iPhone 5: Five free map apps you need right now
If you caught our review of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 in the last week, you’ll know we’re absolutely smitten with the phone, but more than a bit disappointed by Apple’s new maps app, which no longer relies on Google’s map data. Yes, it looks beautiful and Siri’s turn by turn navigation skills are handy, but it’s glaringly, factually wrong, especially in the UK where Apple isn’t using TomTom’s data, but a patchwork of other providers.
Updated to iOS 6 or bought a new iPhone and after a replacement app while we wait for Google Maps? Not to worry: we’ve got you covered, and you won’t even have to spend a penny.
Apple’s iOS 6 Maps can get you from A to B with voice directions, but there’s no guarantee that what you’re hoping will be at B will exist when you arrive. Download ALK’s free CoPilot GPS app for easy directions: you get one free country download, so you don’t even need a signal to navigate. Ideal if you’re trying to find your way to the nearest station, though if you want voice turn by turn like a satnav, you’ll have to pay £24.99 for CoPilot Live.
Waze is a crowd sourced satnav, with voice directions guiding you where you need to go. It’s also a dirving companion: the idea is to use it on even routes you know, so you can find out and let others know when traffic is building up or a road closure has happened. Since it’s people powered, you’re not always guaranteed accurate information – but hey, the same is true with iOS 6 Maps so give it a whirl.
Sadly, iOS 6 Maps also bins the public transit times, so you won’t be able to find out which buses and trains to get, and when. Which is rubbish. It’s a good thing then that National Rail’s rather excellent new app is free (We know, we know, it was ridiculous the old one cost a fiver), with live times, local search and even handy graphs showing exactly where your train is on the line.
It’s not nearly as smooth as Google-powered Maps used to be on iOS 6, but if you want a cast iron guarantee of accuracy, it’s still the gold standard. Just open up Safari, head to maps.google.com, add it as a bookmark to your homescreen, and bam. It’s almost like the Google Maps of old on iPhone. Almost.
Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive are the reason to buy a Windows Phone: they’re the only ones that can match Google for quality. But even the mobile web version is impressive: on iPhone (and Android) it can even provide voice directions for you. It’s pretty remarkable, and just a step away from being a free satnav website. Yeah – satnav website.
Any other apps you’re using to replace iOS 6 Maps? Let’s hear what they are in the comments below.