According to a survey, over 75% of the people with smartphones use a navigation app. Over 65% of the users prefer Google Maps among the users, making it the most popular navigation app. Then came Waze and other apps. These apps will help you whether you are traveling to a new city or want to cut down time on your daily trips.
Each of these navigation apps, whether it is Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps, comes with distinct features that set them apart from the competing apps.
With such a variety of GPS navigation apps available over the internet, it often becomes confusing when choosing the most suitable one. In this article, we have done the work for you and listed some of the best navigation apps of 2021 to help you weigh the usefulness of each app and choose the best navigation app out of all.
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What Is a Navigation App?
A navigation app is an application on your mobile phone or any portable electronic device that uses GPS technology to offer real-time turn-by-turn directions with an estimated time of arrival and other useful information.
A good navigation system will provide you with features like turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic updates, estimated arrival time, bicycle routes, precise geolocation data, and access to offline maps.
These apps must also be functional on the most popular platforms like the Web, iOS, and Android.
In the next section, we have rounded the 7 best navigation apps whether you need help planning a road trip, your daily commute, or a walk to the nearest park or restaurant.
The 7 Best Navigation Apps of 2021
Here we have listed, in no particular order, some of the best navigation apps of 2021.
Waze was acquired by Google back in 2013 and further developed as a community-based GPS navigation app. It comes with real-time crowd-sourced social networking features, which is one of the highlights of the app. Waze provides you with:
- Alerts regarding hazards, accidents, police traps, live traffic data speed traps, and road closures may require the user to change the route.
- In its new partnership with Universal Pictures, Waze offers voice guidance for driving directions using celebrity voices.
- Allows you to listen to music from platforms like Spotify from within the app.
- A more playful interface and has a strong preference for driving mode, focusing on avoiding speed cameras and dodging traffic.
- Users can access information related to the best gas prices for various gas stations along their driving routes.
- The GPS app works in alliance with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Download on: All smartphones and mobile devices (Android and iOS) with GPS functionality.
Google Maps, with its data-driven simplicity, offers you real-time traffic information and real-time ETAs. Travelers like the vast library of events, activities, bars, local restaurants, and must-try places curated by experts and Google Maps itself. It is a great navigation tool for people on road trips.
Other Google Maps features include:
- The option of saving your favorite destination for future reference on Google Maps.
- Google Maps allows location sharing with your friends and family.
- Google Street view, satellite images, voice directions or voice navigation, and driving, walking, biking, and public transport options make Google Maps one of the most favored GPS apps for navigation.
- Google features offline navigation with turn-by-turn directions using your GPS device without Wi-Fi or data coverage.
Download on: iOS and Android.
Mapquest is one of the original and long-running GPS apps that is available in desktop and app formats. Even with options like Google Maps and Waze around, MapQuest is still a good app because it includes real-time traffic updates and access to live traffic cams.
With this feature, Mapquest can inform you about the on-goings on your commute.
With real-time traffic alerts from MapQuest, you can choose to find alternative routes. You can mark your favorite locations using custom icons. In addition to this, MapQuest also has a speed limit display and on-demand roadside assistance.
Download on: iOS, Android, Windows phone.
Apple Maps comes preloaded on all Apple devices. Following the criticism it accrued at its launch, Apple Maps has since been working to fix its initial bugs. With Apple’s map app, you can use Siri for voice command inputs and advice. Unlike Google Maps, it can’t save maps for offline use.
- Turn-by-turn voice-guided directions, interactive 3D maps, and proactive suggestions for choosing the right lane.
- It automatically records the parking spot you left your car in.
- You can choose from public transport, car services, and walking options on the map.
Download on: Only available on iPhones & Apple Watch.
CoPilot GPS is a navigation app that focuses on route planning for cars, RVs, and larger trucks. It offers customizable routes for all vehicle types by considering factors like road width or low clearance.
CoPilot is used by millions of professional drivers, delivery fleets, and emergency services personnel worldwide. The app is free to download, and you can buy additional maps as and when required.
