July 29, 2011 | Andy Boxall
The App Store is stacked with navigation apps for the iPhone, with prices ranging from absolutely nothing to really quite a lot. If you’re confused by the sheer volume of choice, they we’ve gathered together a collection of ten top GPS apps for your iOS device, making sure we cover all the bases at the same time – so you’ll find free apps, pay apps, web apps and versions specific to both the US and UK, plus international editions too.
Here we go!
If you’re looking for a free alternative to Google Maps then this is a great choice, as it has voice guided directions, search, live traffic reports and the choice of walking or driving directions. Free.
The first of several international navigation options, with a wide variety of apps available covering the USA and Canada, Europe and several more specific editions for individual countries. Everything from voice-guided directions to speed camera warnings are included, as are detailed maps for on or offline use. Prices vary considerably, and some features such as text to speech and live traffic require further in-app purchases. International.
One of the most recognized names in GPS navigation also produces a wealth of navigation apps for the iPhone. All the usual features are there – voice-guidance, a search function, traffic reports and so on – plus you can personalize the experience with departure reminders, navigate-to-contact’s addresses and even download celebrity voices for the navigation! Like CoPilot, the prices vary and you’ll also need to subscribe via in-app purchase for further updates after a year. International.
Our third collection of international GPS apps comes from Navigon, and like the previous two they’re big files with all the maps for on or offline use, plus turn-by-turn navigation, 2D or 3D maps, signposts, voice-guidance and in my opinion, one of the very best user interfaces and overall ‘look’ out of the majority of GPS apps. Prices vary depending on the area you choose, plus there are several in-app purchases for services such as live US traffic reports and a 3D panoramic viewpoint. International.
The app is free to download but you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to use it, however this will appear on your AT&T bill rather than as an in-app purchase. Expect voice-guidance, real-time traffic reports, iPod music support and the option to download regional maps for offline use. US-Only.
A well-reviewed and reasonably priced alternative to the expensive likes of TomTom and CoPilot, MotionX does have a subscription model for voice guidance on top of its purchase price, but it’s not that pricey. All the features are there, along with always updated maps, location sharing, multi-stop routing and a compass. $0.99/US and Canada Only.
This is another free GPS navigation option, available for the US, the UK and Germany, which uses the OpenStreetMap project, so although it has turn-by-turn directions and lots of other features, you may not find the maps are as accurate as those found in the higher price apps. Free.
Like Skobbler, Navfree uses OpenStreetMaps and is therefore free to download, but you can pay a $0.00/£0.69 in-app purchase to remove the ads if you want. Otherwise it’s business as usual, with turn-by-turn navigation, offline maps (an advantage over Skobbler), search and automatic rerouting too. Free, International.
Navigation isn’t only about cars, and CycleStreets is a bicycle-specific navigation app and journey planner. Again, it uses OpenStreetMaps and produces a step-by-step itinerary along with important bike information such as routes which avoid hills! Free, UK-only.
Nokia Maps is one of the very best mobile GPS systems, and has recently been made into an HTML5 web app, meaning you can access it through Safari and make use of its positioning ability! You can search for places of interest and locations, get directions and use a map or satellite view – all for free! If Google Maps doesn’t find a spot, then perhaps Nokia Maps will. We’ve linked to the page above, or just visit maps.nokia.com on your phone and add it as a homescreen bookmark. International.