Today we will discuss about offline GPS apps, for iPhone terminals and why not for iPad as well. It is a known fact that many of the available travel or navigation apps for smartphones generally require a 3G or 4G data connection service to receive info on maps, but also to load extra information related to locations, points of interest etc.
However, when we travel we can encounter areas where we do not have phone signal, or find ourselves in other countries where we do not have access to the roaming service. In these situations it is best to be prepared with a GPS app for iPhone that can work offline.
We have tested a couple of navigation software for iOS terminals, and we will present below some apps, which I consider to be very good as far as routing and additional options are concerned:
1. Navigon for iPhone
Being a veteran of the mobile phone app market, it is available for most devices that run on Android, iOS and Win CE; the Navigon app from Appstore is extremely popular.
It is easy to use as we can search in the main menu for either an address, point of interest or a favorite destination. The routing is excellent, for each route there are up to 4 alternative ones created so we can always choose the one that best fits our needs. We also have Lane Assist which helps us timely select the driving lane, and Reality View – on the iPhone screen, there are highway notice boards displayed, in advance so we are more confident that we will not miss an exit or need a change of direction.
Maps are downloaded via Wi-Fi, and they are made available individually so that we will not overload the available space on the iPhone with information that is not necessary.
The map supplier – namely Navteq- updates its database up to 4 times a year so that Navigon for iPhone will choose the correct route and will be up to date every time.
Moreover, we also get the TMC service which works very well, and provides timely information about potential traffic problems and suggests route changes. A detailed presentation of this app has been made here in a complete article.
2. Sygic for iPhone is an equally popular app.
It uses the TeleAtlas database which is updated each quarter of the year.
The Sygic navigation software for iPhone astonishes with great graphics and an efficient menu.
Unfortunately, some useful information are lacking from the main navigation screen such as the name of the street we are currently on. Routes are quickly calculated although it does not generate as many alternative ways as Navigon.
We like that you can enter coordinates in order to set a destination, which is very useful for carriers, and also perform an intelligent search, all in one box. The SOS Help function is extremely important and displays the closest hospitals, drugstores or oil station, in order to be able to handle emergencies, while Battery Management is a feature which enhances the autonomy of the battery, and can be set between optimum, maximum or reduced consumption. This feature is especially useful when we use Sygic for iPhone in pedestrian mode and do not have the immediate possibility to recharge the battery.
A complete Sygic for iPhone app presentation can be found here.
3. Google Maps 2.0 version for iPhone
This application is already ultra-discussed and reviewed. It continues to be one of the most used iPhone and Android smartphones apps, and since Google acquired Waze, Google Maps has taken the best features of the app and assimilated them.
Also the search has been made more effective and the routes created in vehicle mode are accurate keep faithful to traffic information. There is still work to be done on the voice guidance aspect and if possible the introduction of alternative routes and additional options on route creation, for instance being able to add some restrictions.
Creating a complex route is not as easily done on the Google Maps 2.0 version, but this app is constantly changing and evolving so we can expect major improvements.
Why talk about Google Maps here? Because the new version allows you to use maps offline, maps which can be stored on the iPhone, and removed when no longer needed. A tutorial for the offline use of Google Maps for iPhone can be found here.
4. iGO Primo for iPhone is the last app of our mini top.
It may not be such a well-known app in America, but it is very popular in Central and Eastern Europe.
It uses maps and traffic data from multiple providers among which Navteq and TeleAtlas.
The menu skillfully done, it is simple and effective at the same time. You can easily search for an address or point of interest and also has an integrated Google search engine for searching online . Complex routes with multiple waypoints are easily generated and the route is automatically and quickly adjusted.
There are up to 4 alternative routes available: easy, fast, economic or short. We can easily adjust the route by choosing directly from a 2D map view mode, the locations that we want to include in our journey.
iGO Primo for iPhone has quality graphics: well-chosen colors and landforms which are rendered correctly in 3D mode as well as in 2D mode.Traffic warnings are displayed in advance on the iPhone screen: dangerous curves, slippery roads and other warnings are already included in the maps used by iGO Primo and their display on the screen and the audio alerts make your trip safer.
The app can be purchased from the AppStore together with the map package or the desired region, yet you cannot purchase individual maps for any country.
Here we end our mini top of offline GPS apps for iPhone. We are sure that there are plenty of navigation apps out there, which work in offline mode, and perform the same or even better or you, may already have a favorite one.
But if you are still not decided or you are planning to go on a business trip or on vacation, be sure to choose one of the above apps and you won’t regret it, as you will get all the relaxation you need without having to waste time in parking lots studying the map or waiting for directions from the locals.