GPS apps for Android

Quote in 2 Mins
Retrieve a quote »

Printed road maps are gradually being replaced by innovative Global Positioning System (GPS) devices as the means of directing us to our destination. More recently, technological advancements have seen GPS navigation software being written for one of our most popular consumer technologiesi: the smartphone. Today, downloadable GPS-based apps are fast becoming a popular alternative to GPS standalone hardware.

GPS apps - what's so great?

Phone users with an Android operating system will already have 'Maps' (Google maps) pre-installed, yet GPS apps are still sought after by Android users. But why pay for a GPS app when Google map comes free?

One reason is that downloadable GPS navigations apps can work independently of the Internet. These apps can direct you to your destination with the use of preinstalled maps on your phone. In contrast, Google Maps relies upon the Internet data connection to download a map to show your real-time location or to give directions to your destination. Here's information on some on the GPS navigation apps available in Australia for Android phones.

CoPilot Live Australia + NZ

CoPilot is an advanced GPS navigation app. Upon installation of this app, you will have access to maps of Australia and NZ that are stored on your phone. Routes can be viewed in 2D or 3D, and multiple stops along a journey can be selected. Users are given up to three alternative routes to a destination, and the suggested route can be overridden by selecting the "drag routing" option. This app provides turn-by-turn directions and has text-to-speech technology, but if that's too distracting, you can opt to just have the directions appear on the screen. Brightness adjustment for your screen is automatic to make day- or night-time driving comfortable. CoPilot offers signpost information, lane assist arrows and a visualisation of the road in 3D with ClearTurn technology. Additional features include live weather forecasts, a fuel cost calculator, and the option to share your locations on Facebook and Twitter (using your Internet connection). This app for Android phones costs $57.99 from the Android Market.

Select GPS routes according to your transport mode with CoPilot.

Metroview GPS Navigation

Metroview comes from a local developer and has "Australian accented" male and female spoken voice control for turn instructions and street names. Regularly updated maps are stored on the phone. Metroview gives lane guidance and includes a SpeedAlert feature that provides location-based speed limits and alerts for school zones. This app is available from the Android Market for $18.

Metroview has Australian-accented voice controls.

Sygic GPS Navigation

Sygic GPS Navigation has downloadable maps for Australia that can be updated for free and accessed offline. This app has spoken turn-by-turn navigation, Dynamic Lane Guidance technology, speed camera and speed limit warnings. The app lists possible destinations even if just the street name or postcode is entered, and you can even find the route by coordinates. You can alter a route to include multiple stops, look at POIs along the way and record the statistics of the drive in the app's travelbook. This app continues to provide navigation instructions even when the app is in the background. Like the CoPilot app, location and routes can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. The Australia map is an in-app purchase.

Sygic offers lane guidance, speed camera and speed limit warnings along your route.

Gone are the days of flicking back and forth through a printed atlas at the side of the road. Advancements in GPS navigation have allowed drivers to be more focused on the road: the extra features that come with smartphones can take the stress out of driving to a new destination.

i Smith, A. 2011, Hail the do-it-all device: buyers get wise to smartphones,