GPS Navigation: the best applications on Android & iOS
Increasingly versatile, our smartphones and tablets are now able to replace our good old GPS enclosures in our cars. Here is our selection of the best navigation apps, so you don’t get lost on your way to the holidays.
The big advantage of smartphones is their versatility. In 2018, all smartphones were equipped with GPS chips and internal memories wide enough to accommodate a few gigabytes of cards in offline mode. Even better, the applications now know how to adapt the route according to the incidents you might encounter: accidents, radars, jobs… it has never been easier to take the holiday route!
To go further, we invite you to read our selection of the best driver assistance applications. These are complementary to GPS navigation applications. They provide valuable information such as radar, road obstructions or blockage. Some of them offer to integrate all services in one place: route calculation, voice guidance, and hazard warnings.
The popular Google app. Although the navigation part is still in development, Maps already allows us to find many points of interest and to visualize them thanks to the extension Street Maps. It is also possible to estimate traffic conditions using a simple color code. For people who do not necessarily have a large data package, the maps are downloadable in offline mode.
HERE’s great strength lies in its collection of offline maps for free download. Thus, no need to have an Internet connection to navigate, which is very useful in some places poorly covered by the network. However, make sure you have enough space to download the maps, as France alone takes more than 1 GB of memory. Apart from that, this GPS navigation application allows you to plan trips by car, bike or even on foot as well as Discover points of interest in your surroundings. The icing on the cake, HERE WeGo also allows you to know the price of transport tickets or even the altitude difference during a bike ride.
Waze is a community GPS navigation application. It can be compared (in a way) to the Coyote system. Users report traffic jams, slowdowns or accidents they encounter in real time, allowing the community to choose other routes. It is an essential application for those who like to plan their journey ahead of time. Rather, it must have an Internet connection to update traffic information regularly. As an anecdote, Waze was acquired by Google, which now uses part of its services within Google Maps.
Sygic is a navigation application that features maps from TomTom, the famous manufacturer of GPS. The updates are therefore regular and of good quality. The app also features Night mode and other more anecdotal options such as Homer Simpson’s voice. However, you will have to go through integrated purchases to get everything. A small point that stands out for Sygic: its head-up mode that allows you to project information from the smartphone directly onto the car’s windshield!
Based on the maps of the OpenStreetMap project, the MapFactor application is interesting for its “free” side. Everything is free: maps, voices … free world enthusiasts will appreciate it, even if the accuracy is sometimes not as good as with proprietary applications. Here too, the maps are to download to benefit from offline mode and navigate without permanent connection. Just like Sygic, a head-up mode is present for night driving. And MapFactor can also be used as a radar alarm.