Before the advent of auto GPS systems and map apps for smartphones, I got lost very, very often. It's not that I don't know how to read a map, it's just that it's really tricky to find where you are when there are no street signs, or when the map you have is in English, but the signage is not. Because I value these map apps so highly, I've ditched automotive built-in navigation system for my tablet to navigate wherever I go...There are benefits to opting for tablet map app navigation; the screens are usually larger, and I've often found that when comparing the map data with the car navigation systems, the tablet maps apps were more up to date!
iPadMotionX GPS Drive HD: When it comes to GPS navigation apps on the iPad, this is one of the most popular and well reviewed by far. It's well loved due to its easy to read directions and clean interface with large buttons that make it a snap to control while at a stoplight (because we know you'd never fiddle with your tablet while driving). One note: while the app itself is only $2.99, to get voice navigation requires a subscription. $2.99TeleNav GPS Plus: Want an inexpensive app that offers turn by turn directions with a voice option? While the maps might not be the most up to date, chances are they are still a bit better than ones that are several years old that come with a rental car. Note that this app only works on iPads that have GPS. Free, $.99NAVIGON North America: Kind of the big kid on the block, Navigon apps are all about transforming your tablet into a fully functional mobile navigation system. While the app does work across iOS devices, for the true navigation you are going to need a device with GPS (just as with any GPS app). Of course several destinations are available from Navigon, and North America is only one example. $59.99AndroidMaps/ Navigation: It would be foolish not to include the default map and navigation app from Google, Maps/Navigation, since it's pretty amazing in Jelly Bean. We love how easy it is to download offline maps and are impressed by how well it manages to find where you are on the map despite not having any cellular signal. Colour us impressed, Google, well done, that. FreeMapQuest: Remember back in the day when you would need directions and would go online to MapQuest? Well, now you can have all your MapQuest fun with this app, which features turn-by-turn navigation and spoken directions. FreeLocus Pro: While not nearly as intuitive as Google Maps, Locus does a lot. The power of this app is really in using the various add-ons like Augmented Reality. Of course the app also does turn-by-turn navigation, although like with any app that wants GPS, you need GPS in your device to really get the full impact. Free, $7.84
Joelle loves technology and making things and is in an almost perpetual state of problem solving. She's quite fond of airplanes and coffee and is pretty sure she will eventually read all of the books in her library.
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