The best GPS app and navigation app options for Android - Part 1 of 2


Staff member
Mar 24, 2011
By Joe Hindy April 2, 2014


When we think navigation app, we typically think Google Maps. It’s the one most people recommend and it happens to be the navigation app that gets updated the most often. Google has been really on top of navigation especially over the last couple of years. However, if you’re not too keen on Google Maps or you want navigation done a different way, you have a remarkable number of options. In this list, we’ll check those out.

BackCountry Navigator GPS Pro

[Price: $9.99]
BackCountry Navigator is first on our list and if you’re a camper or hiker it’s one you should look at it. We looked at it briefly on our indie apps of the day segment and liked what we saw. It’s pretty expensive but what you get is a number of offline topographical maps that is perfect for those places where there is no data service to download them as you need them like you need to for apps like Google Maps. There are a few fun features like marking the map and maps from multiple countries. It’s expensive but there is a trial version you can try first.

GPS Essentials

[Price: Free / $5.29]
GPS Essentials has an antiquated interface but it is still a pretty decent app. The app’s claim to fame is its dashboard that allows you to monitor all kinds of stats including your average speed, altitude, distance traveled, moon phase, ETA to destination, and a number of other stats you can look at it. Another unique feature is a HUD that will show you your way points and we liked that a lot. It also comes with some of the standard navigation features which means you don’t have to change to other apps for directions and whatnot. It appears to be designed for the outdoors rather than driving so if you’re one of those kind of people this is definitely worth checking out.

GPS Navigation BE-ON-ROAD

[Price: Free]
Next up is an app called GPS Navigation. This is the first on the list that offers features like turn-by-turn directions. It works around having offline map data that you do have to pay for which has been met with mixed reactions for users. There are also a few bugs here and there that people have not been enjoying. If you can get passed that, it’s a fairly solid app that doesn’t look bad. It does work internationally so people outside of the US can use it as well. It’s free to try but you’ll have to purchase things like a license and maps later on.


MapFactor: GPS Navigation

[Price: Free]
MapFactor is one of your classic turn-by-turn navigation apps for those looking for a replacement to Google Maps. It downloads and installs the map files to your SD card so you can use it offline if you need to. It uses OffStreetMap data which has support for a lot of countries around the world. It’s not as polished as Google Maps but it has enough features to use it effectively and enjoyably. It’s also worth mentioning that map data and the app itself is totally free.

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