As smart phones and tablets become a universal hub for all our digital activity, it can be inconvenient to have a separate sat nav to navigate your way through traffic. Going hands free and opting to use an app on your mobile device can offer the same features that an expensive sat nav can and can save you time and money too!
Here are a few of the best sat nav apps out there at the moment.
Google Maps is really the go-to app when you need to find directions to the pub, work out where you are in a new city or simply get a feeling of your surroundings by using Street View.
It comes as standard with Android devices and can be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone and iPad users. The Navigation mode has a handy voice guide which gives you directions so you don’t have to look at your phone, however it downloads the route as it goes along, which can be a pain if you’re driving to somewhere that doesn’t have a reliable mobile signal. A good app that sets the standard for other rivals.
Waze is a community-driven maps app which has real time community generated traffic information including information on traffic jams, police traps and routes to avoid. Plus, it automatically re-routes your journey as the conditions on the road change.
It also conveniently finds the cheapest petrol station along your route and lets you connect via Facebook to see whether any friends are travelling to the same place as you. It’s simple to use, and has no additional fees, making it a solid rival to Google Maps.
The price may seem a little steep, but it provides all the bonuses that come with a separate sat nav device. Once you put in your route, it remains in your phone’s memory so you don’t need to have a constant internet connection (useful if you want to avoid raking up a big data bill).
It also comes with speed camera alerts, automatic re-routing and accurate placement of points of interest like supermarkets, petrol stations and car parks. Unfortunately, this app only covers the UK and Ireland, meaning it’s great for everyday use, but inconvenient if you’re looking for an app to use abroad.
TomTom is easily the market leader in sat nav technology, and its app provides everything you would expect from a standalone sat nav. It’s a great alternative to buying a separate TomTom device and provides a clear display, easy to understand directions and additional features like traffic updates.
While it’s the most expensive app featured on our list, it’s more convenient and reliable than the free apps listed, meaning it’s a great choice for regular road users. Like CoPilot, this app only covers the UK and Ireland, so if you’re going abroad you’ll have to buy a separate app, though for everyday use, it’s the perfect choice.