No matter whether you are a leisure traveller or a daily commuter, just one wrong turn can make your day go awry, especially if you are on a really tight schedule. Carrying a GPS device for navigation is not always possible and in fact quite old-fashioned too when you have a latest Android device in your hands. Most of the smartphones come with GPS reciever inbuilt nowadays, so using one for navigation is a natural extension of one's functionality anyway. Though there are detractors too, who still view smartphone navigation apps with suspicion, still trusting their good old GPS device over smartphones. Searching Android market for navigational apps throws dozens of options at you. So, we tried to analyse some of the best navigation apps available for Android devices out there.
Google Maps Navigation (Free)
Google Maps is among the top free navigation apps available for Android today. Backed by terabytes of data Google maps have been generating for quite a few years now, Google navigation app is naturally become incredibly accurate. 3D navigation, the new buzzword among navigation apps which enables you to navigate though the maze of roads by generating a 3D map of the route was first implemented by Google Maps only. The application comes preinstalled on most of the Android devices as part of Google App suite. Top features include live traffic data, location bookmarks, satellite view, search along route and Google's killer Street View.
Navfree is another free navigation app available on Android Market offering turn-by-turn directions, spoken and on-screen instructions, offline map use and address search and live search via Google and Microsoft Bing, among many other features.
Maps can be downloaded for free from Navfree storea and the data is stored in your device itself, making the app useful in areas with limited data connectivity. The app has a huge fanbase already with more than 4,00,000 downloads. Other features of Navfee include live map display, user friendly interface, fast routing engine and destination and PoI search.
Waze is a unique navigation app which gels social networking with navigation, making it a fun filled experience. The app lets you post the roadside events giving other Waze users heads up about waht to expect on the route real-time, saving you precious time and burns less fuel, with latter more important nowadays given rising fuel cost and rising global warming!
Waze is as interactive as you want it to be - by simply driving with the app open on your phone, you passively contribute traffic and other road data. For example, the app can calculate the vehicle speed and automatically detects traffic jams if the vehicle is moving very slowly for prolonged periods. You can also post your comment on Facebook and Twitter directly from the app interface.
Sygic: GPS navigation (paid)
Sygic is a premium navigation app available on Android Market to download for free (With 7 day trial). The app is around 6 MB download and after installing it, users must download the maps, which are stored on SD card for offline usage. The app comes with strong navigation features like 3D view, real-time traffic updates, dynamic lane guidance, speed limit display and audio warningand lets you save routes frequently used by you.
NDrive is another paid navigation app for Android. The USP of NDrive is its lightning fast route calculation times and clean UI, which for slower phones. The app is powered by latest maps from NAVTEQ and NDrive, professionally enhanced routing algorithms makes route calculation and navigation a breeze. Other features include real time traffic, Facebook sharing and Foursquare check-in, streaming weather, and more.