24 SEP

Alternatives to Apple’s Maps App in iOS 6

by Marianne Schultz

The Maps app in iOS 6 has been lambasted pretty thoroughly even in the short time it’s been available to the public for laughably incorrect data (check out this collection of screenshots for a good chuckle) to a simple lack of useful information compared to its predecessor. Though I’m not a betting woman, I’d still wager that Apple is already working on improving the data in Maps and it will get better over time. However, if you can’t wait for that and need reliable maps and voice-guided navigation right now, we’ve got a list of apps for you to consider.

The alternatives to Maps range in price from free to $20 or more. Generally the most significant difference between the apps that are free/low-cost and paid among these alternatives comes down to the map data and where it’s stored. The free or low-cost apps usually don’t store any map data in your iPhone and you’ll need a data connection as you travel to keep getting maps and guidance while many of the more expensive ($20 and higher) paid apps usually bundle the map data within the app so you don’t need a data connection to get directions as you travel.

Keeping that in mind, here are some good free and low-cost alternatives:

  • Reference

    Bing Search - images, news,...

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (150)
    Version:
    4.6
    iOS iPhone

    Bing Search app does more than find answers on the internet. Save money with Bing Rewards and Bing Offers. Keep up with trending stories, news, and images. Save the daily homepage photos to use as...

  • Navigation

    MapQuest: Maps, GPS, Voice...

    Last Changed:
    3 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (66)
    Version:
    4.4
    iOS iPhone

    MapQuest is your go-to app for live maps, GPS, voice navigation and live traffic updates. Whether you’re running a quick errand across town or taking a road trip across the country, MapQuest has...

  • Navigation

    Waze Social GPS, Maps &...

    Last Changed:
    6 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (10305)
    Version:
    3.8.0
    iOS Universal

    Waze is one of the world's largest community based traffic and navigation apps. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily...

  • Navigation

    CoPilot™ GPS – Plan &...

    Last Changed:
    11 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (139)
    Version:
    9.6.0.638
    iOS Universal

    ▸▸▸▸ As featured on Engadget, CNET, The Register and many more ▸▸▸▸ CoPilot GPS is the powerful free offline mapping, route planning and local exploring app from the developers of...

  • Navigation

    GPS by TeleNav

    Last Changed:
    11 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (98)
    Version:
    7.0.32
    iOS Universal

    ***Check out Scout, Telenav's newest personalized GPS navigation app with free voice guidance. Just search for "Scout"*** ---

 “...Without a doubt this is the most...

  • Navigation

    Yellow Pages

    Last Changed:
    6 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (86)
    Version:
    7.2.0
    iOS Universal

    Fans describe us best. "As a business person traveling different places, I use this constantly for my addresses in my GPS. Jim Diaville" "Siri is just not doing it for...

  • Navigation

    AT&T Navigator: GPS Maps,...

    Last Changed:
    13 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (62)
    Version:
    3.2.25.58420
    iOS Universal

    Real-time Traffic, GPS, 3D Maps & Voice Navigation Beat traffic, find cheap gas price options easily, share your travel details and discover local places using AT&T Navigator. Beat...

  • Navigation

    MotionX GPS Drive

    Last Changed:
    7 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (412)
    Version:
    17.1
    iOS Universal

    The #1 rated iPhone and iPad navigation solution. #1 MotionX-GPS Drive named "Best iPhone App for Drivers" by Total Car Score #1 "Hands-down my favorite navigator for the...

When it comes to paid navigation apps, Navigon’s offering tops my list over the other apps I’ve tried by TomTom, iGo, CoPilot Live, and others but they are all good choices with similar feature sets, in most cases, and are perfectly capable of getting you from point A to point B.

  • $5999Buy Now
    Navigation

    NAVIGON North America

    Last Changed:
    3 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (11)
    Version:
    2.8
    iOS Universal

    With NAVIGON you can turn your iPhone or iPad into a fully functional mobile navigation system. Thanks to a faithful adaptation of the menu functions, the app fits in seamlessly with the iOS...

  • $2499Buy Now
    Navigation

    TomTom U.S.A.

