Google Maps is a popular default navigation and mapping app amongst Android and web users. Millions of people have used it to find locations, check distances, and other necessary landmarks they need with much success.
With Google Maps, you can find direction easily and avoid getting lost. It also provides live updates on traffic, translates the information into foreign languages, and allows you to switch to incognito mode.
Why Would You Consider a Google Maps Alternative?
Although Google Maps is the default application on Android, it may not be the best location-based application for you.
We know what you’re thinking now.
How can Google Maps not be the best navigation app when it has served you perfectly for all these years?
We’ll tell you why.
Google Maps’ offline functions are minimal compared to other alternative apps. While offline, you can only use it to access driving routes.
Optional apps have more features to offer when offline, including driving statistics and map category selection, traffic information and updates, etc.
Most of them access maps and supplement them with details such as hiking maps or real-time navigation.
While Google Maps is top-rated for its Mapping and GPS Navigation capabilities, it can cause compatibility issues with some devices or operating systems.
Some of the information provided by Google Maps may not be complete or accurate. You’ll find occasional flaws and ambiguities in location data, such as the wrong route.
It also doesn’t have instant information on unusual occurrences or road conditions. It cannot tell you if the road ahead has been damaged by weather, is under construction, or is not passable due to a street fair.
If you are looking for a remote location on Google Maps, you may not find it.
Google Maps’ convenience allows criminals to take advantage of the information it provides. The Street View and satellite images help them locate affluent homes or neighborhoods they can break into. They can also identify expensive cars to steal.
Accessibility to Google Maps can be pretty challenging. The application relies on downloading large images, which may take longer to load, especially when you have a poor connection. Browsers can fail to load it properly too.
The pricing factor also plays a significant part in your decision to get an alternative solution to Google Maps.
These constraints can influence you to seek an alternative mapping and navigation app to use.
That’s precisely why we want to help you choose an excellent app that will give you similar or even better services than Google Maps.
Let’s look deeper into the best alternatives for Google Maps below.
Best Google Maps Alternatives
The MAPS.ME mapping service is a mobile-based application that you can use to navigate locations offline.
The app doesn’t use up much of your phone storage. The best part of this app is that you can download maps and use them offline.
MAPS.ME is a beautiful offline app for travel. It offers walking directions, road and off-road routes, hiking trails, bicycle tracks, footpaths, and the route names for all the maps downloaded.
Unlike Google Maps, MAPS.ME allows you to discover nearby attractions and businesses. The main differentiator for MAPS.ME is that it gives you access to curated travel guides for numerous destinations across the globe.
A few guides are free, but the rest requires a subscription of $13 per month or $32 per year. Google Maps is ad-free, but MAPS.ME displays a lot of ads, something that users complain about.
Unlike Google Maps, MAPS.ME doesn’t prioritize the fastest route, but instead, it shows you the most comfortable one, which may end up being the longest.
If you’re used to checking directions on Google Maps’ clean interface, you might find MAPS.ME’s interface a little crowded.
In terms of cost, both Google Maps and MAPS.ME are free.
2. Bing Maps
Bing Maps is one of the closest competitors of Google Maps. It comes with a fresh and ad-free user interface that is easy to navigate. All controls for directions, sharing, and traffic are placed along the top of the interface.
All Bing Maps controls for directions, sharing, and traffic are placed along the top of the interface. It has similar features found in Google Maps, and you can add destinations along routes, print the map, and use it during your trip.
At Bing Maps, you’ll find streetside, aerial, and road layers, as well as driving, walking, and transit maps.
Bing Maps provides a more conservative arrival time thus posting slower route times than Google Maps.
The app offers a higher image resolution and a friendlier user interface that is easier to follow compared to Google Maps. The maps are more detailed with more layers than Google Maps.
Do you want to save places to a personal library for later use? Bing Maps lets you do this, while Google Maps doesn’t.
Overall, Bing Maps has fewer features than Google Maps.
Bing Maps offers a basic key for free use in terms of cost, but you may consider purchasing a license if the usage goes beyond the basic vital requirements.
Navmii is another popular mapping and navigation app you can use on your iOS, Android, or Windows mobile device. It is one of the apps with more innovative features than Google Maps.
Navmii provides up-to-date reports about accidents and construction sites. It also provides additional integrated information on apps, such as TripAdvisor. Google Maps does not have apps that provide extra information.
If you’re sick of the old interface found on Google Maps, you may like the cartoon aesthetic on Navmii that features cartoon icons on the screen that shows your location and other users’ locations.
Just like Google Maps, Navmii is free. But Navmii gives slower updates compared to Google Maps.
