Think your last road trip was a disaster? Try driving in Australia.
Last month, Aussie police reported that motorists who were trying to make it to the town of Mildura were instead getting routed into Murray Sunset National Park—43 miles away—by their iPhones, and getting stuck there overnight. What’s wrong with a little scenic detour, you ask? Nothing . . . other than the lack of water, food, and cell reception in the park—and the 114-degree weather.
So don’t be a drongo, mate. Make it to your next destination alive with these three free GPS apps for your smartphone.
Think of it as the Facebook of the mapping world. Users flag speed traps, upload gas prices, and report traffic jams into Waze, so you always have the latest and most reliable data at your fingertips. Plus, because turn-by-turn directions are tested by users, it’s more reliable than Apple’s offering. The only downside: Waze maps are only available where you have a data connection, so cross-country road trips outside of cell range are out of the question. (Free for iOS and Android)
If you don’t have a megabyte to spare, download the CoPilot GPS. Unlike Waze, this app is usable off the cell-grid. And unlike the downloadable competition, you can load maps by region—slashing the amount of memory the app hogs. Don’t remember where you were last night? (We’ve all been there.) As long as you have a photo, the app can use geotagging data to route you back to the scene of the crime. Bonus tip: For a $20 upgrade, the CoPilot provides turn-by-turn audio directions. (Free for iOS and Android)
Scout by Telenav
Drive a Ford? Download Telenav, an app that links to your car’s Sync AppLink for hands-free control. Once you connect, you can control the app from your steering wheel and use its unmatched voice control to input your destination or reroute on the fly. For a $10 yearly upgrade, you’ll unlock voice prompts and downloadable maps for off-the-grid guidance. (Free for iOS and Android)
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