10 best GPS app and navigation app options for Android

by: Joe HindyApril 14, 2016
558

best gps apps and navigation apps for android
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 out the best GPS apps and navigation apps for Android!


BackCountry Navigator GPS Pro best gps apps and navigation apps for androidBackCountry 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. There are a few fun features like marking the map and maps from multiple countries. There is a trial version you can try first and it’s a great option for those who need maps for things like hiking and camping.

Get it now on Google Play!


gps essentials best gps apps and navigation apps for androidGPS 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. Another unique feature is a HUD that will show you your waypoints 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. 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. It also comes with a few plugins to give it additional navigation features, but those do come with an extra charge.

Get it now on Google Play!


Here maps beta android appsHERE Maps

[Price: Free]
HERE Maps is developed by Nokia and it made quite the splash in 2014. It made another splash in 2015 when it was sold to a consortium of automobile manufacturers including Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. It features a simple, elegant interface with mapping options all over the world. You can download maps for offline use in your region so you don’t need a mobile data connection. HERE also shows you traffic information (where applicable), public transit maps, and you can customize by saving places for quick directions later.

Get it now on Google Play!


best GPS app and navigation app options for AndroidMapFactor: GPS Navigation

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
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 with more being added every day. 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. You can also purchase TomTom GPS navigation maps for an additional charge if you prefer those.

Get it now on Google Play!


mapquest best gps apps and navigation apps for androidMapQuest: Maps, GPS, and Traffic

[Price: Free]
MapQuest used to be one of the “go-to” direction websites on the internet many years ago. Unbelievably, the service still exists and it does have an Android app. It has the standard turn-by-turn features along with some unique ones like live traffic updates, automatic traffic re-routing, and a service to find cheaper gas stations on your route. It also has walking and driving directions in case you feel like hoofing it. It’s a solid offering overall and it’s a name people are familiar with.

Get it now on Google Play!

mapquest best gps apps and navigation apps for android


best free android apps mobile gamingSee also: The best Android apps!102

Google Maps best gps apps and navigation apps for Android(Google) Maps

[Price: Free]
Most people are probably here to find alternatives to Google Maps but we cannot deny that feature-for-feature, Google Maps is better than pretty much everybody. There are consistent features and app updates, worldwide support, you can download maps for offline use if you need them (there is a 14-day time limit on downloaded maps), the venerable Street View is included, you’ll get detailed information about 100 million places, and you’ll be using a service controlled by Google. There is simply no other way to put it. Google Maps is awesome.

Get it now on Google Play!


best GPS app and navigation app options for AndroidPolaris Navigation GPS

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Polaris Navigation tries to be the all-in-one map sources and in most cases it succeeds. Its biggest feature is that it has access to Google Maps, OpenStreetMaps, MapQuest maps, and Cycle Route Maps. So whatever source you want is the one you get. It also features multiple coordinate formats, trail recording, a unique waypoint management system, and your standard stuff like turn-by-turn directions. It’s rated fairly well on the Play Store and appears to be pretty stable.

Get it now on Google Play!


sygic gps best gps and navigation appsSygic: GPS Navigation and Maps

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Sygic is a monumentally popular navigation app that boasts over 50 million downloads to date. Like others on this list, it provides downloaded maps for offline use except this one uses TomTom maps. It has the usual features like turn-by-turn, voice guided directions (which include voice-spoken street names so you can concentrate on driving), alternate routes, and even a speed limit display. There are a number of in app purchases to unlock more features so keep an eye out for those. Otherwise, it’s a pretty solid app.

Get it now on Google Play!


scout gps best gps apps and navigation apps for androidScout GPS Navigation

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Scout GPS is actually an older GPS app with a fresh coat of paint. It used to be called TeleNav and it’s changed it’s name, icon, and appearance to give it a fresh look. It’s still a reliable and stable navigation app with all of the basic features, including turn-by-turn navigation. However, Scout GPS focuses more on people rather than navigation which gives it a unique flavor. It can do things like text people automatically with your ETA and alert you when other people need you. The location-based, social media element is actually kind of nifty and works well. Especially if you have a family to drive around. Those looking for hardcore navigation features may need to look elsewhere, though.

