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:
    9 weeks ago
    4.50 (282)
    iOS iPhone

    Bing Search gets the web working for you. Sign up for Bing Rewards, and earn Amazon and Starbucks gift cards simply by searching. Keep up with trending stories, news, and images. Save the beautiful...

  • Navigation

    MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS,...

    Last Changed:
    4 weeks ago
    3.00 (43)
    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 hours ago
    4.50 (199920)
    iOS Universal

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

  • Navigation

    CoPilot GPS – Free Offline...

    Last Changed:
    10 weeks ago
    4.00 (84)
    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:
    20 months ago
    3.50 (110)
    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:
    7 weeks ago
    4.00 (27)
    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:
    16 weeks ago
    2.50 (72)
    iOS Universal

    Get real time traffic, maps, deals, offline maps, voice guided directions and more with AT&T Navigator. Beat Traffic: Use AT&T Navigator to help you outsmart traffic and help you...

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.


  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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