Having a navigation aid on your smartphone has its advantages: you no longer need to buy sometimes exorbitantly priced GPS units and, above all, you will have your compass in your pocket, ready to guide you whenever you want. But a navigation aid on your smartphone can use up your 3G or 4G package… Unless it can be used offline of course! Because there is more to life than just Google Maps, here is our selection of apps for the holidays for the summer vacationers… and all the others for the rest of the year.
Voted best app for drivers by the German magazine Auto Bild, this app, created initially by Nokia, offers maps for more than a hundred countries that can be downloaded in just a few clicks. HERE Maps also analyzes traffic in real time and gives all the information you might need about incidents on the roads. As an added bonus, the app also has “indoor” maps. Perfect if you are lost in a train station or shopping center.
Completely free, just like its rival HERE Maps, this app stands out through the accuracy of its maps. Frequently updated, MAPS.ME is also very quick to run. You can zoom in and out as much as you want, the app will not freeze.
Invented by the navigation giant TomTom, Sygic GPS Navigation could be classed as the Rolls Royce of offline navigation apps. It is already used by 150 million people, and helps you drive more safely by indicating potential speed trap locations, real-time traffic conditions, available parking spaces and the cheapest service stations. And for late-night drivers, Sygic GPS Navigation can project its maps onto your windscreen at night.
Who said that offline navigation was only for motorized vehicles? With its maps prepared by the French national geographic institute (IGN), this hiking app is used by over two hundred emergency services teams in France. ViewRanger GPS is also great for use in the city. An outstanding little compass, for both city and country folks!
OsmAnd Maps has one major asset: unlike all the other offline navigation apps, this one can be updated by…anyone, because “Osm” stands for OpenStreetMap, the famous Wikipedia of maps. For those who like to share their journeys.
Of course, the famous French navigation site simply had to have its own offline navigation app. Unlike Sygic GPS Navigation, this is free, but its offline maps (450 MB for just France) need to be downloaded and cannot be transferred to an SD card, which means that it can only be used by people with high-performance smartphones.