Get it now on Google Play!

Scout GPS best gps apps and navigation apps for android


best GPS app and navigation app options for AndroidWaze Social GPS, Maps, and Traffic

[Price: Free]
Last up is Waze and it’s the second Google-owned navigation app on the list. A few of its features have been baked into Google Maps, but Waze is still perfectly usable on its own. It features live traffic updates, sourced by the people who actually drive in traffic. It can also let you know if you’re speeding, where the police are (most of the time), and it can adjust your route based on a variety of factors. It can also find cheaper gas on your route, has location sharing with friends, and there is even a ranking system for those who really contribute to the experience. It’s entirely free and worth a shot if you just want something different.

Get it now on Google Play!


Related best app lists:

If we missed any of the best GPS apps or navigation apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

  • Nathan Borup

    Why was this even posted?
    Edit: better yet, why did you even take the time?

    • sighhhhhh

      for your information AA is not just for stuck up troll like you……new people from all age and background, new reader, some iPeople who curious, those just switch to android or maybe bing accidently brought people here when they search for GPS bla bla bla……AND this is THE internet the WWW where people find infomation …if u have proplem dont click the link and post stupid question or worse edit the stupid question to make it worse….sighhh…..the end

      • Nathan Borup

        umm? I am not part of the “iPeople” crowd dude. Apparently you don’t get on here much and see my comments. I said Why was this even posted because google maps is the obvious best choice, and its a waste of time to review other navigation apps

          • newtoandroid

            I’m new to android and searched specifically for android navigation apps that were able to work offline because I won’t have service where ever I travel. so why do you even troll?

          • Nathan Borup

            Google maps works offline too

          • Zabih Cino

            For proper offline navigation only use Here Maps

        • Al M

          Google has a major flaw – doesn’t work offline.

          • Slide out the menu on GMaps.
            Tap “Tips and Tricks”
            The very first tip tells you how to use maps offline.

          • Gareth Robinson

            Not for me it doesn’t. the latest version available on Play is 7.7 (7.5.2014) which does not have offline map caching. Seriously, it’s not there. We are going to Italy in June, depending on data on the fly to download maps is not really an option. I don’t know when/if version 8.0 will be available as this is said to have the offline maps option. Why was it ever removed?

          • saeed201

            Although Google Maps supports offline maps, calculating the route still requires internet connection which is expensive when traveling abroad.

          • Gareth Robinson

            That’s right and although some deals will give you data at a reasonable price there is still the problem of needing a continuous connection. I have now downloaded version 8.0 and it only allows a 10×10 mile square to be saved for offline use :P

          • Pekka Ripatti

            Yes, the maps are available offline but navigation isn’t. This listing is useless still, it just doesn’t have enough information to be any good.

        • itsjustme (formerly me)

          If Google is so great then how come it always passes my destination and makes me do a couple of useless circles and then backtrack to my destination I already passed adding at least an extra 10 minutes to my trip? Another example, a few weeks ago I traveled to a major city in my state that I’ve never been too, it should have been a straight shot on a major Highway and only taking an hour but instead it took me on every backroad possible and it took me over two hours to get there. Thankfully I realized Google sucks and went the correct way home.

          • Nathan Borup

            Well aren’t you late to the party? Seriously this is a month old. But to rebut your comment, if it is doing what you’re saying its doing, your phone seems to have some gps issues. And you probably should learn how to use the app before complaining about it

          • itsjustme (formerly me)

            Ha! Doubtful. I know how to use an app. And whats your point? Actually it’s 4 months not a month but people are still replying including you.

          • Alex Ohannes

            Great reply! One of my greatest internet pet peeves is when someone actually believes that a thread should be closed/inactive just because it is more than a month old. Nobody has ever been able to explain that logic, and no one ever will.

