5 Best Offline GPS Navigation Apps for Android to Go Where There Isn’t A Cell Tower

Best Offline GPS Navigation Apps for AndroidAndroid has certainly made traveling a lot easier for a forgetful guy like me. While I don’t like to travel a lot, I do love the solitude offered by farm houses away from civilization. Thankfully, I have access to multiple farm houses and multiple offline GPS navigation apps for Android. The apps have helped me travel on safe roads around the country and helped me navigate confusing highway intersections.


Getting lost is never fun, especially if you want to reach a destination on time. In days past, I would’ve had to call my dad for directions. Now, I still have to take out my smartphone but only to access offline map apps.

What one of the most basic problem Adventurers have to endure is the loss of internet connectivity. Even in the USA, there are patches of no cellular reception. Naturally, online navigation apps become redundant when there is no internet. This is where the offline navigation apps for Android shine.

I would like to make some things clear here. During my extensive testing of the apps, I found that none were 100 percent accurate, all the time. This is, unfortunately, an issue with almost any offline map app you can find. Even some of the best navigation apps, that constantly use the internet, fail at some point.

I highly advise you not to depend on just one app for your navigational needs. Some apps work amazingly in some regions while providing abysmal performance in others. I urge you to try out the apps before taking them on a serious trip.

Note: The best offline navigation apps for Android were tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note III and Sony Xperia Z smartphones. I used a Wi-Fi connection to download the contents of the apps. The apps performed well with some minor issues which may or may not occur for you.


#1MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps#2GPS Navigation & Maps Sygic#3OsmAnd Maps & Navigation#4Offline maps & Navigation#5Navmii GPS World (Navfree)
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  1. Free
    3

    MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps

    MapFactor was not always at the top of our best navigation apps lists. Thanks to numerous improvements and free updates, MapFactor Navigator has become one of the most reliable and user-friendly offline navigation apps for Android.

    I like how the app downloads everything to your device, so there is no need for an internet connection while traveling around. The maps are updated for free every month, and the app does a great job of including new roads and paths in them.

    MapFactor Navigator also comes with an intuitive voice navigation system that is available in different languages. Door-to-door route planning is included in the app. The app comes with an easy mode switching that allows you to see 2D or 3D maps and alternate between them. You can also switch between detailed or simplified maps.

    I use the simplified maps for inter-city trips as I only need to follow the highway. You can also switch between detailed or simplified maps. I use the simplified maps for inter-city trips as I only need to follow the highway. In the city, the detailed maps save a lot of time by marking some of the landmarks.

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  2. Free
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    GPS Navigation & Maps Sygic

    Sygic is one of the most popular navigation apps around. I have personally used the app for an extended period, but lately, it has been somewhat inaccurate. I constantly found myself at dead ends while using the app locally.

    Maybe my country is no longer supported, but I have heard some complaints from fellow Australian users as well. Despite these minor problems, Sygic GPS Navigation and Maps app remains one of the top contenders in the offline navigation app race.

    The app uses a great looking interface that is easy on the eyes as well as fingers. The app can work with GPS only, removing the need for a constant internet connection. Free map and point of interest database updates are regularly given for the US and the UK—I have mixed reports from Japan and Dubai.

    All in all, Sygic is a great app to have while traveling, even if the navigation is not in use, the locally stored maps will help a lot. I would recommend that you get the premium version of the app if you are truly interested in what it has to offer. The premium version comes with some additional features and great voice navigation instructions.

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  3. Free & $5.99
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    OsmAnd Maps & Navigation

    This app has not gained as much mainstream exposure as it deserved. I tested the app a few years back for a review, and it worked well. The interface is one of the best ones I have seen in any map app and works well with the touchscreen interface. The app also works well offline but I admit, it is a little slower than I anticipated.

    I would have pegged online navigation to be slower because of data limitations but this app, surprisingly, has it the other way around. The turn by turn navigation assistance works well, but the synthesized voices sound mechanical compared to the pre-recorded ones.

