The best navigation apps for Android and iOS

No matter your destination, these seven navigation apps will show you the way

google maps

Getting around can sometimes be a real pain in the rear. Unexpected delays, traffic, and road closures are a daily hassle, and if you’re going out into the world unprepared then you’re inviting frustration into your life.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are apps that will do the hard work for you, whether that’s scanning the road ahead and informing you of road changes, or letting you know ahead of time that there’s heavy traffic and you should leave early. We’ve brought together some of the best navigation apps for both Android and iOS, so while you’re keeping an eye on the road, your phone can be handling everything else. While you’re at it, check out our list of the best car chargers too.

Google Maps (free)

best navigation apps googlemaps

This couldn’t be a list of the top navigation apps if we didn’t include Google Maps. Google has photographed and mapped most of the globe and is constantly updating its databases to add new roads, bypasses, and even update the images on Google Street View. It includes a navigation mode that’s simple to set up and allows for multiple stops and pit stops along the way, it shows live traffic as you travel and helps you to avoid those troublesome hot spots, and it even has an offline mode so you can save the maps you need for later, without using your precious data. It’s not just about navigation either — once you reach your location it can also recommend places to eat, drink, or stay, based on your needs. Available on iOS and included by default on most Android phones, it’s hard to beat Google Maps. As you’d expect, it also works with Android Auto.

Android iOS

Apple Maps (free)

best navigation apps applemaps

Apple Maps is your default option when you use an iOS device, but like Google Maps, that doesn’t mean it’s a subpar experience. Apple Maps offers all the basic navigation features you’d expect but expands its remit by offering travel suggestions based on your previous activity or based on events in your calendar. It displays all the nearest bars or restaurants, based on your searches or the simple “nearby” command. When you’re actually on-the-move, it makes sure you know which lane you’re supposed to be in, and it suggests your stop if you’re on public transport. You can even book appointments from the app on services like OpenTable, Lyft, or Uber. Apple Maps is another great all-in-one choice, but it’s only on iOS.

iOS

Citymapper (free)

best navigation apps citymapper

It’s not really a full-fledged navigation app, but if you’re looking to travel around a city, then there’s no better option than Citymapper. Available in a fair selection of cities around the world, Citymapper gives you in-depth information on getting around, including bus and train timetables, walking directions, and real-time data to make sure that you’re always aware of disruptions or traffic that could delay you. If you’re a regular commuter, alongside the up-to-date travel info, you also get updates on projected traffic during your usual commute times, as well as any alternative routes that might get you there quicker. It’s not much good when you’re out in the sticks, but there’s no better app for both the city-slicker and city-visitor.

Android iOS

Waze (free)

Waze isn’t just a navigation app — it’s a collection of drivers working together to ensure that as few people as possible get caught out by traffic and incorrect map data. Waze is constantly updated by the millions and millions of users using it to get from one place to another, funneling data about travel times, traffic, and even fuel prices back to Waze, to help other users. You can add friends to your app and see them on your map, so you know exactly when they’re going to reach you, and the community is constantly making sure that the maps used for navigation are up-to-date. It also works with Android Auto in your car and is definitely worth a try if you commute every day. Even though both are owned by Google, it can be tricky to choose between Waze and Google Maps, so we recommend trying out both to find the right one for you.

Android iOS

MapQuest (free)

best navigation apps mapquest

Yep, MapQuest is still around, and it’s actually in the top 10 navigation apps, according to Apple. Like Waze, MapQuest tries to compete with Apple Maps and Google Maps to provide the best turn-by-turn GPS navigation. It adds layers such as food, gas, hotels, and shopping to give you an idea of what is nearby. When you click a location — like a restaurant — you can access more details including Yelp reviews and quick access to its website. When getting directions, MapQuest will show you the driving route and walking route and also features updated live cameras so you can view conditions before you hit the road. Similar to Waze, it is a great alternative navigation app when you want to try something new.

Android iOS

Komoot (free)

best navigation apps komoot

Komoot isn’t a navigation app for drivers — it’s made specifically for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure. Whether you’re road cycling, hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking, Komoot helps you plan out and navigate the great outdoors. You can create your own outdoor experience with the planning tool and when you are ready to go, the turn-by-turn navigation and offline maps keep your adventure on track. Komoot generates sport-specific, topographic routing, giving you the freedom to choose how you want to navigate. Plus, once you’re finished, you can save your journey and share your experiences with your friends.

Android iOS

DriveMode (free)

drivemode best navigation apps

Now here’s a true all-in-one option. DriveMode isn’t really a navigation app, it’s more a handy interface laid over the top of your phone while you’re driving. But what an interface! DriveMode thinks of itself as a safety app, and uses large screen buttons and voice commands to ensure that you’re able to access the information you need, when you need it. You can reply to text messages with your voice, as well as skip songs on your music player, or quickly find new directions. It’s compatible with a lot of the best music and maps apps around, including Spotify, Google Maps, and more — and it even syncs up with Google Assistant. If your car isn’t smart, then DriveMode can make it seem like it is. Unfortunately for iPhone users, it’s Android-only for now.

Android

Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Deals

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Mobile

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.
Mobile

The Huawei P30 will zoom into view on March 26 in Paris

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26, 2019. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.
Mobile

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.