          • itsjustme (formerly me)

            Mine as well, especially when it’s something like technology or even a recipe, actually anything that still pertains to anyone. Just because you started using something a month ago doesn’t mean everybody else did. I guess there will always be Internet trolls making up their own rules.

        • Alex Ohannes

          What I hate more than an unreasonable Apple fanboy is an unreasonable Google fanboy (mostly because unreasonable Google fanboys are rarer). I consider myself a Google fanboy and an “Apple hater”, but I don’t love Google and hate Apple in an unreasonable way. For example, I truly do believe that the latest Mac Pro is innovative, really cool, and a great piece of hardware, even if it is a rip-off when it comes to price and practicality (there you go, Apple). Also, I am still heated to this day over the butchering that Google did to the web version of the Play Store (I call it “The Great Downgrade of 2013”, because that’s what it was. They tool away nearly half the functionality that it once had).

          So, although I consider myself a Google fanboy, when someone says that a Google product is the best just because it is a Google product, I stop taking them seriously.

          • Nathan Borup

            I never said it’s the obvious choice because it is google. It is the obvious choice because Google has been the leader as far as mapping and directions. Heck, I even get live traffic updates on my route, I get reports of accidents, congested areas, etc. THAT is why google maps is the obvious choice. If there were any other service that did that, they would win in my book

          • Alex Ohannes

            For many people (myself, for example) Google Maps is flat-out unusable.

            You sound like you’re smart, so I’m going let you figure out why for yourself. If you can’t figure it out, then just read all of the Google Maps-related comments on this webpage.

        • Chris Redfield

          But what if Google Maps sucks ass and freezes all the time on my phone I seriously hate Google Maps at this point in time and want to find another navigation app that works better than this.

        • Susanmarie8

          Can’t say that anymore. Glad the article is here.

  • sandon

    There is also NavFree, CoPilot, and Osmand. I’ve tested a number of the ones in your list and I’ve personally liked Copilot and Osmand best.

    • NCBrian

      i’m looking at Osmand too. My family in Holland use it so i’ll try it out. i’m going to be in Italy later in the summer and i’ll be driving while i’m there for the first time – so i’d like a reliable offline gps app

    • rmpbklyn .

      osmand only has 10 free downloads, LOL there are 50 states in USA alone.

  • Tarso Sousa

    Just forgot the best of its category. iGO

  • Thrasher

    How could you forget Locus Pro? Not really suitable for car navigation, but one of the best android mapping apps.

  • Jivester

    Backcountry is by far the best Land Navigation tool I’ve used ever (including dedicated Magellans and Garmins)! Great and varied mapp sources, great add-on layers like whitewater, camping, trails etc… I’ve been using it since WinMo days and since Android it has just rocked the world. Continues to get update and is FULLY featured!

  • Guest123

    On my LG OGP I went through just about every navigation program to find what worked best for me, also due to the fact that I try and minimize my gapps and I wanted a PURE gps navigation system for when I don’t have data.

    Here’s what I found.

    1. Sygic didn’t function properly on my device and the keyboard did all kinds of wacky things.

    2. CoPilot did pretty good.

    3. MapFactor was horrible.

    4. Nav 6 wasn’t all that great.

    5. Skobbler’s GPS Nav does great though the address input isn’t all that great: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skobbler.forevermapngtrial

    7. Navfree is actually pretty decent.

    8. MapQuest and Waze are good if you have data connection, Waze seems a little more acurate getting you to your location.

    All in all I ended up with MapQuest and Waze for when I have data and NavFree and Skobbler’s GPS Navigation for pure GPS navigation. Total of $1 spent :)

    However, the best overall was Scout, though it cost like $30/year.

  • Bone
    • Eric

      Locus pro is awesome! Has lots of add-ons and is frequently updated.

  • Darwin

    Joe you forgot one of the best map/navigation app, CoPilot. II’ve been using it for over a year now and it’s still better than other map/navigation I’ve used. The free version is like having a premium app. It’s an offline navigation, which is awesome! Highly recommend it to people who needs a navigation.

