In the early days of smartphones, if you were lucky it came with built in GPS navigation that was rudimentary at best. Nowadays, there are a number of apps that not only serve as your traditional map with GPS navigation, but some also have special features that may separate them from the rest of the pack. Whether you’re traveling abroad in another country, or out for a hike on the trails, here the ones to consider:
Google Maps – Tried, tested, and reliable. The data driven approach with a list of common features on most navigation apps makes this a popular choice for many people. The addition of Google reviews on business is also a big plus.
Waze – Acquired by Google in 2013, Waze uses real time traffic data from its own app already installed on other people’s devices to monitor traffic patterns and even road hazards indicating construction zones and police speed traps.
Citymapper – While there are many apps that incorporate public transportation, none do it better than Citymapper which uses real time data from cities, much in the same way Waze uses data from its own app, to keep track of bus lines, trains, and subways all over the world.
All Trails – Using a large library of guidebooks written for mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers, AllTrails may be the most comprehensive app to navigate the backcountry. Over 100,000 trails are featured, along with reviews, photos, and descriptions from crowdsourced users of the app.
Komoot – This app is much like AllTrails in that is a navigation app for hikers and mountain bikers, but unlike AllTrails it features detailed regional maps that can be used offline so you are not having to rely on a cell signal or internet connection to get around.