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Best offline GPS and navigation apps for Android

There's no shortage of Android GPS and navigation apps available on the Play Store, but not all maps are created equally, and so we've put together a shortlist of only the best navigation and mapping apps for you to check out. Many will work offline as well as online, so you don't need to worry about having a data connection all the time either, provided you plan ahead a little.

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Google Maps

Google Maps offers such a solid array of features that many people won't need to look any further than the Android default. Along with turn-by-turn directions, multiple view options, detailed route information, live traffic updates and everything else you'd expect from a self-respecting navigation app, Google Maps really does offer nearly everything.

However, if you want to use it offline, you'll need to download the area maps that you want to use in advance. If you do that, you obviously don't get those traffic updates anymore though, as they require a connection. Google Maps also has the ability to download multiple areas to your phone and to use Google Maps in 'Wi-Fi only' mode when you have a spotty network connection.

It also now allows you to store maps on your external SD card, freeing up some space on your phone. If you're not driving, it offers up walking, cycling, and public transport options for getting you to your destination, as well as quotes from multiple car services.

Data-starved explorers now have even more options to use Google Maps offline with the release of Google Maps Go, a lighter version of the original app that will allow you conserve resources on your device. Even if it is not normally offered for your device, you can still get Google Maps Go, here's how.

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Google Maps lets you download multiple areas for offline use. / © AndroidPIT

Sygic GPS Navigation & Maps

Sygic is one of the most popular offline navigation apps on Android, and with good reason. The TomTom-powered app offers high-definition maps for most countries in the world, and it's regularly updated to keep it up-to-date with the newest version of Android.

It's free to download and there's a seven day trial, but if you want to keep using it after that you'll need to either pay for premium features and traffic updates, or just pay for the features. If you don't, the free features are considerably more basic.

Among the key features are offline map navigation, voice-activated GPS with route guidance, 3D mapping and imagery, dynamic lane assistance and the option to project your GPS navigation onto the windshield of your car. 

Throw in some robust routing options, SOS mode, parking info and more than a million POIs to navigate to and Sygic is a strong contender for best offline GPS. It's also now been integrated with Glympse, if you want to share your route or ETA with friends. 

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There are free features, but you'll want the Premium ones.  / © AndroidPIT

CoPilot GPS

CoPilot's GPS app is just for drivers, but if that's what you need, then it's almost certainly got the features you're looking for - but they don't come free. Well, they do, but only for seven days, after that, you'll need to pay for a Premium subscription to keep access to all the features.

If you don't want to, you can still use offline mapping and turn-by-turn navigation for free, but you only get the 2D version of the maps, and you'll be missing a few other features too. Premium users get 3D mapping. In the full version of the app, there sheer variety of customizable route and alert options is impressive, if potentially a little overwhelming for some. There is actually an option for using walking routes, but it's not the primary purpose of the app, and as such, not really where it's best.

The breadth of full street level maps for offline download will be what appeals to many people, though you'll need to purchase additional countries individually, or in a pack like 'whole of Europe', for example. If you purchase a map, you also get 12-months free access to CoPilot's live 'ActiveTraffic' service.

If you need to purchase multiple maps for driving in different countries around the world, CoPilot could get expensive, but for most regular users it's not going to break the bank too much in comparison to a standalone sat-nav unit. It's considerably more expensive than free alternatives, though.

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CoPilot has an impressive set of options, but it's not the easiest to use. / © AndroidPIT

TomTom GO

At this point, TomTom is a venerable player in the navigation industry, and while the company might not be spending as much time focused on its standalone GPS units nowadays, that doesn't mean it isn't honing the rest of its business. What this means to you is an up-to-date mapping service with pedigree in getting people from A to B and a multitude of routing options. As with others though, if you want that unfettered list of options, you'll need to hand over some real cash.

To start with, you get 50 miles of use with full features, including live traffic information - if you want to get unlimited mileage for a year, you'll need to pay to upgrade. The price varies around the world, but in the US it's currently shown as $19.99 for one year and $44.99 for a 3 year subscription.

