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  • by Montgomery Miller
  •  February 9th, 2018

Navigation — The Best Way to Get From Here to There

With Austin construction at an all-time high, detours and road closures springing up at a record pace, combined with rapidly increasing traffic congestion, finding the best navigation app has become mission critical. Each of the best-selling apps has it’s advantages and shortcomings and all are working hard to be your 1st choice.

The best way to compare apps is to go by platform starting with the Android. There are a number of apps that work very well on the Android platform that offer the end user a variety of useful functions.

MapQuest, a familiar brand to many older users, has come a long way from it’s early beginnings. This app offers many of the usual features such as turn-by-turn navigation and live traffic updates. One very nice feature is the service to help drivers locate the lowest price gas nearby. We think that’s a good one.

Maps.me is a free app featuring both on and offline maps and a handy bookmarking feature. Its similar to Google Maps and offers worldwide support.

If you’re looking for an app with an edge, check out Scout GPS Navigation. Aside from the basic turn-by-turn navigation, this updated app will automatically send out a text message with your estimated arrival time.

For those on the IOS platform Google Maps is a strong contender featuring very detailed maps, and a choice of driving, biking, and walking directions. You can use the satellite view or the tradition map view. The voice directed turn-by-turn navigation is an important feature for mobile navigation, and finding a faster, alternate route is a simple matter of switching between routes. The app will also help you find a good restaurant based on your preferences.

Waze is a big hit with many drivers because of it’s ability to use real time driver input as crowdsourcing to avoid accidents, road hazards, red light cameras and vehicle on the side of the road. In a city as jammed up as Austin is, these features are especially useful. Another cool option is the ability to add friends onto the app to see their estimated arrival times when you’re are all headed for the same destination.

Finally, for all the bells and whistles, Navigon USA, a pricey option at $49.99, offers a visually compelling and very comprehensive graphically rich user experience. The app offers 2D and 3D maps, day and night modes, intelligent address searching and route planning, plus very cool road sign graphics. It also offers a bunch of optional plugins to further enhance your navigation experience.

All of these apps are safest when used hands free or with a Bluetooth device to insure a safe and accident-free driving experience.

About the Author

Montgomery “Monty” Miller is a writer and founder of Austin based GlobalSpeed AdGroup, a full service creative advertising agency. His father, a San Antonio native, was a film and television writer with a long career beginning in the 1950s “Golden Age of Television.” In the mid-90s Monty worked in Synergy Marketing for The Walt Disney Company and prior to moving to Austin in 2015 he served as Vice President of Marketing with Flight Sciences International, a consulting firm specializing in fuel conservation planning for airlines worldwide.

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