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The 5 Best Navigation Apps to Use Right Now

A lot of things today are now digital. Not only that, going digital is a good choice given the comfort that we experience. Like most things, even the concept of navigation has gone digital. From using physical maps to the GPS, it’s definitive proof that navigation has taken a step further. Digital navigation comes in the form of the best navigation apps, and they’re out there.

 

Header photo for the article.
Photo taken from searchangout.com

 

Navigation is a skill that anyone fond of traveling must-have. What if you don’t know much about navigating? What if you get lost? Worry not, because we have you covered. Below is a list of the best navigation apps to use in 2020.

The apps below are sure to help you in a navigational sitch.

 

The Best Navigation Apps

 

Google Maps

The official logo of Google Maps, one of the best navigation apps.
Photo taken from theverge.com

 

Google Maps is the leading navigation app to use of all time. Besides GPS, it also has other features such as:

  • Route planning – Route planning lets users plan using the app. It lets them view their destination from their location. Not only that, but the app also gives them options and directions when going to their destination. It also shows them how to go to their destination through different routes or ways of commute. These include either on foot or by vehicle.
  • Traffic situation – Google Maps offer real-time coverage of traffic from the app. A user can view the traffic condition from their location with this feature.
  • Street View – As the name implies, Google offers a real-time street view. That means that users can view real-life streets. This is the case if Google Street View vans have passed through a specific location.

 

The UI of the Google Maps navigation app.
Photo taken from theverge.com

Google Maps is available on Android, iOS, and PC. There are other things to know about Google Maps, and some other features are hidden. Not only that, but Google Maps has various hacks that the user can use to their advantage.

 

Waze

Waze is another navigation app owned by Google. Much like Google Maps, it also offers real-time location but also has other features. One notable feature of note is that Waze itself directs you to a destination. It will tell you when to turn, or when to follow the road until you reach your destination. Another feature is that you can choose different voices for the app. Aside from the standard male and female voice, celebrities’ voices are also in the app. Voices in the past have included Morgan Freeman and Cookie Monster, among others.

 

The official logo of Waze, one of the best navigation apps.
Photo taken from dlf.pt

 

Another feature of Waze is that it has Google Assistant integration. For road trips, Waze has compatibility with music streaming services. These include Spotify and Pandora and allows users to play music using the Waze app itself. Being the second leading navigation app, it is often compared to Google maps.

Waze is available on Android, iPhone, and Windows Phones.

 

Maps.me

The UI of the Maps.me navigation app.
Photo taken from androidpit.com

Maps.me is a navigation app for offline users. It uses OpenStreetMap data to be able to provide offline maps. Its features include:

  • Offline maps
  • Offline search
  • Offline routes
  • Travel guides
  • Real-time traffic

Maps.me is available on Android and iOS.

 

BackCountry Navigator

This navigation app is for the hikers and backpackers. You can also use this app offline if you download the maps you need before setting out. You can also plan your trip within the app using Cloud technology. Map markers are also used to make your trip a little easier.

 

The official logo of the BackCountry Navigator app.
Photo taken from jimtechs.biz

 

BackCountry Navigator is available on Android. An upgraded version, BackCountry Navigator XE is also available on Android, iOS, and PC.

 

Here WeGo Maps

The official logo of the HereWeGo Maps navigation app.
Photo taken from apkpure.com

Here WeGo is from Nokia. It’s a navigation app that also provides real-time navigation, much like Waze. Offline maps are also available if you download them beforehand. The app also offers commuter aid, such as pedestrian or public transportation. The notable feature of this app is that it has floor information of big locations, such as malls.

Here WeGo Maps is available on Android and iOS.

 

OsmAnd Maps & Navigation

The official logo of the OsmAnd navigation app.
Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

 

If you’re looking for all features you can think in a navigation app rolled into one, this is the app for you. It’s so intricate and detailed that you’d think it’s the best app to use in navigation. When navigating, it gives directions and estimates your time of arrival. In map viewing, it gives you the option to know about other places of interest around you. Offline maps provide pedestrian and bicycle routes. Not only that but public transport options are also laid out. The app also guides you when in traffic, such as telling you when there’s a pedestrian lane.