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    Offline maps & Navigation

    This one is a hit or miss as it works well in some regions while not working great in some. For example, my cousin in Atlanta gave it a one-star rating because it doesn’t list some major streets there. However, a buddy recently visited Thailand and gave raving views about the same app. I used the app for a while, and it worked as intended.

    There were some scaling issues on high-resolution displays of modern phablets. Otherwise, the app worked great. The interface is simple and allows you to navigate with ease. The offline maps are detailed and somewhat updated as well. The navigational features are robust, the HUD (heads up display) elements while driving is big and easily identifiable.

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    Navmii GPS World (Navfree)

    Back when Navmii GPS World launched, I had huge expectations from it. The sleek and stylish interface combined with some well-groomed elements placed it on my personal watch list. Fast forward almost a year and the app hasn’t improved a lot.

    Don’t get me wrong here; the app works well when you are navigating, but I expected a lot more from the developers. It is a classic case of unfulfilled potential.

    Navmii GPS World works when it wants to work, this is my only gripe with it. For some reason, the app had choppy GPS connectivity on my Galaxy SIII back when I tested it first. The same problem exists on a Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Note V smartphones now.

    I thought it might be a Samsung only problem, but other users are using the app fine with their Samsung devices. However when it works, it works amazing. The voice navigation system is great, the instructions are clear, the map is detailed, and everything is kept up-to-date.

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Conclusion

These were some of the best offline navigation apps for Android. I really had a great time testing these apps out as it gave me a great reason to roam around the city. The issues I faced were minor in nature and can just as easily be ignored if you are using the free version. As for the paid versions, I would suggest you take the plunge and purchase Sygic. That app is sometimes more reliable than even Google Maps.

If you have any questions or concerns about the apps listed here, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your experiences and further improve the list.

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Comments (63)

    • Dani on

      KT, I would like to be honest. Unfortunately we do not have office/friends in Italy to check these apps working fine in Italy.
      These apps worked fine in US, UK and few Asian countries. We certainly believe it should work fine in Italy as well!

      • Aft on

        Used the latest Sygic in Italy just this week, had quiet the hard time, from Tarvisio to Bibione it showed a perfect route (without highways) ~2,5hours of travel, it’s pretty OK, but for the same route from Bibione to Tarvisio it showed a ~4,5hours path which is just crazy, also it was rather outdated, several roundabouts were not on the map and sometimes the click and drop thing didn’t work, otherwise it’s a good app, but this time it made me furious… (I don’t even want to mention the road to Venice, nearly the same thing, to Venice it showed a bad path, back to Bibione it showed the perfect one…)

        • Sam on

          Hey Aft, terrible experience. I guess all these offline navigation apps are more about location. It works just great in some location and not good in some. Did you try contacting Sygic and report this? I would highly recommend doing this.

  1. Bogdan on

    Sigyc has a free version(after 7 days of trial) but you don’t get voice navigation, speed limit wornings or lane directions. If you want that after the 7 days trial, you have to pay… someting like 35$.
    Any way, the search engine is far much better than the apps that use OSM.

    • Sam on

      I agree and sorry about not pointing the price. Sygic has wide range of price option depending upon the area of maps you want to purchase.

  2. zhiqing li on

    Hi,

    These apps don’t seem to have good details for cyclists? Can I use these apps to go for cycling?

  3. Jerry D on

    Which of these apps support rerouting (as opposed to keep trying to get me back to the original route)?

    Thanks!

  4. Arnel on

    I’m looking for an offline GPS app to track my location when flying over open ocean, mostly US to Hawaii. What do you recommend? Not for navigation, just for looking out the window of a commercial airliner.

    • Sam on

      Hi Arnel, unfortunately technology has limitations! No app can detect your location if you are flying and not connected to the internet. Location services uses multiple criteria like GPS, network, Wifi hotspot etc., to estimate your location. Unfortunately when you are flying you wouldn’t be having access to any of these except if you are connected via flight wifi. These kind of application would be only available to military personals and not publicl

      • Sam on

        Interesting question, Jerry. Don’t they also not have something like satellite connectivity? I have experienced sometime my Tom Tom tower shows no tower and the GPS wouldn’t work.

