It wasn’t too long ago that we had to bust out our big, bulky maps to plot a course to a new destination. Even more recently, you could go onto MapQuest, input your location along with your destination and print out a list of directions, that even included a map of your route. Then people had the ability to purchase a GPS navigation system to install in their vehicle that provided turn-by-turn directions. These days, personal navigation technology has advanced to the point that everyone has a GPS navigation system in their pocket. Almost all smartphones come with some type of navigation software built into them upon arrival. I am going to discuss a few of the most popular navigation apps on the market these days to help ensure that you arrive at your destination on time and with ease.
- Google Maps is a great choice for their large selection of not only driving maps, but also public transit, biking and walking maps as well. This is another app that is free to use and shows you multiple options in regard to routes along with their ETAs. Google maps offers voice guided turn-by-turn navigation to assist while you are driving. The biggest advantage of Google Maps is that Google is the go-to search engine in the world and therefore they have the most robust and correct information when looking for specific businesses and attractions anywhere you might be travelling.
- Apple Maps is like google maps. The biggest advantage to Apple Maps is that it is directly built into every iPhone that is sold. Therefore, it integrates seamlessly into other apps, when your phone is locked, in the background of other apps and it works with other accessories, such as the Apple Watch and Siri. If you have an iPhone and you need directions from point A to point B, then Apple Maps is a great option.
- Waze is interesting because it is a crowd-sourced maps and navigation apps that uses travel data and inputs from users to provide the most up-to-date travel information, including traffic data, and provides the quickest possible route. Waze has a social element that also allows you to communicate with friends and other Waze users to share reported road conditions, hazards and even police presence. This is probably my personal favorite app because of its real-time information, it can re-route you around traffic jams or construction, as well as its ability to provide accurate arrival times.
There are many other navigation apps available for your smart phone. Some of them are free and others may have a cost to purchase and/or a monthly subscription costs. These are worth checking out, but I believe that any of the above apps would be able to serve your needs and they are all free. Always remember to keep your eyes on the road and have safe travels!