10 iOS Mapping Apps That Let You Navigate the World

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-08-10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 iOS Mapping Apps That Let You Navigate the World
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    10 iOS Mapping Apps That Let You Navigate the World

    Even though Apple Maps has gotten better each year, there are myriad other intriguing mapping options for iOS users that are available now in Apple's App Store.
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    Free: There's Always Google Maps
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    Free: There's Always Google Maps

    When Apple Maps was a mess, it was CEO Tim Cook who recommended users try out Google Maps, among other alternatives. Since then, Apple Maps has gotten better, but most would argue that Google Maps is still the leading force in online mapping apps. Google Maps has everything from navigation to Street View, and its directions data is usually spot on.
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    Paid: TomTom Is Still in the Swing of Things
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    Paid: TomTom Is Still in the Swing of Things

    TomTom got its start with popular in-car GPS hardware. But like other GPS device makers, it got into the business of selling GPS applications for mobile devices. The company's TomTom app provides the same mapping experience one would find in its hardware, but it's customized for Apple products. Users will get directions, estimated destination time and more. Graphical views of streets also make it easier to know where to go. TomTom's iOS app for U.S. navigation costs $25.
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    Free: Waze Is the Social Mapping App
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    Free: Waze Is the Social Mapping App

    Waze is owned by Google but acts as a stand-alone operation, distributing one of the more social GPS apps in this roundup. The app gives users full navigation and directions information, but adds a social element that lets users tell others about traffic jams, police stops, accidents and even issues with maps. Think of Waze as Google Maps with a social element tossed in.
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    Paid: GPS Navigation (Sat Nav) Helps You Find Your Way Around Town
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    Paid: GPS Navigation (Sat Nav) Helps You Find Your Way Around Town

    GPS Navigation (Sat Nav) is affordable at just 99 cents. The app has navigation for vehicles and pedestrians and works both online and off. In addition, it includes a Wiki travel guide to help users get around towns they don't know particularly well. GPS Navigation (Sat Nav) also offers turn-by-turn voice prompts and different route modes, depending on whether users want to take the scenic route or get to a destination more quickly.
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    Free: Nokia's Here Is Well-Respected in the Marketplace
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    Free: Nokia's Here Is Well-Respected in the Marketplace

    Nokia's Here is one of the most well-respected mapping applications in the world, powering a slew of in-car navigation systems. For those who don't have such services, Nokia is offering its Here maps for free on iOS. The app features full turn-by-turn directions, as well as support for offline mapping. There's even a built-in feature that will help people find the right options for mass transit. All of that plus a trip-planning feature built in make this free app a winner.
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    Paid: Land Nav Assistant Helps You Explore on Foot
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    Paid: Land Nav Assistant Helps You Explore on Foot

    Not everyone is looking to explore the world in a car, and that's where Land Nav Assistant comes in. The app, which costs $2, lets users input latitude and longitude coordinates or military grid points and provides navigation to the destination, assuming a person is walking on foot. Better yet, the navigation is "visual," so users will be able to see terrain and potential areas of trouble as they get from one point to another. Land Nav Assistant is a neat app for hikers and other professional thrill-seekers.
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    Free: Scout Brings More Social Navigation to the Mix
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    Free: Scout Brings More Social Navigation to the Mix

    Scout, like Waze, includes a social feature that the company argues makes for an all around better navigation experience. The free app lets users create a travel plan, chart a course and seek directions. It also includes built-in chatting, allowing users to communicate with each other to warn them of potential issues in the road or to show where they are in relation to each other. The Scout sales pitch is for users to meet up with each other "without the hassle of using multiple apps to coordinate, communicate, and navigate."
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    Paid: OffMaps 2 Works When Web Connectivity Isn't Available
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    Paid: OffMaps 2 Works When Web Connectivity Isn't Available

    Although many apps now include offline map support, OffMaps 2 is designed specifically for that purpose. In some cases, Web connectivity isn't available and users who only have online maps will be out of luck. With OffMaps 2, users can download maps from over 4,000 cities and tourist destinations around the world and get full navigation and direction support without worrying of Web connectivity. The app is useful for people going off the grid or going to a country where Web support isn't readily available on their phones. OffMaps 2 is available for 99 cents.
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    Free: Parking Deals Are Always Welcome With ParkWhiz
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    Free: Parking Deals Are Always Welcome With ParkWhiz

    In addition to finding the proper routes to locations, once users get to their desired spot, they'll want to know how to find affordable parking. That's where the ParkWhiz comes in. The free app identifies paid parking lots around a person's location and works at finding them the best deals by advertising unsold parking spaces. The app does a fine job at finding people the best parking deals across the globe.
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    Paid: Don't Forget About Garmin's (Pricy) Navigation
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    Paid: Don't Forget About Garmin's (Pricy) Navigation

    Garmin is another company that made a name for itself in hardware GPS devices but is now a go-to option for those who want high-end mapping experiences on their iPhones or iPads. The app, which costs $50, has the full Garmin experience, including the ability to find directions, traffic information and more. Like TomTom's option, the app also includes a graphical depiction of streets so users may know where to go.
 

Apple Maps is a fine mobile mapping tool that's getting better each year. The improvement is expected to continue in the latest version of the iPhone maker's mobile operating system, iOS 9. But Maps had plenty of teething trouble after Apple released it in September 2012 to take the place of Google Maps that had shipped with most new iPhones. As a result, iPhone and iPad users have turned to a range of third-party applications to get a mapping app that suits them best. Each day, however, new mapping apps enter the App Store, while some of the top programs are improving with each update. This makes it a good time to take a look inside Apple's App Store to find some highly regarded iOS apps that do a good job of taking you where you want to go in your hometown or in major cities around the world. This slide show highlights some of the best navigation apps available to iOS users who want to enhance their drives (and walks) wherever they are. Read on to learn more about some of the best paid and free mapping apps available now in Apple's App Store.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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