    • Faro

      CoPilot is nice, but has a major drawback for me: it consumes a lot of internal storage space. There’s no reliable way to migrate the data (maps) to the external sd card.

      • Alex Ohannes

        Not being able to do that is actually a blessing for some people. Not everyone wants or needs a MicroSD card in their smartphone. Yes, many newer devices have an emulated sdcard partition, but older devices don’t. I have 8 gigs of storage on my old Droid2 and I want to use it up with something. I can’t put music on it. I can’t put photos on it. I can’t put videos on it. That all takes a MicroSD card.

        Anyway, thanks. I will certainly be checking out CoPilot.

        • nmclean

          You mean not being REQUIRED to do that. Not being ABLE to do something is never a blessing. The option is obviously necessary for some people.

          • Alex Ohannes

            Great point. While I still have my Droid 2, and while I still occasionally use it, my primary phone is a Moto G, and I welcome the newly-introduced MicroSD support.

      • Alex Ohannes

        There is now.

    • Tony Tsui

      I like CoPilot. It has nice maps, good guidance, and a lot of POI’s. However, with the free version, there is no 3D-mode and you have to keep pressing the “Recalculate” button to update the screen.

      • Zabih Cino

        Co pilot Ui is not very good and is not nice if you miss a turn

      • Botulf

        If you have to keep pressing a “Recalculate” button all the time I would say it is a user hostile application and really a danger to traffic. Every time that button have to be pushed you loose focus off the surroundings.

  • Android Developer

    Sadly the best I know of is Waze, but it lacks so many features, still has bugs and still have IOS-like UI, and doesn’t have any offline usage.
    I hoped that now that Google bought them, it will get better, but almost nothing has changed.

    I also use MapFactor, but it has a weird UI, and it cannot search for a specific street number for some reason. It also can’t search for places in other languages other than English (or just doesn’t support Hebrew), even though it has the correct names of the streets.

  • Frank

    What about MapsWIthMe ?

  • 2BitGary

    I’ve tried lots of GPS apps. The one i found the most useful is CoPilot. Its around 10, at least when i bought it, but offline maps are free and you can download just what you need. Ive used it on several trips and its helped us find hotels, restaurants, etc. Its super easy to plan a trip, add waypoints and alter the route as you want. Other GPS aps it was a nightmare to do simple things plus they would route you so far off the most direct route. Word of warning, copilot has license limits on number of installs, so if you change ROMS alot you won’t be able to use without paying again.

  • Tom Z

    You should have also listed Google Maps version 6.14.4, which I know many people are using because it is better for Navigation.

    • rmpbklyn .

      not good for offline usage

  • Xajel

    I’ve been using Sygic for over a year after trying multiple apps, but I settled on Sygic…

  • Grant

    you missed Locus Free/pro, hands down the best mapping app on any mobile platform
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus

  • Sava

    What about Navigon ?

  • kft

    Yandex is the best!

  • John P Coates

    If you’re in the UK, there’s also the excellent M8. It’s free and has a nice user interface. Give it a try!

  • Botulf

    Navigon is s great app. Anything that requires online access is useless as long as the roming costs are as sick as they are now.

  • bobco

    GPS CoPilot

  • Allan Boye Menzel

    My favorite is Navigon…. A bit expensive but definitely worth the money.

  • Having tried both MapQuest and Google Maps for years — and having gotten bad directions and map locations from Google Maps more than a few times — I say MapQuest rules. It’s done a great job of keeping up with people’s needs, as Mr. Hindy himself points out. Also, MapQuest’s turn-by-turn voice directions have saved my bacon more than once.

    Guest123, thanks for the reviews! (I noticed you didn’t even mention Google Maps.)

  • Danny

    I like iGo.

  • Shields

    Co Pilot is great as Darin mentioned…i have tried many free apps and majority of them couldn’t even pick up my GPS location…so i thought i’d give “CoPilot” a go…it works like a dream. Perfect.

