Try out some of these alternatives and find out what you’ve been missing out on. By Satyaki Sarkar
In today’s technology augmented lifestyle, maps, or more commonly Google Maps, have become an integral part of our daily travel. From figuring out where your Uber cab is, to navigating in peak hour traffic to find the quickest and least congested route, Google Maps is an often-used app. However, in spite of its massive popularity and the technology behemoth’s efforts to upgrade its app with the latest and most dependable features, there are still a few parameters on which Google Maps falls short. So here are five alternatives you might want to try
1. Sygic India Navigation & Maps
Previously priced at Rs 1,399, the Sygic navigation app, which many consider to be the best GPS navigation app, is now available completely for free! Built by professional mappers, the app comes with a list of features like offline maps, lane guidance, voice navigation, beautiful 3D maps of cities and landmarks, and more. The app also lets you download and store specific region-wise maps for offline use, negating the need for Internet connectivity, while also making the downloads easier to manage and take up less space on your phone. While the interface might seem a bit overwhelming at first, once you get used to it, you are guaranteed to keep coming back.
Available on iOS, Android, and Windows
2. Here Maps
Built by Nokia, Here Maps was sold two years ago to automakers Daimler, Audi and BMW, and yet, it continues to be one of the most dependable GPS navigation apps. With several features that are sure to appeal to all city-based users, the app provides public transit as well as indoor maps replete with traffic details, reviews and ratings of places, and private location sharing. Its best feature, however, is its ever-popular offline navigation that allows you to download maps of cities and even entire countries, for offline use, including turn-by-turn navigation for transits and personal vehicles, as well as walking. The app already powers a number of services like Bing Maps, Foursquare, Facebook, Firefox OS, Yahoo Maps, Tizen OS, and others, with support for several countries including India, US, Canada, France, UK, Italy, Brazil, and Spain, among others.
Available on iOS, Android, and Windows
3. ANS MapViewer Android (India)
ANS MapViewer, while relatively less heard of, is a great GPS navigation app developed by Ayana Navigation Solutions, and has the brilliant feature of quick route calculations, that helps it stand out from others. From lane guidance in fast traffic, and Quick search, to drive path planning, it is perfect for the busy, congested, city traffic that most of us in the country face. However, the app’s best feature is the ability to use the app even without an active data connection, making it perfect for remote areas and trekking tours, where connectivity is a huge concern. While the MapViewer app is available completely for free, you have to purchase the ANS Navigator Android (India) app, which additionally offers traffic updates and address searches.
Available on Android
The renamed Navmii, which was previously known as Navfree, is considered by many to be the upgraded version of Google Maps, with all the features the popular app is missing out on. From real time updates of traffic details, road works, and accidents, to alerts for traffic, speeding, hazards and safety cameras, and even voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, this is one app you need to navigate your way around busy city traffic without losing time. The app also provides offline maps support, besides smart auto-rerouting based on road and traffic conditions, local smart search, Google Street View, and assistance for nearest parking spots, gas and petrol stations, and more. Navmii is also integrated with TripAdvisor, Foursquare and What3words, and has an in app driver score and analytics feature that gives you info on your driving skills.
Available on iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry 10
5. Maps by MapmyIndia
When you talk about GPS navigation apps for India, MapmyIndia simply cannot be left out. It is one of the most popular Indian navigation apps, with a gorgeously redone red and white UI. The app offers near 3D rendition, along with a clean, no nonsense terrain system, user friendly setup, and real time traffic updates based on the route you are taking. The app is extremely easy to use, especially for first time map users, and earns quite a few brownie points for its enhanced readability, night mode feature, and high accuracy when it comes to Indian roads and traffic. While the app does not have offline support, like most others on this list, its clean, efficient features make it one of the most popular navigation apps in the country.
Available on iOS and Android