You’ll also get support for offline maps and smart auto-rerouting when road and traffic conditions change.
Navmii is a one-of-a-kind offline navigation app with a sleek, stylish interface loaded with the finest elements. And to think that Navmii can be used by both adults and children, who can compete with this?
MapQuest is a web and mobile-based navigational and mapping tool. It works the same way as Google.
MapQuest can recognize your location using your IP address or phone GPS. It provides accurate route directions and other information regarding distance, traffic levels, and estimated fuel costs.
The zoom controls feature traffic/satellite views and share/print buttons that make navigation a breeze.
Both Google Maps and MapQuest have tools that offer elaborate, turn-by-turn instructions to help you navigate from place to place. Google Maps features the “Get Directions” tool, which you can go to on the map’s left side and activate.
MapQuest also features the “Route Planner” tool that allows you to input waypoints and change a route.
Google Maps and MapQuest feature standard and satellite street map views, and both provide comparable coverage across Canada, the United States, and Europe. But if you’re looking for broader coverage for other parts of the world, Google offers that, but MapQuest doesn’t.
Besides, Google has two extra overlays that you won’t find on MapQuest. First, Google Street View lets you drag an icon to a place and have the location’s panoramic view. The other overlay is the Experience MapsGL that gives you a 3D and 45-degree view of particular locations.
Google Maps is embedded on top 10k websites, top 100k websites, top 1M websites, and the entire web in terms of market share. MapQuest lags, being only embedded on less than 10k sites.
Overall, MapQuest is slightly less accurate and has fewer features compared to Google Maps. Google Maps is more user-friendly than MapQuest.
Both MapQuest and Google Maps are free to use.
5. Sygic Maps
Sygic Maps is another frequently downloaded and installed mapping app you may want to consider.
This app has voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation that comes in different languages. It supports offline maps, pedestrian navigation, 3D orientation, lane guidance, alternative routes, and junction views.
Sygic Maps also has car audio integration and drag and drop route editing. You’ll always get alerts on police traps, fixed speed cameras, and speed limits.
Google Maps draws data from the application itself, android devices, and other devices with GPS from around the world. On the other hand, Sygic Maps gets data from TomTom Traffic and the data is updated every two minutes.
Google Maps offers more languages than Sygic. These languages range from English to Eesti, to Filipino, to Norsk, to Suomi, to Deutsch.
Regarding the voice command, Google Maps is better than Sygic as the former only guides at the needed time while the latter guides even when no turning is required.
In general, Google maps has more features compared to Sygic Maps.
Installation for both Sygic and Google Maps is free of charge.
Waze is a tool that supplements your mobile experience well. Its live map allows you to quickly search for locations, plan routes, click different locations to add destinations or drop pins, and more.
Its map editor helps you customize the map of any area. Sounds fun, right? Did we tell you that it also offers social integration?
This is where you share hazard warnings, cool places you’ve visited, post camera shots, ask for help, and share police or traffic alerts.
Waze is quite helpful for road information such as police roadblocks, ongoing construction works, accidents, and many other alerts.
Waze is better in providing warnings about crashes and speed traps in real-time and re-routes for you whenever this happens. Google will flag traffic or speed traps, but the difference with Waze is that it won’t re-route for you.
This app will suit you most if you are a music lover because Waze can integrate with your mobile music apps, something Google Maps can’t.
The Waze mobile app is more fun and easy to use than Google Maps because of the social integration with other users (known as Wazers).
Waze Maps are less detailed on both mobile and web. It also has fewer features than Google Maps.
Waze app and Google Maps are both free for anyone who wishes to use them.
Overall, Waze is a spectacular app that works similarly or way better than Google maps. It provides a complete set of functionalities and features you need in an app. It may not have many features, but it serves you well.
7. HERE WeGo
HERE WeGo may not be insanely popular, but it packs many unique features that may interest you.
It is a mobile app and web-based, with a simple, clean interface. Some of its unique features include multiple route options like taxi, transit, or car-sharing routes.
It specializes in different forms of transport include subway, metro, bus, train, ferry, bike, and trolley. This app is quite reliable; it helps you plan your road trip with detailed information on where to park and much more.
Google Maps allows you to download one particular area at a go, while HERE WeGo allows you to download territories and nations at once.
HERE WeGo has excellent features, including many route options such as taxi, transit, and even ride-sharing routes. Like Google Maps, HERE WeGO also has many layers like traffic, transit, terrain, and satellite.
For minimalists, HERE WeGo is a perfect choice as it lacks distractions from their navigation app.