  • Guest
  • droid123maverick

    free android apps and games http://sh.st/eWlQL

  • David

    I´m a total Sygic fan! I´ve tried about 5 different apps, but Sygic is the best Android GPS navigation for me so far! http://www.sygic.com/en/best-android-gps-navigation I have it on my samsung and it works really well ;)

  • bike805

    Google Maps sucks so bad we’re all switching back to Garmin for Nav. Waze is a kick ass monitoring app if you live in an area where many people participate, let’s hope Google doesn’t Screwgle it up. Just visited LV from SoCal and I can tell you 5 people with smart phones couldn’t beat one Garmin.

  • Botulf

    Navigon has worked great for me, except in Germany where I do not know what speed I am expected to hold on autobahn to match the ETA. Adding about 40% now after the first four-five lessons of optimistic timetables and very helpful and understanding hotel managers. Next year I need to get a F1 since 130-200km/h is not enough.

  • Alex Ohannes

    Regarding MapFactor:
    “It’s also worth mentioning that map data and the app itself is totally free.”

    This is so misleading that it implies that Android Authority did a lousy job of testing these apps. There are the usual -good-but-not-great maps available for free, then there are the better, paid maps. The way you worded the description of the app made it seem like it was some magical FOSS app that offers premium/paid functionality for free.

    I may have just misinterpreted the description, but I think it’s worth doing an edit to prevent further misinterpretations.

  • stylish_zug
  • Daniël

    I like App2Find also, which is a social GPS app. You can track other friends and family members with it. The coolest thing about it is the Augmented REality camera feature. But you should check it out yourself. you can find a download link on the following page:

    http://www.app2find.com/app2find-app/

  • Ramoloi Lehlohonolo Justice Mo

    How in the world is Here maps by Nokia not not on this list

    • Susanmarie8

      Looks like they added it. Here is here (on this list) now. Tell me why you recommend it.

      • Ramoloi Lehlohonolo Justice Mo

        It seems to be the only app to have a plethora of Maps to download, offering traffic information and offline Turn by turn voice guided navigation (With multiple languages available , both Male and Female) in a Free package (No In-app Purchases at all), Making it, in my view the best all round option.

  • Albin

    Google is the best so long as there’s a network connection, offline maps are too small and become a nuisance. I use OSMAnd for the offline capabilities and because I’m used to it – learning curves are an issue for any of these. Starting fresh today I would certainly try Here for offline function, and what looks like a better interface.

  • TomTom Go

  • Japzone

    As far as free navigation goes. Here by Nokia wins for me. Offline Maps, full 3D Navigation with Voice prompts, and free Traffic(data connection obviously required).

  • Goran Manot

    Navigon by Garmin

  • sithishs

    Waze should be higher up on the list and more noteworthy. This article treats it as a passing footnote. Crowdsourced data is what makes Waze so useful. Users reporting heavy traffic, speed traps, road debris, etc…it’s incredibly useful and has helped me out numerous times.

  • Eric Neria

    VZ Navigator by Verizon is fantastic! The only caveat is you have to be a Verizon subscriber and be willing pay $4.99 a month…

  • jyothi

    I like CoPilot. It has nice maps, good guidance, and a lot of POI’s. However, with the free version, there is no 3D-mode and you have to keep pressing the “Recalculate” button to update the screen.

  • Bruce Buckner

    Hey there. Anyone heard of http://pozzr.com? Is it for iOS too?

  • Daniël

    You guys didn’t mention App2Find (www.app2find.com) it’s also a great GPS app. It’s basically a friend locator.

  • lovas94

    Hi all! Has anyone tried Pozzr (pozzr.com)? Looks like a great tool.

  • Necessitas

    I like OsmAnd which comes in free and ‘plus’ versions. It has offline maps and uses OpenStreetMap data.
    It is a bit complicated to learn, but once you get it, it is a very functional piece of software.
    One of the nice things is that it allows you to determine what categories you’d like to store your favorite places in.
    You can add waypoints to a trip, record tracks. Offline address lookup is very limited, but if you can work around that, it’s a contender.

  • M Gillespie

    Thank you. Just the information I needed.

