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- Step 1: Download a map.
When we think navigation app, we typically think Google Maps. It also happens to get frequent updates. Google has been really on top of navigation especially over the last couple of years.
Get started with the Google Maps app
Free Sygic: Like others on this list, it provides downloaded maps for offline use except this one uses TomTom maps. It has the usual features like turn-by-turn, voice guided directions which include voice-spoken street names so you can concentrate on driving , alternate routes, and even a speed limit display. You can unlock additional features by purchasing one of the three premium versions. It's expensive, but at least it's not a subscription.
Buy now! Unfortunately, the forums have been discontinued. All discussion has been moved to the comments section of our articles, so start clicking on the topics you're interested in to dive back into the conversation! Here are some more travel and utility related apps to check out! BackCountry Navigator Price: BackCountry Navigator is an excellent navigation app for hikers. It's perfect for those places where data services don't exist. There are a few fun features as well. You can add favorite spots and markers on the map, view different types of trails, and more.
It also has a few map choices. Buying the app gets you a selection of maps. It's powerful, but be sure to try it before you buy it. It is fairly expensive. It features a simple, elegant interface with mapping options all over the world. You can download maps for offline use in your region. That should help in areas with spotty data connections.
HERE also shows you traffic information where available , public transit maps, and you can customize by saving places for quick directions later. It's all free to use.
Download areas and navigate offline - Android - Google Maps Help
There is also a map creator app that can let you alter maps as well. MapFactor Price: Free with in-app purchases. MapFactor is one of the low key popular navigation app options. It includes the basic navigation and GPS features. I can also thoroughly recommend using MAPS. ME too.
I discovered it when I was in Hong Kong for two days, downloaded the maps using the hotel's website then went out exploring with no 4G. It worked flawlessly, including turn by turn voice nav The maps auto prompt you to update them periodically too, so you're never out of date.
Need to add that my favorite is MAPS. I was just now using it in Thailand. Their recent upgrade announced that they now do real-time traffic reports, but of course, for that part to work you would need to be on-line. Off line you get everything you want including route calculation, re-reroute calculation when you still get lost , can't do that with Google maps and voice directions. Works for walking and bicycles too. And maps can be placed on SD card memory for those "tight" memory phones out there.
I also found the map detail visually more readable than other apps I tried. I have used maps. Works fantastic especially since they keep adding new features; voice navigation, restaurants tagged, rerouting etc. When i wass in Roma, I used a app from Nelso. Nelso has apps from all the big city's in the world, not so manu in the USA, but a lot in Europe. When you look for a map of just 1 city than it will be a good one. The app works totaly offline and can tell you what is nearby. It even tells all about the atractions. Yes lol 10 downloads are more than enough. I've installed the app and it is trying to download same 1st map 7th times already.
Got 3 out of 10 free downloads left though didn't get a single map yet ;. I tried Navfree on my Pantech Crossover and it crashed a lot usually when entering destination info and did not handle street addresses well When it did know a location, it worked great It is a very frustrating program, it doesn't have a simple 'find my location' feature. Support is poor, they do not reply to inquiries. Then again, it is free.
Checking out OsmAnd right now. Thanks for the article! Wonder why You left out NavDroyd? It's a version of MapDroyd however does provide turn-by-turn navigation in both 3d and 2d It also uses the same OpenStreetMap which you can download. Seems to be a good collection of smartphone GPS know-how in this discussion. Basically it lets you take any image file, and import it into the app by defining the datum eg.
Thanks in advance. Hm, never used anything like that. A quick Google reveals some people comparing Androzic https: The Google Play page says you can create your own maps with Androzic, so maybe it will work for you! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try. You forgot to mention OsmAnd. I found it great and on top of the list. Try it and provide your feedback. The default Google Maps app's improved offline support is also pretty awesome, but offers no offline navigation.
MapDroyd doesn't have navigation it just shows you where you are on a map, shows you nearby street names, etc.
GPS, City Navigation & Traffic
Looks pretty good. It's at https: The augmented reality feature in its video is cute. Hopefully no really important features are cut out of the free version. Here's a tip from a fellow Nexus 7 user: Sygic seems well reviewed, unfortunately it looks like you have to buy on their website..
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- 2. Sygic GPS Navigation and Offline Maps.
Google Maps offline navigation is workable if you plug in the directions ahead of time. I've done that while cycling; it worked. Obviously if you need new turn-by-turn directions on the route, it won't help unless you can find Wi-Fi. Seems many many maps but I want to plug a sat antena into my andoid Momo 8 Bird Ice cream sandwich tablet. Ideally Usglobalsat BU but problems rampant. Can you genii come up with an answer for an old Ex techie.
