GeekWire: Seven alternatives to Apple Mapson September 30, 2012 @ 2:08 pm (Updated: 8:53 am - 10/1/12 )
GeekWire's Todd Bishop noted that, while many people consider the turn-by turn directions in Apple Maps a big improvement over Google Maps, the bugs are more problematic.
"I live in Green Lake," said early adopter Alex Malek, "I plotted a route into south Bellevue. And it had me - I'm embarrassed to say this - it had me leave the freeway on Mercer Island, and I was so on auto-pilot that I actually get off on Mercer Island and it takes me around Mercer Island and then puts me right back on I-90."
Many other mapping applications in the app store offer similar services that can be a good substitute for the Apple Maps application.
Waze is a free crowd-sourced, voice-guided turn-by-turn mapping application that has been getting more attention now that iPhone users don't have access to Google Maps.
"It'll actually take into account things that are happening on the road in real time that other users have reported," said Todd. "I was driving down 99 and it had me get off at a place that completely didn't make sense and then I realized later on, when I passed it, that it was routing me around an accident."
The social aspect of the app also enables Waze to warn drivers about construction delays and police speed traps.
MapQuest, one of the original mapping websites, offers a free app with turn-by-turn directions and live traffic checking capabilities. You can also save favorite destinations for quick access at a whim.
Tom Tom is a relatively expensive application at $39.99, but it offers all the highly advanced mapping features of its physical $79.99 GPS devices to its users.
The app not only offers turn-by-turn directions, but also includes crowd-sourced technology similar to Waze. Tom Tom tracks traffic and can update travel time accordingly. It also points out hidden speed cameras.
For iPhone users that miss the public transit options of Google Maps, Transit is a good replacement. The application works much like the transit option on Google Maps, where the app calculates the best transit route from a user's start location and destination. It provides specific start and end times, how long the trip will take, and can even set reminders for when to leave for a bus stop.
City Maps is an application built specifically as a walking and transit map for major cities. Several reviewers specifically cite City Maps as a good alternative to Apple Maps, given high-definition street view option, travel time estimates, and ability to sort through transit options.
HopStop Transit is designed for the world traveler, with transit, walking, and biking directions and transit maps across hundreds of cities in North America and Europe.
The application has several special features, like a station-finder for major transit hubs. The app can also find wheel-chair and stroller-friendly routes and calculate the cost of a taxi trip.
For users going off the grid, MotionX GPS could be the app for you. The app, first released in 2008, was created to map routes for mountain biking enthusiasts and has expanded for kayaking, sailing, hiking, and geocaching and now includes biking, walking, and transit directions for city streets. The mapping app is integrated with Facebook and Twitter and also saves popular maps.
Listen to the full conversation on GeekWire:
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