Bye-bye, roaming! The best offline navigation apps
Bye-bye, roaming! While some carriers have done away with roaming charges and the European Union plans to eliminate them by the summer of 2017, there are plenty of applications available now that can be used offline.
So, on your last trip to the Caribbean you just couldn’t resist the temptation to post your finest beach selfie on Instagram or check Google for the best place to get a mojito, right? But did you pay the price when the telephone bill arrived? If you’re one of those people who just can’t live without their cell phones or GPS, you may want to listen up.
The best offline navigation apps
Sometimes, the feared roaming charges (what the carrier charges you when you use a foreign telephone network) can put a serious damper on an otherwise wonderful trip. While some carriers have done away with roaming charges and the European Union plans to eliminate them by the summer of 2017, there are plenty of applications available now that can be used offline. Here are some navigation apps that are available off line to guide you in your travels (without using up your data):
- me: Restaurants, hotels, shopping, public transit... whatever you’re looking for, this app provides interactive maps that feel just like you’re connected to Google Maps. The information is based on OpenStreetMap and there are different versions for different devices: iOS, Android, Kindle and BlackBerry (all free).
- Here WeGo: The phone maker Nokia has resurfaced with this application for iOS and Android, which allows you to download complete country maps and consult public transit routes. It also has a very useful GPS for the car (and it’s free!)
- OffMaps 2: This app for Apple devices focuses on some of the world’s largest cities and is geared toward travelers who are interested in walking tours. Unlike the others, for each destination this app provides links to other information, but be aware that there are additional costs if you connect to the Internet. (Cost €0.99)
- Galileo: This version for the Apple operating system is based on the OpenStreetMap platform for storing vector maps offline. There’s also a version for Android. For example, downloading a complete map of Spain takes up 143 MB. Unlike the other apps, there is a fee for this one (€3.99).
- Navigon: From GPS developer Garmin comes this powerful application that works like a GPS for the car. Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone, it is also the most expensive option (depending on the map, the prices ranges between 40 and 80 euros).
- TomTom: The world’s most well-known navigation system for cars also makes a version of its GPS for iOS and Android. The price varies depending on the download package you choose and the main difference between this app and the others is that you can personalize the voice that gives the directions. You can even choose the voice of the villainous Darth Vader from Star Wars to guide you to your destination. May the force be with you!