Some people, myself included, have a poor sense of direction and get stressed out by maps. Fortunately, there are multiple navigation apps that make it difficult to get completely lost. As I transitioned to Android, I naturally put my faith in Google Maps. After all, it has a very good reputation and in the beginning, no other app really came close.
Then on one miserable, rainy day a location error meant I ended up walking though the mud and pouring rain. That day, I began looking for a replacement mapping app. Looking at features such as recommendations, offline mode, turn-by-turn navigation, public transport schedules, and traffic updates, I reviewed different apps in this category to save you time. My findings were quite surprising.
The best app
With nine years under its belt, Google Maps remains the undisputed master of GPS apps, especially on mobile platforms. Google Maps offers everything we could expect from a modern day atlas. The app displays accurate and updated maps of any location in the world. It lets you find the exact location of an address and plan out routes for traveling on foot, by car, or public transportation. However, what makes Google Maps stand out is the bunch of additional features that Google has added over the years.
Recommendations, turn-by-turn navigation, Street View Maps. Its strength lies in its additional features.
Google Maps is more than just a simple navigation app. It gives you the option to walk around the streets of major cities with Street View. The Google Maps Indoor feature lets you display the interior of certain buildings. You can also get recommendations on nearby shops and updates on traffic status. The app makes motorists’ lives easier by providing turn-by-turn navigation and lane guidance in the latest update. Another major feature is its ability to save maps offline, perfect for trips abroad or when using the subway.
Google Maps is the champion of navigation on Android. Its accurate maps, powerful search engine, and nine years of innovation in the cartography field make it a safe bet.
Download Google Maps for Android.
The rising stars
Google’s supremacy in mobile navigation has not prevented other competitors from emerging. Unlike Google Maps, the following GPS apps are both dedicated to specific uses. With good designs and innovative concepts, these alternatives apps are becoming major competitors for Google Maps.
Moovit’s speciality is public transport. Based on the free map application OpenStreetMap, this app is designed to help you get around by bus, subway, or train. In addition to its powerful route planning features, Moovit also allows you to check schedules and traffic information in real time using data provided by its users. Moovit is often more effective and comprehensive than Google Maps for public of transport and covers more than 350 cities. A promising app to have in your smartphone!
Download Moovit for Android.
Waze is a motorist’s best friend. The application offers enhanced roadmaps with user-generated alerts. Whether its accidents, traffic jams, or nearby police, the members of the Waze community will alert you about events that could cost you time (and maybe even money). This successful app with great potential hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google, which bought the app in June 2013. If expanded Waze alerts are integrated into Google Maps like nearby police, the resulting app will be ridiculously effective in making life easier for drivers.
Download Waze for Android.
Now all you need to do is download Google Maps if the app is not already preinstalled on your Android phone. After all, your smartphone deserves the best, right? If you think another app is better, please don’t hesitate to share with us by leaving a comment. Do you have Google Maps on your phone but are not sure how to use it correctly?
For more information about Google Maps, check out our 9 cool tips for Google Maps. Tell me what you think!
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