Makeuseof is endlessly interesting. Great achievment. Thank you. I want to know if there is any application that can be used on cell phone that is as capable as Cars' navigation system. I mean can speak out the direction. If there is any please let me know any probable differences between the app and the navigation system. I'm not sure if there are -- I haven't come accross that feature yet, I don't think.
I bet a paid application would have that feature, so you may want to look at Sygic or Garmin Navigator. It's a slicker experience, but you pay for it. I found one very nice off line navigation program beta version. It's MapFactor Navigator https: Works with offline OpenStreet map with coverage for whole world. Looks pretty decent! Uses OpenStreetMap data like the others, though, so its point of interest database will be similar. Nice that it has navigation, though.
Not being able to nominate house numbers was the only significant limitation I found with MapFactor but there is at least one way of getting around it. Use Google Earth to find the destination, go into Street View and position the cursor on the entrance to the destination and note the map reference in Decimal Degrees. Options may need to be changed to display the map reference in Decimal Degrees. This option might only be available on the Pro Version of Google Earth. MapFactor can now be directed to the map reference rather than a street address.
If you wish to keep the destination as a favourite, the map reference can be renamed to the street address. I downloaded navfree. This won't. It will only take me to a cross street. I'll pay for sygic. Yeah, it seems like that's a feature you have to pay for -- offline gps with an address database. I couldn't find any app that provided it. Hi Chris, and thanks for all the info!
I am a bit confused of what's the verdict of Google Navigator today, after the upgreats. Does it still provide a free, offline navigator with address location etc? Also, the vector maps that someone mentioned is a good thing to have. Does google maps support it? The new Google Maps provides stable offline support -- it's out of beta, it's easy to use, and it shouldn't automatically delete maps anymore.
However, you can only navigate online -- you can see where you are on a map offline, but you can't plug in an address and get directions unless you're online. That said -- you can get directions offline and use Google Maps after that. It will remember the directions and you'll be able to use it as a GPS en route to your destination. For my purposes, it's awesome. If you want offline address search and directions, you'll need another GPS app.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hi Chris, thanks for the list. It looks like OsmAnd is ticking all the boxes. I like Google Maps but it does not do points of interest or directions I think. Will try it out and look for some other alternatives as soon as my phone comes back from repair damn Sony with their ICS roll out. Otherwise I would have to carry loads of heavy: Google Maps has good offline support except for point of interest search -- however, you can go online to get directions and then use the directions offline.
If you're wandering around downtown Vancouver or somewhere like that, you can always stop by a coffee shop to get Wi-Fi and do a search. I bet paid GPS apps I've heard good things about Sygic will have better, more comprehensive offline point of interest databases. If I were you, I'd try OsmAnd and see how many points of interest it's aware of in your destination areas.
I've never tried the TripAdvisor app, but it seems to have good reviews and TripAdvisor has been a great website, in my experience -- so I'd give it a tentative thumbs up. Motorola xt It's actually solid now. OsmAnd, which I mentioned and linked to in the comments above, is also another good option. They should work, you have a recent enough version of Android -- the only way to know for sure is to try it out for yourself!
It's basically useless because you can't use the navigation feature offline. You need a data connection in order to search for an address. If you can't search for an address, it makes navigation pretty useless! Kind of. Address search needs a data connection. However, the point of interest database does not need a data connection.
Alternative Google Maps download from external server availability not guaranteed. Clicking the download button will take you to the Google Play Store, where you can download this app. This application is both free to download and free to use without any upfront fee or subscription.
This includes features such as real-time directions, and satellite view. It should be noted that certain data is collected by Google when using the app some of which can be opted out of.
By default, this app pulls all of its information from Google servers in real time. It is possible to select an area and download it for offline use, however. This is especially useful if data usage is a problem, or if you will be without cellular service during your journey.
Google Maps is as accurate as any other mapping service in terms of scale and road accuracy. However, it should be noted that there will always be a delay between changes in real world road layouts and digital maps being updated.
Download areas and navigate offline
Always pay attention when using any GPS navigation system. As the app retrieves all of the information it needs from Google servers as and when it is needed, using the app does use data. It is possible to download areas for offline use, either to save data or if you expect to be without mobile data for your journey.
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Due to Google's tenuous relationship with China, many Google services are blocked there.