There are a number of navigation apps on the market aimed at helping you get to where you need to go quicker and with less stress. How do you choose the right one, and should you go for free or paid?
We spend a ton of time on our phones, specifically downloading and using apps. Navigation apps are some of the most downloaded apps in the store. Makes sense – they’re affordable, convenient, and reliable. Read on to choose the right navigation app, and enjoy a stress-free commute no matter where you’re going.
Navigation apps aim to get you from point A to point B. But today’s apps have gotten smarter. They’re packed with features that not only assess your commute and the best route to take, but even more things. Take Google Maps for example. It’s by far one of the most widely used apps in the world. It’s trusted because it’s backed by Google. Aside from delivering reliable traffic data, you can check different modes of transportation. So if you were set on driving but see the traffic is bad, you can make an educated decision to walk or bus. Since the app is a Google product, it’s integrated with other Google tools like Google Earth. View your destination on a map in street view to get a virtual feel for where you’re going. Some more features include biking, satellite and terrain view, color-coded traffic, and voice search.
Other apps that are noteworthy due to their robust features, include Navmii, Navigon, and Sygic. Navmii integrates with review sites like TripAdvisor to give you more information on your destination. Say you’re meeting friends at a new restaurant, check out the reviews before even beginning your drive. Though this app costs $49.99, Navigon offers a basic interface packed with detailed route information. Get turn-by-turn information, as well as updated weather notifications. The app can also help you find a parking spot close to your destination. If you’re still on the hunt, Sygic offers a police and speed camera warning, as well as lane guidance for safe merging.
Straight Up Simple
Navigation apps have gotten quite advanced in recent years. But an app jam-packed with features overwhelms many. Some just want an app that works, and can simply get them to where they need to go. Remember that little company called MapQuest? Well they’re still around, and stronger than ever. The MapQuest app has the classic navigation features like voice recorded turn-by-turn directions. It also automatically and quickly reroutes you based on traffic conditions. Never worry about meeting up with someone again, as the app lets you easily share your ETA with your contacts.
Another simple-to-use classic is Apple Maps. It’s the default GPS app that comes on every iPhone. The app offers a clean and simple interface, and the best part is that since it’s integrated with Siri, you can speak to it to edit rides or make changes.
Social and Community Oriented
Navigation apps and community don’t seem like they go together, but the founders of Waze clearly thought so. Unlike most navigation apps that use historical and real-time data, Waze uses crowdsourced data. It compiles data points from its millions of users to predict road and traffic conditions. The app is so good that it was acquired by Google in 2013.
Waze is the most popular community-based navigation app. Since it’s user-reported, it offers the most timely and updated traffic reports available. Stopped in a traffic jam? If you opt in, the app will detect the hold up, and notify others on their commute, and vice versa. Get warned about nearby police, cars stopped on the side of the road, and even find gas stations along your route.
You accumulate points by sharing your information about hazards, road closures, and accidents, and contributing to the overall data collected.
For Offline Use
Whether you’re coming to the end of the month and are low on data, or just want to download maps for areas with low connection, we got you. Many apps today offer downloadable directions and maps for offline use, which is great for long roadtrips where patches of poor signal are common. Here, previously known as Here Maps, is a product of Nokia. Aside from offering good navigation, it lets users save maps so they can be used offline. See street information and get turn-by-turn notifications, even when you don’t have a signal. Scout and CoPilot also offer offline capabilities. With Scout, users can see speed updates and select their route from a few different options. CoPilot was specifically designed for the times when you don’t have internet connection but are desperate for directions, like in another country without a phone plan, or on a hike. Use CoPilot to see maps, roads, and even points of interest. Of course, with all of these apps you’ll need to download the map using internet, but after that you’re good to go.
Lost No Longer
Luckily today we can pretty much find all our answers in the click of a button, and this is especially true with navigation. Tech advancements and the latest apps make getting to your destination quick, easy, and hassle-free.