GPS navigation apps are among the most popular apps for the iPhone. They are economical, and they provide terrific mapping, search, and turn-by-turn navigation features. Navigation apps for the iPhone fall into two categories: on-board maps, and maps-on-the-fly. The former stores an entire map and points-of-interest database on the iPhone (1GB or more). The latter downloads maps as you drive. We prefer maps-on-the-fly because it takes up less memory on the iPhone and is easier to update.
Google Maps‘ feature list includes address and business/points-of-interest search using Google’s powerful Local Search utility; ratings and local reviews; sync searches and favorites (with Google login). Choose between several map views: traffic, public transit, biking, satellite, terrain, or Google Earth.
- Distance units
- Voice search
Various languages are also available, and you can adjust the voice guidance volume separately: softer, normal, or louder. You can also play voice prompts over Bluetooth if you want to use your car’s speaker.
Traffic is powered by Waze, which Google owns, and will calculate a way around traffic, if possible. In Google Maps, you can see icons for construction, incidents (like car crashes and potholes), and police presence. Color-coding is used to indicate the amount of traffic.
Last but not least, you get Google’s years of hard-won experience and all of the research and fine-tuning it has done on a global basis to present the most accurate map and points-of-interest data possible.