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (20)
    Version:
    1.18
    iOS Universal

    TomTom Navigation for iPhone/iPad. World-class navigation that’s trusted by 70 million drivers. Special value deal: get the TomTom app now for only $24.99 instead of $49.99 and a Traffic...

  • $4999Buy Now
    Navigation

    Garmin U.S.A.

    Last Changed:
    1 week ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (1091)
    Version:
    2.8
    iOS iPhone

    Download Garmin StreetPilot® Onboard U.S.A. and give your iPhone® or iPad® the best in GPS navigation with photoReal junction views, 3D buildings, speed/red light camera alerts and more. Garmin...

  • $2499Buy Now
    Navigation

    North America - iGO primo app

    Last Changed:
    1 day ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (193)
    Version:
    2.5.4
    iOS Universal

    Join the millions of users who have already chosen iGO navigation all over the world. After downloading the iGO primo application you CAN START TO USE IT IMMEDIATELY. IT WORKS IN OFFLINE MODE, there...

  • $1799Buy Now
    Navigation

    CoPilot™ Premium HD USA &...

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (11)
    Version:
    9.6.0.638
    iOS Universal

    Summer Sale! 10% off Get accurate voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions everywhere you go. CoPilot Premium stores up-to-date maps directly on your device for safe, dependable navigation -- no...

Now none of these apps are integrated into iOS 6 so you’ll always get dropped into the built-in Maps app when you tap on location links in Safari, Mail, Contacts, etc. So, you’ll need to copy the address, manually open your maps app of choice, and paste it in to search or generate directions.

So there you have it. If you feel like Apple left you out in the cold with inaccurate or unreliable data in Maps when you updated to iOS 6 or got your shiny new iPhone 5, there are plenty of other choices to get you where you need to go while Apple cracks the whip on the team responsible to get Maps up to snuff. If you want to help Apple improve Maps, you can find instructions on how to submit map data corrections here.

20 Comments

  1. roboyd

    I use Navigon, which allows directions to and from contacts. It may not be integrated, but as long as you add a location to your contact list you’re good to go.

  2. rspinoza

    OpenMaps is great: http://izeize.com/openmaps – Free, or for $3 you get Routes & ability to Download maps.

    It’s based on http://OpenStreetMap.org so you can easily correct anything that’s not right.

    One other cool feature is a sort of Twitter radar – tap the T button and it’ll sweep around your current location showing any geocoded tweets in that area.

  3. Rob McVittie

    What about Navfree GPS Live Canada, USA, etc? I use this app and it’s got a rating of 3.5. It’s got voice turn by turn navigation and off line maps…all this for free!

  4. selena

    The free Bing app has maps too.

  5. mcstuff

    You iss somehow also paid navigation from Sygic, which is my preffered even over Navigon

  6. lepaka

    i find the Maps from Apple very good, better than Gloogle one, as a navigation system i use Navigon, that has been far the best on mobiles :)

  7. abyas

    One word: TRAFFIC

    The new Apple map app doesn’t give nearly as much traffic data as Google Maps does, and living in Los Angeles makes it a must-have feature. It’s not enough to know what traffic conditions are like on the freeways, we need to know what it’s like on major boulevards and streets!

    I also liked being able to search for a business from within Google Maps and finding it, whether or not it was in my Contacts file.

    I’ve been an Apple devotee since the first Macintosh computer, and part of the reason for my loyalty was that unlike in the DOS and Windows worlds, Apple always took care to release a product that was thoroughly tested, tried and true. They treated their customers with respect in that regard, rather than releasing half-baked products.

    Sadly, Apple Maps is a half-baked product. If this is going to be the way Apple does business in the future then they’re going to lose a LOT of that loyal base of customers who’ve made them so successful.

  8. lewisdotmy

    Apple should upgrade their Apple maps as quick as possible

  9. Jesse

    The Nokia maps at m.maps.nokia.com can also be attached as a icon for quick access. The maps have live traffic info and voice guided navigation, all for free.

  10. lewisdotmy

    Apple fan have to wait

  11. Vin

    I’ve been using waze for months. I performs really accurately, plus the live traffic feature (based on reports from other drivers on your route) is great.

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