The best sat nav apps for iPhone

Sat nav technology has migrated to your pocket and your dashboard. Before you take that long road trip, you'll want to make sure you have one of the best apps to lead you there downloaded. We round up the best navigation apps for iPhone.

by


  • Apple Maps
  • Google Maps
  • Waze
  • HERE Maps
  • CoPilot Premium
  • Navmii
  • More stories
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The best sat nav apps for iPhone: Apple Maps

Free with a new iPhone or iPad

When it launched back in 2012 to replace Google Maps as the default mapping app on iOS, Apple Maps was met with sceptical hesitation from users. Skip past people supposedly driving into lakes and ravines after listening to Maps (not the app’s fault) to today, and the app is excellent - particularly the recent Flyover feature, which allows you to view detailed 3D structures to help orientate yourself.

Everything you’d expect from a navigation app is here; turn-by-turn instructions, live traffic info and detailed driving/walking instructions are clear and well presented on-screen. You can trust in Apple to get you from A to B (finally).

You'll probably need an iPhone car mount, so here are the best.

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Free with a new iPhone or iPad

When it launched back in 2012 to replace Google Maps as the default mapping app on iOS, Apple Maps was met with sceptical hesitation from users. Skip past people supposedly driving into lakes and ravines after listening to Maps (not the app’s fault) to today, and the app is excellent - particularly the recent Flyover feature, which allows you to view detailed 3D structures to help orientate yourself.

Everything you’d expect from a navigation app is here; turn-by-turn instructions, live traffic info and detailed driving/walking instructions are clear and well presented on-screen. You can trust in Apple to get you from A to B (finally).

You'll probably need an iPhone car mount, so here are the best.

 

The best sat nav apps for iPhone: Google Maps

RRP Free
Get it from the App Store

Along with Apple Maps this is surely the most used and most reputable navigation app out there. Before Apple made its own app, Google Maps was on the iPhone from Day One in 2007 and continues to integrate itself well with iPhones – however, there’s no way to set it as the default mapping app.

 

The best sat nav apps for iPhone: Waze

Free
Get it from the App Store

Waze is a cool alternative to Apple and Google, and its main draw is the community of users it has. If you’re a user, you are contributing real time traffic information to the app, as well given the chance to manually report certain road accidents, police cordons and other journey-ruining stuff. 

The app also lets your find out useful things like where to get cheap fuel on your route or more standard functions like automatic rerouting. If helping your fellow driver rather than shouting at them is your thing, then get on board with Waze.

 

The best sat nav apps for iPhone: HERE Maps

RRP Free
Get it from the App Store

The Nokia-developed HERE isn’t the most used navigation app in the UK by some distance, but there’s reason to feel it should be. It boasts offline navigation, which is excellent – you download maps for offline use, as well as get turn by turn directions and directions without an internet connection. This works well, and better than some rivals. 

It’s also got a good journey planning function that you can even do on your computer to load onto your phone if you’re planning a big trip on a big screen. HERE is definitely a worthy road companion.

 

The best sat nav apps for iPhone: CoPilot Premium (UK & Ireland version)

RRP £19.99
Get it from the App Store (UK & Ireland version)

You might be thinking, why pay for a navigation app when there are free alternatives? Good question, here’s the answer: for drivers it’s better and more reliable. If you use your iPhone for navigation when driving, CoPilot Premium stores detailed UK and Ireland maps onto your device so you can still use it without a data connection.

There’s also a lot more versatility on offer. Traffic camera alerts, improved junction views for clearer instructions and real time traffic updates make this an app whose features are more than the comparatively simpler free alternatives. The quality of the roadmaps is more akin to those found on expensive in-dash systems.

 

The best sat nav apps for iPhone: Navmii (UK & Ireland version)

Free
Get it from the App Store

Navmii is another great alternative to the mainstream mapping and direction apps for iPhone. It offers voice-guided navigation so you can keep your eyes on the road at important points of your journey. It also has offline maps for those times you stray out of signal’s reach. 

It integrates with other popular apps like TripAdvisor for advice on where to eat and stay on the road, and has on-board OpenStreetMap maps that are stored on the phone – so if you run out of data, you might just not get lost after all.

See also: The best in-car iPhone mounts and holders

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