Tech Away Metroplus

Navigating the road less taken

Navigation apps will guide you where you want to go.

Navigation apps will guide you where you want to go.  

Don’t you sometimes wish that you could just get in your car and drive off into the sunset? Without a care, hesitation or plan? Go ahead, do whatever your little heart desires. And once it’s time to get back to reality, all you have to do is use one of these navigation apps to guide you where you want to go.

MapFactor GPS Navigation

One of the best navigation apps in the market today, MapFactor GPS Navigation uses data from OpenStreetMaps (a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world) to help guide you. The app lets you plan your route door-to-door, advises you on what routes to avoid, lets you save favourite locations and search for the nearest points of interest, and provides cross-border routing without you having to manually switch between countries or to a less-detailed map. Its GPS satellite navigation is available in 2D and 3D modes and it includes voice navigation in various languages. I’m not sure exactly how well it would work in India, but one of the app’s special features seems to be audible warnings when you approach speed cameras.

Navfree

Navfree is another app that makes extensive use of data from OpenStreetMaps. Of course, that includes the drawback of having minor discrepancies, but the app’s feedback feature lets you help correct them. The app requires no data connection and you can even switch to walking mode when not driving. Another good feature is that it incorporates an integrated Google street view.

Waze

Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app that basically combines social media with navigation. While it provides the locations of places that you would normally frequent (like grocery stores, petrol pumps, resto-bars, pharmacies, malls, and such like), it also gives you realtime information on traffic jams, parking locations, road blocks, etc. You can also report accidents, police patrols, speed cams, and other hazards. You can figure out your friends’ locations at any point in time, even their ETA, so they can’t fool you with the usual “I’m right around the corner, be there in five!”

Sygic: GPS Navigation

Sygic is a very popular offline GPS navigation app. It combines the best features of all the above three apps -- 3D maps, lane guidance, lane indicator arrows at complex intersections, warnings for fixed speedcams, police trap warnings from other drivers, voice navigation in different languages, cross-border routing, and more. Upgrading to premium provides traffic services and even lets you get navigation instructions from celebrity voices. Do you want to let Homer Simpson guide you? Me too!

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 12:50:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/tech-away-navigating-the-road-less-taken/article6427205.ece

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