CoPilot offers driver-friendly directions with clear driving views, uncluttered maps for offline access, and easy-to-read instructions. Drivers are allowed to easily add up to 100 stops on a single multi-stop route. The premium version of the app offers audio navigation, 3D maps, and traffic information.
Download on: iOS and Android devices.
Maps.Me is another free GPS app for travel tips and navigation. Maps.Me is known for offering high-quality maps around the world. It offers turn-by-turn directions, offline map options, and updated maps via OpenStreetMap.
Using Maps.Me, you can bookmark locations, search offline, get traffic data, and receive worldwide support. It offers full offline functionality, including a search feature, navigation, and searching for a destination or stop.
Since you can do everything offline on Maps.Me, it saves battery power on your smartphone or mobile device.
Download on: iOS, Android, and Blackberry.
Here WeGo is a slightly lesser-known mapping and navigation app on the list. This navigation app is designed specifically for city travel. You can download maps of cities in more than 100 countries. It helps you find major points of interest like restaurants, tourist spots, and ATMs.
Here WeGo offers real-time updates, price information, and public transport directions in a select number of cities. It is also possible to order a taxi from the app and receive a price estimate for your trip. In addition to that, HERE WeGo also offers bike line navigations and path information with elevation details.
Download on: iOS and Android devices.
Other GPS apps like Badger Maps, ScoutGPS, AllTrails, and Sygic are also great navigation options and are available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Apps like AllTrails and Sygic offer navigation for outdoor activities like hiking, off-road driving, biking, and boating.
A Little More Than Just Navigation
While the GPS apps will be useful for people with one route to plan or only need navigation and no optimization, for professional delivery drivers and contractors who make multiple deliveries daily, a navigation app will not be enough. The same applies to businesses making deliveries of goods and services.
In that case, you have an option like Upper Route Planner that helps you optimize and navigate your trips in the best possible manner. Upper Route Planner uses an advanced optimization algorithm to find the quickest and easiest way to cover all your stops on a route.
If you use a navigation app, you might want to optimize your list of routes simultaneously with route planning and optimization software like Upper Route Planner that helps you plan your routes first and then navigate while you are on the road.
Upper Route Planner allows you to plan multiple routes at once. Even the best navigation apps often have limited capacity in this department. Upper Route Planner is available on the web, Android, or iOS devices.
The answer is quite subjective. While Google Maps offer more data-based GPS navigation, Waze offers navigation and directions based on the Waze community’s data. Google Maps is considered more traditional in its navigation approach, whereas Waze is a sleek app with a more modern and minimalist design and has some unique features for a navigation tool. It applies a more contemporary approach through its social features.
Compared to other free navigation apps like Waze, Google Maps is one widely popular app that has been around for the longest time. Over the years, it has managed to develop a robust set of features. So we can say that Google Maps is one of the best GPS apps. If you want, you can try out Apple Maps as well as Waze for their minimal interface and unique features, respectively.
Apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and MapQuest are great alternatives to Waze. When compared further, Google Maps is definitely better than Apple Maps because it offers many more functionalities and is also easier to use. Google Maps comes with several other popular services by Google like the Google Street View, Google Assistant, and Google Search.
Improve Your Trips With the Best Navigation Apps
Thanks to sophisticated technology, we have some of the best navigation apps with accurate location information, street view, and real-time traffic updates to safely navigate and help you reach your desired location. But navigation apps are no more limited to finding the best route or plan trips.
With the blend of augmented reality and location intelligence, these apps offer additional features that help you dodge traffic jams, real-time road incidents, weather alerts, lane guidance, air quality, hiking trails, and toll checks.
Navigation apps are used to reduce the hassle and enhance your journey to your destination. Whether you are looking for a GPS app to suit your new device or one to suit your changing navigation needs, the apps mentioned above will help you. As always, any questions, queries, or feedback is welcome. For more information, you can get in touch with us or visit our blog.