Along with voice guidance, offline routing, live traffic updates and full 3D building imagery. Maps are available for over 100 countries, too.

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TomTom's maps offer full 3D imagery, making it even easier to get to the right address. / © AndroidPIT

MAPS.ME

MAPS.ME is designed with offline functionality in mind. The navigational app boasts comprehensive coverage of areas all over the world, offline search and GPS navigation. Business, services and various points of interests are also market throughout. 

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MAPS.ME comes with a full suite of features, but you will see ads. / © AndroidPIT

The app is updated daily by the OpenStreetMap community. The contributors to the open source project make sure that MAPS.ME stays fresh. Although MAPS.ME is free to download (and has pledged to always remain so), it does contain ads.

What's your favorite offline GPS and sat-nav app? Let us know in the comments below!

This article has been rewritten since first publication. Comments below may not reflect current content.

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  • VSA 2 months ago Link to comment

    My new favorit is MapFactor Navigator. HD traffic, OSM or TomTom maps.


  • Googe offline maps continue to disappoint as compared with the online service, which is clearly the best. The offline maps are far more limited in information, and completely expire every month or so, so that any traveler without fast, reliable internet downloads constantly available risks losing the maps, and is much better off with a permanent OSM (Open Street Maps) client, even if not the current one. I personally adopted OSMAnd some years ago, it's interface radically improved with v.2 so won't bother with the learning curve for anything else - but any good OSM client will beat the pants off Google Maps offline. Google Maps users should install a good OSM client for backup in case they forget or can't find bandwidth to update Google's crummy offline service.


  • I use maps.me. I very satisfied with this free app (offline).


  • Mike 2 months ago Link to comment

    I use paper maps. I never run out of data that way


  • Sorin 4 months ago Link to comment

    I personally use Google Maps (offline) and Waze (online), which I am happy with. I will try other applications, presented here in the article, because I like to test. Excellent article.


  • I found very simple, free app which locates other cell phone depending which source is available! If GPS is off, it's uses WiFi or if it's offline uses cell tower...awsome app, if cell is not on the internet you will receive SMS text with location data...

    It's on Amazon app store and try search offline locations or without gps askLocation is the name off app


  • Sygic is not an offline app. When you get out off Wifi range it will tell you in a popup and will no longer work until you happen to hit free wifi somewhere.


  • TomTom Go is great for instructions and routes but AWFUL for adding destinations - it really is the pits i n that respect and TomTom do seem to take comments on board in my experience... so they cannot get better...


  • I use GPS TOTAL RUN (for Android), the app has everything you need, its free and don't have ads, I love this app


  • Primetime Mar 25, 2017 Link to comment

    Y'all should use Waze, it is by far the coolest GPS app at no cost. One of the coolest features is the hundreds of millions of people that use this app, can actually help you out. You will be alerted of bad traffic, speed zones, road blocks, etc. Check it out!


    • This article is about offline nav apps. Waze doesn't allow you to pre-download areas. In fact, if you're offline its UI starts locking up in various spots.


    • Perhaps y'all should read an article before pretending to offer helpful information. How in the holy balls did you miss the fact that this is about offline apps?


    • Waze in not an offline app. It stops working when you drive out of a free wifi zone.


  • Here is a Top 10 List of Best Offline GPS and Navigation Apps for Android Sorted Based on User Reviews and Ratings.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vRcIr8UC5A


  • I use Yahoo Here. I love it.


  • Google Maps is nice but I prefer not to have my travel data banked or sent to a 3 letter government agency.


    • Hahaha. Conspiracy theorism starts first and foremost with arrogance. No one cares about your travel data, you are nothing.


  • Ana T Jan 5, 2017 Link to comment

    Anyone tried Magic Earth? I've tried Mapsme and Sygic but wasn't that impressed, so I'm searching for something new.

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