If you’re planning a road trip, or want to take your already-packed smartphone with you so you can stay in touch at all times, an app is the answer. There are a variety of GPS apps for Android devices, and depending on what kind of travel you’re planning (meandering between coffee shops and Michelin-starred restaurants), there are several good options. GPS stands for global positioning system and this refers to a technology that allows your phone or other device to pinpoint its exact location with the help of satellites. So, basically, it’s a way of getting your coordinates so that other people can find you if you happen to get lost and have your exact latitude/longitude recorded. If this all sounds complicated then you’re right! GPS also has its fair share of cons, especially when traveling overseas where communication isn’t always easy and cell signals can be spotty at best. Thankfully, there are a number of third-party applications available that make using GPS easier, faster and more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some great apps for Google's Android platform that'll take your vacationing experience from drab to fab in no time!
1. Google Maps (free)
Google Maps is hands-down the most popular and reliable GPS app available for Android devices. It offers turn-by-turn navigation, along with real-time traffic and other updates, and is free of charge. To use Google Maps, first download the app and then select the location you want to go to. From there, you can drive to your destination and see the map come up as you drive. The accuracy of the mapping is pretty good, especially if you’re not too far from Google’s data centers. In areas with a lot of precipitation, though, you might want to use an official GPS app.
2. offlineGPS Pro (Ad-Free)
If you’re looking for a bit of added functionality, offlineGPS Pro is a handy app for Android devices that allows you to use the phone’s internal GPS instead of using the Android GPS app. This lets you save battery power and lets the phone lock onto more satellites, which can improve accuracy. This app is only available for those who have paid for the pro version, which costs $2.99 per month or $39.99 for the year.
This free app allows you to create lists and organize your tasks with ease. You can mark items as done or set due dates, and you can share your lists via email, Facebook or Twitter. When you’re ready to travel, simply pick a city you want to visit and start creating your lists. From there, you can choose the best route to take, and schedule your stops along the way.
4. Google Translate (free with in-app purchases)
Google Translate is a great app for those who want to get a bit more out of their trip abroad. It allows you to communicate in over 40 different languages, and it works both on desktop and laptop, as well as mobile devices. When you sign into your Google account, you can see a list of the supported languages and you can easily switch between them.
5. There’s a GPS app for that!
The last great app for Google’s Android platform is Turn by turn navigation. It’s not only accurate, but it lets you create your own routing (based on points of interest you choose) and save it as a route. You can even share your saved routes via email or on social media.
6. Turn by turn navigation
Turn by turn navigation might sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. When you’re in the app, select “turn by turn navigation” and then choose the direction you want to go. From there, the app will display all the intersections and possible intersection choices for you. Once you’ve selected the correct one, the app will display the pros and cons of each suggestion. From there, you can decide between the options and scroll through the final results to see which one best fits the bill.
7. Live Satellite ©Google Maps (Android 8 and above only)
If you’re planning a long trip, it may be worth putting up with the bugs and frustrations associated with GPS apps. Live Satellite, released as an Android exclusive, is a bit of a hybrid app. On one hand, it offers turn-by-turn navigation and live satellite mapping. On the other, it lets you create your own saved routes, share your routes and can be used as a gatecrasher for when you’re nearby.
8. hybrid GPS ©Garmin (Android 8 and above only)
Hybrid GPS is a feature that comes with the advanced navigation software created by Garmin. It allows you to switch between the on-board map and a Satellite map to get real-time updates and get you to your destination faster. You can see which navigation option is used by the device, and the accuracy is pretty good. What’s more, you can also connect your Stryker and Forerunner devices through the app to get real-time updates, track your routes and see the live map.
GPS is a great way to get your bearings while traveling. The more advanced your GPS device, the better. And the more features you have, the better. If you’re looking for an easy way to get your bearings while traveling, consider one of these 10 best offline GPS apps for Android.