Every smart phone out there has a built in GPS system by now, and if it doesn’t, it’s really easy to get one. We have scoured the internet for the big favorites out there of not only full navigation apps, but great possible add-ons to expand your GPS experience. Some are simple apps that just add more to the experience while some are great standalone apps. So lets get started!
This one is the obvious choice for any Android owner. Google Maps is not only a full navigation program, it’s a FREE full navigation system powered by google itself on every Android phone, regardless if its a New or used cell phone! With it’s turn by turn directions (though the voice can be a bit robotic) and it’s traffic updates it’s a must have. It’s only downside is that it requires constant data connection to work. Not only will this drain battery life, if you don’t have it plugged in, but if you’re in a spotty area you could lose service and then navigation help. Although there is no fix for the data connection issue, you can download an app called Ivona, which is a voice replacement for your Android. It is incredible technology and, at the moment, completely free!
This full navigation app isn’t free, but for a good reason. For only a one time payment of $20 it downloads it full map database into your phone onto your SD card. This means that all you need is a GPS connection to fully navigate. Losing data connection will have no effect on this program, which is a plus over Google maps… but it just doesn’t have the amount of features google maps has. Though, if there is one more plus, the voice they use is rather nice.
Waze is user generated content, which can be spotty sometimes. But it makes navigation fun! If you have someone on the ride with you navigating, Waze is a great way to make them feel useful and keep them interested in the ride. Waze allows you to see other Waze users on the road as well as gain points for going by landmarks. This lets you get new cars for your navigation screen (not a big feature, but cute). It also gives you the quickest updates on accidents and construction as it is update on the fly by users on the road. This app is best for someone on the road with you, and not so much if you’re on your own.
You didn’t think I would ignore iPhone users did you? MotionX Drive is considered the top turn by turn navigation app for iPhone. It’s pleasantly laid out, has a nice voice to help you along and constantly update. Although one downside is, it isn’t free. The app is $1 plus a $25 yearly fee. Compared to some Navigation GPS devices out there, that’s a steal.
Taking a step away from navigation apps, we have Wikitude. Wikitude is an augmented reality program that uses your GPS to locate areas that have Wikipedia articles on them. Simply point your camera in any direction to see possible landmarks and articles written on Wikipedia and read away. This app is great when you’re on a trip somewhere and walking around well known landmarks. Be your own tour guide for your family, or simply learn more about the place you live!
This app is handy for someone who is out and about often. Some Android phones, like the Droid Razr, have something similar to this app already built in. this app works with your gps to make your phone do pre-programmed tasks. Lets say you go to the movies every week, you can set Locale to remember the location of the movie theater and automatically put your phone on silent. Or you can set it to remind you to charge your phone when you get home. This app is pretty handy, though be warned, leaving your GPS on all day is a battery drain, so be mindful of your phones battery life.