Google Maps is an incredible service for traveling by car, train, bike or even walking. But there are many alternatives to it in the Play Store, some of which incorporate more advanced features or more accurate information. To find out which ones you can rely on, read on for our pick of the best Android GPS and navigation apps.
HERE WeGo, formerly titled HERE, lets you download maps of entire countries and use them almost exactly as you would online. What’s more, it allows you to do this entirely for free.
Here WeGo offers a different aesthetic to many other GPS and navigation apps, and some might prefer its ways. Certainly one to try out, as it is undoubtedly an excellent app.
- Voice-Guided turn-by-turn navigation all over the world
- Real-time information on traffic conditions
- Building plans for shopping centers and airports
- Distances of public transportation services, directions and information
- A route planner for car, public transport and on foot
- Saved locations
GPS Navigation & Maps by Sygic
Sygic is one of the most popular offline navigation apps on Android, and with good reason. The TomTom-powered app offers high-definition maps for most countries in the world, and recently received an update that brings it more in line with Android Lollipop (i.e. it’s easier to use than ever). It’s recently gone down the freemium route, offering many maps for free, but providing extra features such as live traffic information, regular updates and extra navigation voices at a price.
- Offline map navigation
- Voice-activated GPS navigation with full route guidance
- 3D cities and landscapes
- Multiple routes and drag-and-drag route editor
- Speed limit and camera / radar warnings
- Head-up Display (HUD) projects GPS navigation onto your windshield
- Millions of points of interest (POI)
- Helps to find the cheapest gas based on your gas type
Maps.Me – Offline Map & Routing
Maps.Me was well worth the US$ 4.99 price tag it used to have on the Play Store, so imagine our delight when the app was made absolutely free. If you haven’t picked this one up already, we highly recommend it, because not only is it one of the best Android map apps available – with a clear and simple UI – but it also works offline and includes points of interest such as subway stations, ATMs, petrol stations, and so on.
- Walking directions for hikes and trails
- Supports 345 countries and islands
- Millions of points of interest and tourist attractions
- Features offline maps and offline search
- Location-sharing via email or SMS
- Auto-follow mode; when enabled, the map automatically orients itself to the direction you are moving
Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic
Waze is a free Navigation app that relies on its community for its traffic information, so it’s just as well that it’s one of the most popular apps of its kind on the Play Store. As a member of the Waze community, you can report accidents, police traps and road closures, which then get cross-referenced with other users’ input and broadcast for other users. It also has a very nice interface and a few other nifty features, such as showing you the cheapest gas stations en route, and a points-based system, where being an active member of the community sees you climb the Waze ranks.
Waze relies on its community to provide live information, but also has some fantastic features of its own. / © ANDROIDPIT Waze – GPS, Maps & Traffic
CoPilot GPS offers offline maps for pretty much the entire planet. Cleverly, CoPilot can sync with social network accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and set turn-by-turn directions to events you’re scheduled to attend. The first map is free (you can choose from a specialized list), and then CoPilot functions in license form. If you buy the premium version, you get 12 months traffic information for free, too.
Get one map free with CoPilot GPS. / © ALK Technologies CoPilot GPS – Navigation
MapFactor: GPS Navigation
MapFactor uses OpenStreetMaps (OSM) map data, which gets installed on your device so you don’t need an internet connection when using it. MapFactor offers all the usual bells and whistles of SatNav, with turn-by-turn directions, voice navigation in several languages, and the option to change your route depending on whether you’re driving a car, a truck, or just walking. It also includes audible noise warnings when you approach speed cameras – not that you would ever dream of breaking the speed limit, would you now?
MapFactor doesn’t require an internet connection. / © MapFactor MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps
OsmAnd Maps and Navigation
This free version of OsmAnd offers everything you need for easy offline navigation. The app uses OSM data, and is updated regularly to take into account new roads, traffic lights, and so on. The paid version (US$ 5.99) provides information from Wikipedia to show you points of interest along your route (great for freewheeling road trips). It’s a great app for hikers and cyclists too, with a special display mode showing bike routes, walking paths, and contours to indicate steepness.
OsmAnd integrates with Wikipedia to provide information about your location. / © ANDROIDPIT Maps & Navigation — OsmAnd
The physical SatNav is all but dead, but the legendary TomTom lives on in Android form. The maps are updated for a lifetime, there are also multiple navigation options, all of which are available offline. A new version recently came out to make it better suited to Android Lollipop, and it offers real-time traffic information, 3D landmarks and buildings, and camera alerts. The paid versions are quite expensive, but offer detailed maps for all the regions in question. if you bought the old TomTom app, you can update it to the new one by following the instructions on TomTom’s support page.
TomTom is available for Android, complete with a Lollipop-friendly look. / © ANDROIDPIT TomTom GPS Navigation Traffic
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments if you know of a better GPS or navigation app.