Although using standalone GPS navigation systems in the car is quite convenient, the number of people using their smartphones for navigation is steadily increasing. In a survey conducted by the market research company J.D. Power and Associates in 2013, it was found that the number of car owners using smartphone navigation apps increased from 37% in 2011 to 47% in 2012. Using a smartphone navigation app is a low-cost option when compared to using a GPS navigation device to get the best driving directions. All you need is a dashboard or windshield mount and then place your smartphone in it whenever you need to use the app.
The features of most smartphone navigation apps include advanced lane guidance that indicates exit lanes and complex multiple lane maneuvers, routing options, walking mode for pedestrians, full-route display, traffic data, and live traffic updates. While there are free navigation apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps, they do not have offline navigation features. To use these apps, there needs to be a constant internet connection. However, with paid navigation apps, the best driving directions will be shown even when there is no SIM card in the smartphone. Here are some of the most popular smartphone GPS apps that are known to show the best driving directions:
- HERE WeGo: This is a free navigation app. Its features include an easy-to-use interface and simple design. This is one of the rare free navigation apps that show the best driving directions even when there is no data connectivity. Other features of this app include showing live traffic information, customizing and saving places on the map for later use, and displaying public transit maps.
- MapFactor: This is another free navigation app. With OpenStreetMap, this app pulls free offline maps every month depending on the user’s preference. This app has features such as basic navigation, voice directions, day and night themes, cross-border routing, and 2D and 3D modes. The paid version of this app gives access to additional maps.
- MapQuest GPS Navigation and Maps: This is one of the oldest known navigation apps for showing the best driving directions with steady and sturdy service. The features of this app include a standard turn-by-turn direction, notifications to find cheaper gas, live traffic updates, and re-routing directions based on the live traffic information.
- Polaris GPS Navigation: This is an all-in-one navigation app since it sources navigation data from OpenStreetMap, Cycle Route Maps, MapQuest maps, and Google Maps. The features of this app include the standard turn-by-turn directions, trail recording, and multiple coordinate formats.
All the above apps are compatible with Android smartphones.