    • Bogdan on

      I guess any offline app would do. i’ve found Open GPS Tracker wich has offline maps but never got to use it. Since it uses GPS from satelites i don’t know what this has to do with being out of GSM and WiFi coverage…

        • Bogdan on

          well, just tried it, it works fine on samsung and huawei, altough it takes a litle more time to initialize. There are other things better than iphone on the market you know?

          • Sam on

            Bogdan, thanks for confirming. Not sure how samsung and huawei picks up location in airplane mode, but definitely has lot of usage; While trekking this would come handy particularly when you don’t ave network.

          • Bogdan on

            Welcome!
            They work just as tablets without GSM module do…and i dont think they use only wifi.

        • Joao on

          Just to add to that, I flew to Pittsburgh from NY over the summer, and I left the GPS on in airplane mode and opened maps. It seemed to track me accurately the entire time, from turning on the runway to turning in the air. It was pretty neat.

          • micah on

            Seems there may be some misunderstanding as to how GPS works. Certainly no internet connectivity is required for GPS to pick up and report a location to a maps application. A phone’s GPS is a passive system that receives identifying signals from at least 3 GPS *satellites* (no such thing as GPS towers) in order to triangulate your coordinates. It then reports those coordinates to the phone, which can use them to display your position on a map. The GPS chip is, thus, only a receiver – not a transmitter – and can work perfectly while the other communications features of the phone are deactivated.

    • Martin on

      MapFactor Navigator has navigation As the crow flies. Display direction and distance to destination

  5. Martin on

    The free version of OsmAnd (at least the latest version, v.1.8) limits the user to 10 map downloads total… for example, 10 US states. And if you delete some states and then want to add others to get up to 10, too bad! That’s a lifetime limit of 10 downloads. While I like the app, I don’t like this strong-armed tactic.

    As a side note, Amazon sells the paid version in the US for $3.99, while in the Google Play Store its $7.99.

    • Sam on

      In that case you may want to verify if the Amazon app is just the same one in Google play. Developers want to make more isn’t?! If you like the app, I wouldn’t hold myself from paying a Starbucks coffee cost to own it. #justmythinking

    • Bogdan on

      You could try MapFactor Navigator (with the blue and white icon) its much better, you don’t have map download limit and it actualy can show you a street on the map even if you dont know the number. And as a plus, i find the map rendering more usable when you zoom out although it uses the same map as Osmand.

    • Sam on

      Hey M, we did install the app and test it completely before listing it here. We infact analyse around 20 apps before coming up with this list of 5 best of the best.
      To answer your query, Maps with me allow you to spot your location using GPS. When you see your location in the map, it is quite easy to find the route to the destination. However if you are desperately looking for voice navigation you are better off install other apps in the list.

  6. William Gerth on

    I agree the author specifically categorizes maps with me as a navigation app. It’s NOT. Period. That’s the problem with these “experts” they’re NOT. Fail.

    • Sam on

      Will, thanks for the feedback. We will definitely look into this to refine the list. Appreciate the feedback. Keep em coming. It helps us give you the best information.

  7. Deepak on

    I have been using an App called Be on Road. Completely free using OSM. Fantastic Voice Navigation have used it extensively in Europe and am very happy with it. Offline maps which work very well with just GPS even without SimCard if one wishes

  8. Matan Rabin on

    Ye,

    But all these free GPS “Offline” Apps dont give you turn by turn direction…that defeats the whole purpose….!!!!!!!

    I know that you can download maps and ZOOM in but that’s not what I want.

    I need TURN BY TURN direction….without WIFI or DATA.

    • Dani on

      The sygic app whch we have tested gave turn by turn direction without using wifi or data. Let us know did you experiment with this app?

  9. anup on

    I have been using sygic without data or WiFi connectivity with full navigation support.

  10. florin on

    I’ve use sygic to travel from Romania to Germany (near Stuttgart) and this offline system got me to the point i had to be .The single wrong point where that in Hungary and Austria in some area around Budapest and Wien the speed limits where other then that shown on sygic .The Fixspeedcamera where notice quite good by sygic.I’ve use also igo primo but i sticked to sygic .

