Do you want to change your android device into a navigational tool? If you are one of the Android users who don’t find the default map app sufficient, there are a lot of cool and feature-packed GPS navigation apps waiting for you at the Google Play Store. Thanks to the creative developers behind these free and paid apps, driving and travelling nowadays won’t be as difficult and problematic. If only Alice in Wonderland had an Android phone!
If you are a cyclist, read this 4 Best GPS Navigation Apps for Cyclists
The apps in the list have paid versions. However, you can still experience the wonders of each of the featured GPS navigation app without spending by using the trial version for free. To make it work offline, you have to download a map at a cost. GPS Navigation app can work with data connection or with GPS alone. GPS Navigation app developers are exerting effort to provide users with an amazing array of features. OpenStreetMap support, turn-by-turn voice guidance, high quality map, 3D views, precision positioning, and integrated social media are just some of the amazing features that navigation apps have to offer.
Note: All of the apps in the 10 most reliable Android GPS Navigation list were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. The apps were tested on both WiFi and 3G internet connections. Some apps require constant internet connection to deliver accurate information. All the apps ran fine and there were no technical issues faced during testing.
1. OsmAnd+ Maps & Navigation – Free and $7.99
This navigation app is OSM!
1.a Free Version:
This navigation app has priority access to high quality OpenStreetMap data that can be stored in your device for offline use. The apps allows you to dictate instructions with your voice, making it an ideal road trip companion. Turn by turn navigation gets you to your destination with ease and comfort.
- Automatic re-routing when deviating from route
- Displays POI’s around you
- Can display different overlay
- Always up to date map
- Day and night switching
1.b Paid Version:
The paid version of this great app is also available on the Google Play Store. Rather than limiting the features on the free version, the developers decided to give latest updates and features to the paying customers first. So technically you will only be offering aid and help to the developers by purchasing the paid version. Other than that, all the features are already present in the free app.
2. MapFactor – Free
Calculate all the factors
MapFactor: GPS Navigation may be just another Android Navigation App to some, but what makes it extra special is that you can hear audible warnings when you approach speed cameras. And its GPS satellite navigation is available in 2D and 3D modes. Day and night switching and voice guidance makes this free app a valuable addition to your smartphone. Quick search feature allows you to do instant searches for the nearest points of interest. Map Factor is truly a free app (with ads of course) and gives you access to some of the best features found on GPS Navigation apps.
- Map rotates in driving position
- Door-to-door route planning
- Save favorite location
- Route avoidance
3. Waze Social GPS Maps & traffic – Free
Waze is an app that successfully converges social networking with traffic navigation. Every user has an avatar. If you are new to Waze, your avatar will start as a baby and can be customized eventually while using the app. It provides relevant information that you may look for, such as hospitals, schools, police, groceries and a lot more. It also shows traffic jams, transportation stops, parking and other useful information. You can find other Waze locations in the map. Just look for their avatar. Some people may find Waze’s ability to show your exact location to other users uncomfortable.
- Cute avatar
- Real-time road information
- Voice guided navigation
- Linked to Facebook and Foursquare
- Friend’s bar on the map
- Facebook events
- Automatic shut down if you don’t use it to save battery life.
4. BackCountry Navigator – Trial and $11.99
Companion for the lone wanderer
4.a Trial Version:
BackCountry Navigator Pro GPS enables users to navigate outdoors beyond paved roads and streets. This is recommended for outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking. You can explore the wild using your handy Android device. The trial is for 21 days only.
- Pre downloaded topographic maps
- GPS way point / coordinates input using latitude and longitude
- Trail maps (ATV, Whitewater, equestrian, hiking, trekking)
- Marine maps
- Use for geocaching
4.b Paid Version:
5. Google Maps – Free
Just Google it!
Google Maps is perhaps the most recognizable and popular Android GPS Navigation App, as shown by its half a billion users worldwide. It is also considered the standard in the field of mobile navigation apps. Even Apple recommended it as an alternative to its own mapping system. Users will surely enjoy its user-friendly interface. Plus it can be switched to different views, from satellite to the ordinary map view. It is not confusing to use unlike other navigation apps.