HERE WeGo is simple to use; you just set your destination and go, while Google Maps has features that offer extra route planning and adding stops while en route.
Both HERE WeGo and Google Maps cost nothing for all users.
HERE WeGO lessens the burden of mapping and navigation by offering you all the relevant information you need to reach your destination. This is something you may not find on Google Maps. With HERE WeGo, all you need is to install the app, sit tight, and let it work for you.
Citymapper was designed to cater to people who frequent the city using public transportation. It excels in making public transit easy for such people.
Its multi-mode journey planner includes buses, metro, subways, trains, ferries, Uber car-sharing, trams, and more.
The Go assistant feature offers real-time instructions and suggestions while navigating. It also has Uber integration to help you with cab booking and Foursquare.
Citymapper ensures you receive live transit updates from Twitter and Yelp. You’ll know when the next bus is available, the timetables, disruptions, and more.
Citymapper is smarter at categorizing as many routes as it can to a particular place, all on one screen. Google Maps give you only one route to follow to a particular place.
Citymapper is direct and straightforward. At the pages’ home screen, “get me somewhere” and “get me home > work” buttons let you type in a location before giving you directions and takes you home or to work, respectively, as long as you type your home’s and job’s address in there. Google Maps does not have such features; it is a bit bloated with information from the jump that might not be useful to most users.
Both Citymapper and Google Maps have a super reliable and convenient approach to transit information, but in Citymapper, it is a bit cleaner and more straightforward. For example, while Google Maps lets you filter routes by wheelchair accessibility, Citymapper simply includes that category in the complete list of options by default.
Both Google Maps and Citymapper are free to download. Still, Citymapper charges a subscription service that gives users enhanced features such as the ability to personalize their app and a rain warning.
OsmAnd is a highly rated mapping service that works well on Android and iOS devices. It offers regular mapping features and other features for cyclists and people who love skiing.
You can search the app using the coordinates or an address.
Its map viewing experience is the best as it allows you to display overlays such as touring, specialized online tile maps, and more in your language of choice.
The offline maps include hiking, foot, and bike paths. OsmAnd displays the hill shading, contour lines, altitude, and speed.
Google Maps offers widely-known styles of maps by such layers as traffic, bicycling, public transport, terrain, satellite, and Google Earth (requires a different application).
OsmAnd Maps offers map styles such as OsmAnd, touring view, lightRS, uniRS, nautical, and ‘winder and ski’ styles for different user needs. But, you’ll have to download map data for specific locations that require a bit more space than Google Maps. Therefore, you will have to consider investing in the premium version, as the free one includes only seven free map downloads.
OsmAnd does not use any mobile data and works entirely off the grid, while Google Maps requires data while using it.
The maps in OsmAnd are highly detailed in comparison with Google Maps. You will see walking paths, icons for business types, and even the direction of river flow.
The web-mapping interface of OsmAnd is not very intuitive, its website and mobile apps are not integrated, and the driving and navigation modes are basic. This makes Google Maps better as it offers these types of features.
OsmAnd has a free version and a non-free one with costs included. Google Maps is free.
10. Rand McNally
Rand McNally is a highly spoken name in the mapping world. For years, the brand has published traditional map books that you can carry with you while on transit.
But due to technology advancements and the need for mobile-friendly navigational apps, the company decided to develop an online maps app.
The navigation app is simple to use, with features that support many functions. It is designed for professional truck drivers.
Rand McNally offers technology and other business tools that connect to the driving platform. It has a simple interface and is free to use.
Its maps are detailed, allowing you to see obscure walking trails and other tiny details. It is an excellent choice for planning routes to any destination.
Rand McNally offers more detailed maps than Google Maps. You can see even the most petite water bodies and obscure walking trails.
Rand McNally does not have the sort of transit and walking layers available in Google Maps, but it does have an impressive and helpful satellite view to see the contour of the land.
Further, Rand McNally allows you to save locations to your library; its zoom tool is also fast and straightforward to use. These features lack in the Google Maps app.
It, however, lacks a mobile app and has fewer features than any other online map tool.
Both Rand McNally and Google Maps are free to use.
These mapping applications are the best, but each has its benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your travel plans, you have to scrutinize them and select one that best suits your needs.
If you’re always on the go, offline access is a must. If the mapping app is for your car, select one that is easy to use. And if you love exploring the city, find an app with detailed maps.
Yes, Google Maps is a beautiful mapping and navigation tool, but these maps can offer a more personalized experience if you try them out.
Many have such unique and enticing features you wouldn’t want to miss. Surprise yourself with CityMapper or Sygic Maps, and you’ll never look back.
All in all, choose wisely.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.