Navigation is one of the essential modern day features that smartphones provide us. This basically means that if you have a smartphone (with battery left), and you’re stranded, you can simply open a navigation app on your phone to reach your destination safely, devoid of any unnecessary detours. However, maps require internet connection to update some information like traffic and distance. While GPS does work without an internet connection, it’s never enough to hit up navigation on its own. This is where offline maps come into the equation. If you’ve found yourself in a low internet connectivity area, you would be aware of the problems you face while navigating. These apps will rectify those issues completely as you can conveniently look up on your phone when you’re lost and they will guide you on the right path.
We’re going to discuss five apps today that offer offline navigation to the users at no cost. Some of these might come with ads or in app purchases, but that’s a small price to pay for the luxury of having offline navigation at your fingertips.
7 best Offline GPS map apps for Android
As the name suggests, this app offers navigation and maps without an internet connection. The app will preload map data and routes to make them available for you offline. This is how most offline navigating apps work anyway. It uses navigation details from world’s leading navigation services provider, so you’re getting the best in class features here. The developers are updating the app frequently with new features and more routes, so you can be assured of getting the best experience consistently through your usage.
Over 200 countries are included in the list, with several points of interest located on the map if you’re in the mood to kill some time. You can even share your real time location and the ETA (estimated time of arrival) to your friends and family via social media. One nifty feature is the ability to track fuel prices right within the app. This will let you get to your destination in the most economical way, which is incredibly convenient for the budget conscious users. The app will also prompt you about speed cameras in your vicinity, so you know when to take your feet off the pedal for a while. There’s suggestions for parking along with locations and parking prices. This is a very comprehensive app and we recommend everyone to try it out. It’s a free download, but comes with in-app purchases.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular navigation app out there, Google Maps comes with a slew of features to make it our favorite navigation app. You get all the information right from Google’s servers, with the ability to download maps for offline navigation. However, you can only download a certain area with this particular app, which makes this slightly inconvenient if you’re looking for longer routes. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended to keep the app open when you have a functioning WiFi connection anywhere so that the app keep updating the new locations. In addition to letting you get the best directions for your route, the app also gives you information on public transit, along with the timings. This is incredibly helpful if you’re new to a city and want to get around conveniently.
One of the best features to me personally is the app’s ability to update real time traffic information on your screen. This means you can take a different route if Maps shows traffic in your direction. In fact, Maps will even suggest alternate routes (even if the distance is longer) to make sure you reach in time. However, this feature requires an internet connection, so it doesn’t pertain to offline navigation. This is a completely free app with absolutely no ads or in-app purchases. It comes by default on all Android smartphones, but if you don’t have it yet, we recommend you to get it from the Play Store right away.
The developer claims that this is the best rated free navigation app on the Play Store, which tells us a lot about the work put into this app. Offline maps are offered by OpenStreetMaps with a free monthly update provided periodically. There are the standard set of features here such as speeding camera alerts, nearby stops, restaurants, and so on. It currently supports offline navigation in 200 countries, which is practically every part of the world you can think of. Technology has extended to such an extent now that practically every part of the world has internet or at least smartphones. And with apps such as these, users can make their lives much more effective overall. MapFactor is a free to download app and comes with ads on board. There are in-app purchases too, which will help you get rid of those annoying ads.
MAPS.ME is up next on our countdown. There’s a lot of offline map navigation apps that are independently developed and not well supported; however, MAPS.ME is the exact opposite. This offers you premium offline navigation, and does to over 50 million years as of this writing. You’ll, of course, have to download all of the map data first, but once you get that out of the way, you can use this without an Internet connection anywhere.
You can navigate through travel with five different modes of transportation. Maps are full of points of interest, hiking trails, and things that you often wouldn’t see on other travel apps. If you’re looking for a premium option that will easily get you around anywhere in the world, MAPS.ME is it.
Waze is often referred to as an online-only amp navigation application; however, you can also use it for offline navigation as well. You can’t actually go ahead and download specific maps for offline navigation, Waze uses cache to give you turn-by-turn directions, so it’s all automatic. You’ll just need to download Waze on your Android phone, setup your navigation route, and then Waze saves it all to the cache. It does this so that it can keep your turn-by-turn directions 100% accurate even when you have spotty Internet or lose the signal.
This feature, however, only works on Android — it won’t work on iOS.
One of the benefits that we really like with Waze is that they’re able to tell you the speed limits on all of the roads — never get a speeding ticket again!
HERE WeGo (formerly owned by Nokia) is a widely popular navigation app that has grown in stature ever since it was launched. I personally remember using this on my Nokia Lumia smartphone several years ago, and it never failed me. The good folks at Nokia were wise enough to offer an Android app as well, with Here WeGo now sitting on top of the charts. It is the Editor’s Choice app on the Play Store, which means the folks at Google rate it very highly. A bunch of car manufacturers have a stake in HERE, which means it’s always evolving and designed to be your designated navigation app. I personally find this along with Google Maps to be reliable sources for offline navigation, with HERE also offering speed information. Everything on the app is easy to understand, and we cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone. Be sure to check it out from the Play Store. It comes with ads, though, which is my only gripe with the app.
This particular app has an intuitive navigation UI that can be a refreshing change from conventional maps apps. It is the world’s most installed offline navigation app (as per the developers), which gives it some credence over the rivals. It also comes with features like real time traffic information, although you will require an internet connection for this. Another nifty feature is warnings for police or speeding cameras located nearby, which is a feature found on most of the apps we discussed above. Features like lane guidance help you shift lanes in a safe and efficient manner as per the local laws. These features can be helpful if you’re driving in a foreign country where lane rules are different. The app is a decent alternative to your existing list of maps apps and we suggest you to give it a try. It’s free to download and there are no ads. In-app purchases exist, however.
As you can see, you have a lot of options as far as offline GPS map apps go. The neat thing about these is that these aren’t just offline map apps, but have online features as well. You can easily use them interchangeably, giving you premium map navigation when you’re online and around a good connection, but these also won’t leave you hanging when you’re driving through an area with poor cell infrastructure.
What’s your favorite offline map app for Android? Sound off in the comments section below!