the main app is free, you have the option of downloading one of the premium versions. The highest priced gives you access to real-time traffic updates. If you would prefer just to get the basic free version, you still get a raft of features including dashcam access, parking suggestions, and turn-by-turn navigation. You can navigate with or without the use of the internet and make updates entirely for free.

And now we have the most famous one of all. Google Maps is the one which many people turn to for all their navigational needs. While you can use it in its online mode, you also have the option of downloading and saving regional maps to use offline too. If you have your location services on frequently, Google will make recommendations based on your home and the areas you visit frequently. You can also customize your own offline maps and save them to your device. Alternatively, you can select your own map if you would like to download a specific map which is not automatically visible. Bear in mind that the maximum size of downloadable map is 2GB, which is around 200 x 120 miles. And maps will be automatically deleted after 30 days without an internet connection.

Download Here: Google Play Store

Obviously, Google is a huge company with so many different branches to it. You can easily browse your maps for location inspiration, as well as directions, reviews, and street-level photography. You can also choose between a range of different map views depending on your preferences including traffic, biking, public transit, terrain, satellite, and Google Earth. The company aims to have a very high level of accessibility, and there are multiple languages available. You can adjust the voice guidance volume depending on your preferences.

Download Here: App Store

As for traffic monitoring, it is powered by Waze, which is another Google-owned app. This is a useful way of navigating around traffic, helping you to stop getting in so many jams. Color-coding is used to help you determine the level of traffic that you can expect to experience. And when you are using any of Google’s services, you can feel assured that they are always innovating and ready to bring in the next thing.

Next on the list, we have MapFactor. The first thing to bear in mind is that there is no online map functionality, so everything is done offline. As soon as you download the app, it will ask you to download some of its hundreds of individual maps from across the world. As you would expect, the maps are organized by country, but there are more detailed sub-maps available for the highly populated areas. The navigational options are fairly basic, powered by OpenStreetMap, but it is functional. There are additional features which you need to pay for. A few of these include day and night themes, voice directions, 2D and 3D modes etc. Ultimately, if you are looking for a simple and straightforward choice, this one is a good option.

Download Here: Google Play Store

There are plenty of advantages involves in the MapFactor app. Firstly, it provides regular updates, so you are getting the most up-to-date information. You also get speed and camera warnings, which help you to properly obey the rules of the road. Also, you can clearly define your vehicle type and the roads you prefer to travel by using the percentage slider.

Download Here: App Store

Alternatively, you could get the premium version, which uses maps from TomTom. The cost of the premium version is small, and there are some other useful features to consider as well. You get access to as many as three suggested routes, which stops you from only traveling on main roads all the time. Instead, you can find a way which is more efficient. You also have access to traffic updates, which helps in the task of getting from A to B in the most pain-free way possible. If you don’t choose to upgrade, you will get regular notifications giving you this option, but this is like many other apps of this kind.

We have mentioned Waze earlier in the Google Maps section, but it also acts as a standalone app as well – and it is a highly popular one. It is one which is especially useful for drivers who love its real-time traffic and road information. And if you can avoid the frustration of getting stuck in traffic, this is something which is certainly worth doing! The two apps are useful for different purposes, so let’s go into a little more detail about exactly what these are.

Download Here: Google Play Store

Waze is a user-based app, in contrast to Google, which is much more data-based. This means that it allows users to contribute their own tips such as road hazards, traffic jams, speed cameras etc. If you decide to give it permission, the app will also detect when you are traveling significantly below the speed limit and use this in its real-time traffic info. You can integrate Waze with some of your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare. There is also a points-based system if you contribute information such as landmarks and new roads. Also, there are plenty of voice options to inject a bit of extra fun to your daily commute! If you like to customize your apps, this is a great option for you.

Download Here: App Store

Ultimately, if you find yourself regularly behind the wheel of a car, this is a must-have app. It is not the kind of app you get if you are looking for help navigating while you are walking, cycling etc. And while other apps are highly useful offline, this is the kind of app which you need an internet connection to enjoy at its best. Many people praise it for its sleek and minimal interface, which is designed to not pull away too much attention when you are driving.

A free map service which has proven to be extremely popular in recent years, MAPS.ME IS free to use. Its offline mode is celebrated, and you have a fully-fledged search function to work out where you need to go next. Plenty of places of interest are also listed whether you are looking to do some shopping or go somewhere to grab a coffee. Everything is divided up into clear categories, so you can easily search for what you are looking for. You can also add bookmarks to make it easier to find places in the future. With offline maps from all over the world available, it makes a great app for travelers. Like Google, you can also browse through reviews of destinations, and leave your own if you would like to help future visitors to the area.

