It’s common knowledge that navigation apps are a dime-a-dozen when you have a data connection. But what if you need GPS and you’re offline? Is there an app for that?
Offline GPS is an important tool for any maps app. It can be particularly helpful if you’re in a foreign city and have data roaming turned off or if you’re on a road trip and drive into a dead zone.
Let’s get on with it, shall we? Here are the best free offline GPS apps for Android.
Here are the best free offline GPS apps for Android.
This is something you already have on your Android phone, but it’s also an excellent offline GPS solution. The trick is to preload your specific region or local area so that navigation continues when your connection stops.
Google Maps makes it easy to download and save your local info for offline use — simply do it before you leave home. Start by tapping on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner, then Offline Maps. Google will recommend some maps depending on where you live and where you often go. Conversely, you can also tap Select Your Own Map to download another area.
MAPS.ME is one of the best free GPS maps that you can use offline. Its offline navigation feature lets users enjoy a full-featured search function, public transportation, re-routing calculation, and voice navigation. You get to see points of interest as well, including ATMs and restaurants.
If you’re online, you can share your location with friends, make hotel bookings, add bookmarks, and more without ever leaving the app. This makes MAPS.ME a reliable travel buddy.
According to the app’s developers, all maps and its features will be kept free forever and they will never introduce a pricing structure. There is, however, an option to pay to remove ads.
Here’s another popular navigation app that you can use offline. There’s also an option to use it online for the times when your data connection is reliable.
OsmAnd’s GPS features include specialist cycling routes, on-the-fly driving routes in case you take a wrong turn, a day/night screen mode, live estimated times of arrival, lane guidance, and voice guidance.
The offline map can even show accepted payment methods in stores and opening times, but that depends on which part you are in the world. This app is also helpful for skiers as there’s a plugin that you can pay for that shows route maps for popular resorts.
Sygic is perhaps the offline GPS app that gets a lot of downloads from the Play Store. The company has an agreement with TomTom, allowing it to offer offline maps wherever you are in the world.
Other popular features include free map updates, voice-guided GPS navigation, and pedestrian GPS navigation while you’re on foot.
The app will also help you save money. If you have an internet connection, you will be notified instantly about the cheapest local parking lots and gas stations, as well as information about upcoming speed cameras.
Sygic is selling both a free and a premium version. You can try the premium version for seven days when you download the app first.
In-car navigation is the primary goal of CoPilot GPS. People on foot should skip it.
The app is outstanding in route planning. It offers you three different choices for every trip. You may connect up to 52 individual waypoints on each of the three routes.
CoPilot also has thousands of offline sites, such as hotels, pubs, ATMs, and attractions. You can use the search function to find them even though you are in offline mode.
You can experience a seven-day free trial of premium features. It provides 3D charts and an audio mapping assistant. When the trial is over, the app limits you to 2D offline maps and visual turn-by-turn instructions.
Here’s another app that specializes in offline GPS navigation for more than 100 countries.
HERE WeGo’s offline maps include directions, ticket rates for public transit, car-sharing prices, and timetables for trains and buses.
When you reach your route, the app will compare car, bike, pedestrian, taxi, and public transit routes in order to find the quickest and most cost-effective way to make your journey. You’ll also know if your ride is mostly uphill or downhill.
You can get information on public transit to more than 1,300 cities around the world, covering much of North America and Europe.
Like MAPS.ME, HERE WeGo is ad-supported.
MapFactor is another fantastic free Android GPS tool.
When you first open the app, you will be asked to import maps for offline use. That’s because there’s no online map feature here. Instead, the app provides more than 200 different maps to select from, including 56 in Europe and 53 in the Americas.
The maps are arranged by country, but the heavily populated areas of the sub-regions are visible. You can also find speed camera charts in some regions. Each map derives its data from OpenStreetMap.
There are two variations of this GPS application, a free one with advertisements, and also a premium version that excludes advertising and comes with a few extra features. However, for most users, the free edition of Polaris is going to be more than enough.
Unlike most of the apps on this list, Polaris is not meant to replace the likes of Google Maps. It’s a specialized tool for outdoors kind of people, instead. So if you like hiking in remote locations, but don’t like the idea of becoming a missing person statistic, Polaris GPS is a great choice.
There are special features and maps for hiking, hunting, sailing, and fishing. Polaris also provides a compass tool and a lot of sensor data to help you live away from civilization. If it sounds like you, grab the app today.
Turn-by-turn navigation is a paid choice for Genius Maps, but the free version of the app lets you import maps on your smartphone and use them for route planning.
The maps themselves have been lauded for their comprehensive and creative route estimation, but if you do not wish to pay for the service’s pro-navigation component, you will still need to use another application if you want live traffic alerts and turn-by-turn directions.
So, what is your offline GPS app of choice?