- Offers different modes of navigation (driving, walking, biking, public transport)
- Allows you to save places in your Android device, upload it in the map, or view them offline
- Customize navigation, you can avoid highways and toll ways
- Road incident information
- Provide different routes and detailed information about it
Notable Feature: This is a user friendly GPS navigation app. You can manipulate the view; zoom in and out with your fingers. Places that you browse through the map are saved automatically and can be viewed even without Internet connection.
6. Polaris Navigation GPS – Free
Sleek and stylish navigator
Polaris is one of the newest GPS navigation apps on the Google Play store, but it has managed to capture our attention with its sleek and stylish interface. This app is the best Android GPS Navigation app when it comes to style and utility. The app even works without the need of a constant internet connection.
- Amazing interface.
- No hidden fees.
- A great waypoint management system.
- Trail viewing and recording.
7. GPS Navigation by Sygic – Free with IAP
Offline but onroad
Sygic is the most downloaded offline road GPS navigation app in Google Play. It has 160+ downloadable maps of different countries and states. With over 30 million downloads globally, it has proven to be a trusted and reliable GPS navigation app by users all over the world. The app gives free access to most of the features, but if you want traffic service, navigation instructions from Homer Simpson and Head Up Display, you will need to purchase them individually within the app.
- High Quality TomTom maps stored on the device
- Easy oriented 3D cities and landscape
- Voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, Street names spoken
- Listed and cinematic demo of navigation
- Safety warnings for sharp curve, speed limit change, toll roads and road blocks
- Quick search for address, postal code, intersection, geo tagged, GPS coordinates
8. Maverick: GPS Navigation – Free
Drive with detail
Maverick: GPS Navigation is a detailed and easy to use navigation app. You can use this versatile app offline, which is great if you hike to places where Internet connection is poor or non-existent. The map is accurate and automatically caches for offline use, which is really handy. It offers similar features like others but what’s good about Maverick is that you can navigate it easily. Your tracks can be recorded in just a single tap and you can upload it to GPSies.
- Several online maps for global and regional
- Multiple online maps for global and regional
- Save places you visit
- Trip Computer
- Fousquare support
9. MapQuest – Free
The quest is on
MapQuest: Maps, GPS & Traffic offers an array of unique options and features. You can speak to your Android device for searching places and destinations. With this hands free input, you can focus on your driving. The map itself is highly precise, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Information regarding road incidents and traffic flow is updated every 5 minutes. This app can also provide updated gas prices. With a review rating of 4.2 in Google Play, as of this article, MapQuest is currently used by over a million people.
- OpenStreetMap (OSM) Map Setting
- Turn-by-turn navigation
- Traffic optimize routing
- Voice command, voice guided
- Location sharing via email, text message, Facebook or Twitter
10. Wisepilot – Free and In App Purchase
Pilot your vehicle wisely
Wisepilot claims that they are the most outstanding and efficient award-winning navigation app. I think there’s clout to this claim. However, the downside is users have to pay to enjoy its wide range of features. The premium features of the app are hidden behind In App Purchases. The features are all separated so you can purchase only what you need, making the IAPs seem a little reasonable.
- Show distance and estimated travel time
- 3D Worldwide map
- 5 Day weather forecast
- Live traffic a& speed camera alert
There are several navigation apps for your Android device – most require internet connectivity to function, but there are also dozens of downloadable maps. While most apps are free to download, not all are accurate. Consider pairing these apps with traffic apps so that you know exactly where you are going and what type of traffic you can expect. So always exercise good judgment when selecting a navigation app. Some navigation apps like Waze, CoPilot Live Premium,and Maverick: GPS Navigation are linked to social networking, so you are updated with your friends’ locations. It is more fun to use this kind of navigation app if you and your friends use the same one. On the other hand, the most effective and most comfortable navigation app largely depends on the feature that you want to use. Stay on track, drive safely, and enjoy the trip!