  11. Robert Vespa on

    I am primarily interested in coastal navigation and offshore islands. Do these apps include them?
    My boat’s Garmin GPS does not have maps, so please tell me if it will do as a GPS with them.

    Bob V.

  12. ashish on

    does mapfactor charges money for downloading maps , updates or use the app?

    • Billa on

      Ashish,

      To my knowledge the updates and maps are free as well as the usage. I will check the app out again but I think its is one of the free map apps around.

  13. jyothi on

    I agree the author specifically categorizes maps with me as a navigation app. It’s NOT. Period. That’s the problem with these “experts” they’re NOT. Fail.

  14. John on

    Let’s hope these apps are as good as you say they are. Wouldn’t want to get lost in Japan

    • Judy on

      Hi John,
      We wouldn´t want you to get lost either. I have always wanted to go to Japan, Lucky you, =-). The gardens are so nice. Have a nice trip!

      • Jeff on

        it preforms like a standard gps you would buy from the store where in my opinion most others fail. the offline maps and voice turn by turn are very accurate, here where I tested it on my LG phone and nexus 7 tabblet here in the USA

        • Judy on

          Hi Jeff,
          Welcome back, it´s good to hear from you again. Those are definitely some good reasons. =-) Others who read your feedback are going to find it useful. How long have you been using it? =-)

  15. Michael on

    I’m new to using a smartphone & offline maps but would like to find a map system that would provide maps showing secondary roads (county or lesser) in the less populated areas of the U.S.. I do winter landscape photography and finding paper maps for this purpose is getting old. Ideally, finding a solution that uses gps to track me as I’m snowshoeing through the countryside would be perfect. I take lots of twists and turns looking for images and after a while can get turned around pretty seriously. Thanks for any suggestions on either offline maps or suggestions of modifying my search query.

  16. visum turkije nederland on

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    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      Please thank your friend for me for referring you to us and I am glad that you like what you are reading. Don´t forget to keep coming back to learn more great things about Android. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  17. Tim on

    One of the biggest problems I face using Garmn in Thailand is in entering an address. 99 times out of 100 it rejects or denies any knowledge of the place name entered . This means effectively that I have to find the new destination pretty much by luck, good judgement and a sprinkling of local knowledge . Do any of the apps you mention have a more “user friendly” interface for finding new locations? In Thailand you can only get official map details from one company Esri and pay an additional £50+/- for the pleasure of doing so.

    • Judy on

      Hi Tim,
      How unfortunate to hear about the issues you are having with the addresses, but the first option is user-friendly and will also work offline. Hope you like the app and thanks for reading. =-)

  18. Rody on

    I’ve tried all these mentioned gps navigation apps but found all to be lacking in one way or another in terms of function and accuracy.
    Another gps navigation app, HERE Maps, which is not mentioned here beats all of them in my experience.

    • Sam on

      Rody, specifically what features of HERE maps made you think that the apps listed on this list isn’t good enough? Do you mind elaborating it?

      • Rody on

        Its the accuracy and excellent routing decisions of HERE that I found worthy of commendation. When i did try the other 5 navigation apps, I experienced less than commendable routing suggestions. Some lacks details like street names. I guess Osmand app is I can say at par or maybe has more features than HERE but I didn’t like the graphics (just a personal choice maybe). Sygic has excellent graphics (maybe the best) but not giving praiseworthy routing decisions, and it’s not free.

        • Judy on

          Hi Rody,
          I have used HERE and I have to say that it´s my personal favorite for all the features it has. Thanks for sharing your opinion. Great app. =-)

  19. Eric on

    HERE maps kills them all. Not sure why the weren’t included in the review.

  20. Al C on

    I tried both Maps.Me and Map Factor Navigator. I could not find a way to enter a street number, but only the street name and a cross street. Not much good if it finds a street that is 10 miles long and the number you want is at the other end.
    I used Here Maps before this and it has a street number search. I was simply looking for a different app as a back up option but I will stick with what works for me.

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      I have also tried HERE and it has worked great for me, allowing me to enter all the info I need. Thanks for commenting. =-)

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