  • Proapk 4u

    Nova Launcher Prime Apk is also a excellent application for Android Mobiles, you can download the Pro app from this link http://www.proapk4u.com/nova-launcher-prime-apk-latest-4-1-0-download/

  • I Like NLife Explorer, it has tomtom maps, great routing and works offline.

  • Verry Zaenuddin MS
  • Verry Zaenuddin MS

    Thank you. Just the information I needed.

    http://mafiatekno.com/

  • mali
  • Rizky

    Regarding MapFactor:
    “It’s also worth mentioning that map data and the app itself is totally free.”

    This is so misleading that it implies that Android Authority did a lousy job of testing these apps. There are the usual good-but-not-great maps available for free, then there are the better, paid maps. The way you worded the description of the app made it seem like it was some magical FOSS app that offers premium/paid functionality for free.

    I may have just misinterpreted the description, but I think it’s worth doing an edit to prevent further misinterpretations. here http://androidtipstrick.com

  • Susanmarie8

    Google Maps has become unreliable and unstable. Has been for months. Seems a bit irresponsible not to mention this in your article. If you need to find your way to a new destination, one really must have a reliable navigation app and Google Maps is no longer reliable.

  • Mike

    I like very much feature from Sygic – Head-up display, look on details on http://www.sygic.com/gps-navigation/addon/head-up-display

  • Murray Snudge

    The HERE maps and HERE Drive came with my Windows phone and worked very well except for the fact that you can’t add waypoints to force the route. I bought Sygic which worked well except that it was a battery hog and with a 1.2 A car charger the battery was down to zero within half-hour drive. Sygic support recommended a 1.5A charger but I didn’t risk spending more money.. Sygic is a great app with a lot of detail but was useless for me so I bought CoPilot which works very well and with the 1.2A car charger the battery stays at 100%
    I’ve just got a Moto G Android phone and still deciding which app to get but will probably try CoPilot again.

  • Windygirl

    CoPilot GPS is crazy. It autocorrects an address I’m trying to find to a completely different street and I CAN’T GET IT OUT OF THE PHONE. WTF?

    • Daggett Beaver

      I forget which GPS app I was using, but that happened to me in San Francisco once. It confirmed exactly what I entered, but then it autocorrected just as it began giving me directions to an entirely different location. I wish I could remember which app it was so I could give it -10 stars.

      • Windygirl

        Thank you! I was afraid it was just me lol!

  • Mike Bramley

    HERE is brilliant for a freebie.
    Great simple GUI.

  • Rz

    Here is a must for restricted data plans.
    Waze is perfect for daily driving jams evasion.

  • evo34

    Why not actually test the quality of routes, which is the only thing people using a GPS app actually care about? Waze and Google Maps are both terrible at route selection. I assume there are better ones out there (for the US), but this article does not let me know anything.

  • Jake

    I’ve been using Sygic ever since I got my first android device. It’s probably one of the best and easiest GPS Navigation apps out there.

  • Koby Lee

    Sygic and Google map are working well on my smart mirror (SmarTure brand).I like offline Sygic and online google map~

  • Goos

    iGO Primo is another great offline navigation app.

  • Not1Not2Not3

    Waze is my favorite by far. Google maps suck!

    • Botulf

      You know that Google bought Waze?

  • Zabih Cino

    You have listed waze and Google Maps in almost bottom of your list and useless apps such as MapFactor and other craps on top. There is not any navigation app that can beat waze for shortcuts Google maps for user interface and live traffic and here maps for offline navigation. Get your facts right by using them properly.

    • Botulf

      I can not see any statement that the order of the list is by priority. It is only a list of some available options.

      When in a roaming zone online maps hurt. And if you want to use the offline map capability of Google maps you have to plan your entire road trip ahead and cant be spontaneous.

      There is no wrong facts in the post. Except perhaps missing alternatives for the red-neck booze routes.

  • Christopher Klemetson

    I just downloaded earthmate a few days ago for hiking. I paid $29 for it and the annual service. Anybody else use it?