 

The UI of the OsmAnd navigation app.
Photo taken from osmand.net

 

OsmAnd Maps & Navigation is available on Android and iOS.

 

VZ Navigator

The official logo of the VZ Navigator app.
Photo taken from apps.apple.com

 

VZ Navigator is a navigation app that’s a little more sophisticated than others. This trait is because this app’s map is in 3D, as in 3D structures in the map itself. It gives the user real-time traffic alerts so that they can adapt to the traffic situation. Location sharing with the app is also possible. Not only that, but this app also offers information on places of interest. One such example is ratings for business establishments, such as restaurants. Another noteworthy feature is that you can use this app through voice command.

 

The UI of the VZ Navigator app.
Photo taken from lifewire.com

 

VZ Navigator is available on the Verizon website.

 

How Navigation Apps Work

Most navigation apps work the same way when it comes to features. The prime directive of a navigation app is to show you places. Navigation apps also give you directions from your location to your destination.

 

The commute options of the Google Maps navigation app.
Photo taken from androidcentral.com

 

Navigation apps also let you choose a mode of transport when going to your destination. Transport options that navigation apps usually give include by car, by train, by bike, or on foot. Navigation apps also give alternative routes when you deviate from your original route.

 

Reasons to use Navigation Apps

 

Lets you get to your destination

Navigation apps are most useful, especially to commuters who are going to new places. Navigation apps let you plan when it comes to your trip. Not only that, when you’re on the road to your destination you can also see how much farther you are in real-time.

 

Commute alternatives

Most, if not all navigation apps have this feature. This comes in handy because there are times when public transport is unpredictable. Such situations include a malfunctioning train or a closed road. With a navigation app on your smartphone, it offers alternative transportation. Not only that, but route alternatives are also offered by navigation apps.

 

Things to consider with navigation apps

 

User-friendliness

A navigation app always has to be user-friendly. A messy interface does a navigation app user no good. A navigation app’s interface has to be consistent in function so that the users will not get lost when using the app.

 

Traffic reports

Navigation apps must be able to offer traffic situations. This feature is a must because traffic is unpredictable. Moreover, traffic reports must be given to the user in advance so that the user can plan while on the road.

 

Save locations

Navigation apps have to give users the ability to save locations or download maps of a specific area. Some navigation apps are only usable with Wi-Fi or mobile data. Users who go in areas without any kind of cellular signal is in trouble. This feature is a great help to a lot of users because it lets them use the app even without Wi-Fi or mobile data.

 

Turn-by-turn navigation

Navigation apps have to adapt to the situation of a user. If a user changes a route on the spot, the navigation app must ready an alternate route. This feature is a great help especially for users who are in a hurry and need to take alternate routes.

 

Indoor navigation

If a navigation app has this feature, it has an edge. As the name implies, indoor navigation refers to giving the user indoor navigation. This means that the navigation app allows the user to navigate inside a specific place, such as a mall. With indoor navigation, a user will not get lost inside a big place.

 

Mapwize’s sample of indoor navigation.
Photo taken from blog.mapbox.com

 

Music integration

Being able to play music with your navigation app is a plus. Navigation apps offer music streaming integration to play music using the navigation app. This way, users do not have to open a separate app to play music. In essence, this feature rolls two apps into one.

 

Waze’s Spotify integration for easier music playing.
Photo taken from theverge.com

 

Final thoughts about navigation apps

Finding the best navigation app for you is easy. However, you have to be meticulous in choosing as most navigation apps work the same way. You have to choose between navigation apps, and find the pros and cons that come with a navigation app. While on the road, using navigation apps is fairly common. For safe, hands-free driving, make sure to use a cellphone mount for your vehicle.

This guide has covered what potential users must know when it comes to the best navigation apps. What matters is that you find the best navigation app for you to help in your travels. We hope you have found this best navigation apps guide useful. Keep safe, and enjoy your travels!

Jacob Umali

Jacob Umali

I like to write. In this site I write about gadgets and guides, such as how to download stuff.

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