Download Here: Google Play Store

Switch to the online mode and you can share your location with friends and now make hotel bookings as well. You can get traffic data wherever it is available. All the maps are updated using OpenStreetMap once or twice a month. And the developers have made a commitment to keep the app free to use, but it is supported by ads. If you would like to remove the adverts, you can pay to do so, but there are no other in-app purchases which you are obliged to make.

Download Here: App Store

This is the kind of app which is always innovating, and it has also integrated its offering with Uber to make it even easier to get to where you are going. You can also plan out your journey by public transportation if you would prefer to travel in this way. Bear in mind that the turn-by-turn feature will drain your battery fairly quickly. As rivals to Google Maps go, this is one of the biggest and best.

Scout is the rebranded version of Telenav, which was around for a long time before it was given a new look. It has all the basic features which you would expect from an app such as this one including turn-by-turn navigation. One of its main selling points is that it hooks up with your social media accounts to offer features such as automatically updating a friend with your expected time of arrival. The car navigation is accurate, and you can also get free traffic and safety camera alerts. You can also search through plenty of points of interest to help you get where you are going. A downside is that the pedestrian mode isn’t as good as the driving mode, so you may want to look at alternatives if you spend more time on foot.

Download Here: Google Play Store

While it is free to download, you need to pay an annual subscription if you want to take advantage of the full version and get rid of all the annoying ads. This also allows you to download offline maps, which is a feature that you get for free in other cases. Ultimately, this is a good choice, but some of the above apps which we have discussed probably do the job that little bit better.

Download Here: App Store

An app which has been specially made for outdoor lovers such as cyclists, hikers, and mountain bikers, Komoot has a range of advantages. When you download the app, the first of its regional offline base maps is free. Afterwards, you will have to pay for each of the maps individually or you can pay a one-off fee to access all of them. Using OpenStreetMap, coverage and accuracy is getting better and better all the time.

Download Here: Google Play Store

First up, you have the trip-planning mode, for which you will need to be connected to the internet. The routing algorithms are designed to generate the best journets between the points you choose. You can also set your criteria – whether this is road biking, mountain biking, or cycle touring. As cycling enthusiasts will already know, these are entirely different things! You can then follow the saved routes offline. You have access to important information such as the elevation and gradient profiles, as well as the type of road surfaces you will be facing. You can even find out the estimated ride time based on your fitness profile!

Download Here: App Store

When you are in navigation mode, you can turn on the audio prompts, so you are not left having to check your map all the time. Your route is automatically logged, whether or not it matches up with your planned route. There is also a social side, which allows you to share your recommendations and route highlights with other app users. This helps with future route planning. You can check other user profiles to find out the specific routes which they have taken in the past. Ultimately, this all adds to the community feel of the app, which is one of the main reasons why so many people like it.

Our final app on the list is from one of the most well-known companies in the world of GPS maps, TomTom. It is designed to choose the best available route based on its reliable real-time traffic information to help you reach your destination quicker. You can install and update apps from around the world at no additional cost, and you can store many offline maps on your device. There are speed camera updates, helping you to avoid getting a ticket. Also, you can see thousands of points of interest around you. There is also advanced lane guidance, helping you to get in the correct lane in plenty of time.

Download Here: Google Play Store

The pricing structure is a little strange in comparison to some of the other options out there. You get 50 free miles every month, which suits the needs of some users. But if you want more, you will need to take out either a one- or three-year subscription. So, you will have to decide whether it is worthwhile making a commitment. But for casual users, it ticks many of the boxes that you are looking for.

Download Here: App Store

As you would expect from a brand which has been in navigation for this long, it does the job well. It is up to you whether you are ready to give up your satnav just yet in favor of only using your smartphone!

Conclusion

GPS apps have revolutionized getting from A to B, and there are more and more different options out there. And since many of them are available for free, there is no need to limit yourself to only using one. In fact, it makes sense to download at least a couple as they all serve different purposes. For example, you could have one for driving, another for cycling, one more for when you want to navigate offline etc. Hopefully, this guide has given you a decent overview of some of the main options which are available to you, so you can make your mind up which is going to be the most useful to your individual purposes.

Bear in mind that GPS apps tend to drain your battery pretty quickly, so be wary about having them running in the background too much of the time. If you are driving, it makes sense to have a car charger, so you don’t have to worry about this being an issue. Many of these apps invite you to contribute in various ways, which is always worth doing to help improve the experience for others in the future.

Whether you decide to pay for an app or use it for free is entirely up to you. But before putting in any credit card details, it is worth knowing exactly what sort of advantages you can expect to receive by doing so.

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