Apple’s paparazzi worth and most awaited technological releases this year – the iPhone 5 and iOS6, left people in a scramble. Well Apple always does manage to keep people on their toes. iPhone 5 was slimmer, lighter, longer, and faster because of the significant changes in the hardware like bigger screen, a doubly-fast A6 chip, and a light weight body. iPhone 5’s software, the iOS6 also had significant upgrades which promised to be larger-than-life for Apple’s fan base as well as for Apple itself. The noteworthy changes are Passbook, Apple Maps, Call Decline with custom messages, attachments in outgoing emails, better enhancements on Siri, Facetime software, and Facebook integration.
Most of these enhancements have received great reviews, which is why Apple has almost pushed all other smart phones out of the race. Within the first three days from launch, Apple has sold over 5 million new iPhone 5s and is facing a supply crunch.
All said and done, has Apple managed to floor the techies and its fans about iOS6? Ummm No. When every other new enhancement was better than what was promised, Apple Maps was a let-down. Is it because people are so used the dear old Google Maps that they could see stark differences between the two apps? No. Apple Maps did manage to bring a frown on its own fan base. Not only was the app inferior to its predecessor, Google Maps, it lacked some very important features and the app was buggy as well. In an ethical and highly appreciated move by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, he apologized for falling short on the commitment and has encouraged Apple’s fans to use other Map alternatives, till Apple fixes their Maps debacle.
Now we won’t dig into the bugs involved in Apple Maps, because it’s already being done through-n-through. What you’ll see here are some third party navigation alternatives to Apple Maps that you can use if you have an iOS6. Let’s first look at stand- alone navigation apps and then at apps that work on Safari browser.
First up is, CoPilot Live from ALK Technologies. This app supports offline navigation, a year worth traffic data repository, address of a place you want to travel to, favorite places, points of interest, contacts, browsing the map, and coordinates. This map even records the place where you previously clicked and geo-tagged a photo. CoPilot uses a better color palette making the app easy to decode. You can plan routes in advance based on real time traffic and vehicle preferences at additional costs. In terms of offline map support, you can download maps around the world by region. CoPilot Live has a ton of settings to optimize your usage. Weather app is also integrated in CoPilot. The best feature of this app is the parking utility that lets you mark and save the location of your parked car quite easily. Other novelties are an integrated music player, aviation GPS navigations, and Facebook check-in from within CoPilot.
CoPilot Premium HD version is $12.99, the Premium version is $12.99, and the Standard version is only $3.99. There are several options for locations around the world too. You need the Premium HD version for full iPhone 5 support.
Telenav Scout is one of the cheapest voice guided navigation solutions for iOS. Apart from the regular navigation options, Scout also offers references to fuel bunks including the day’s fuel prices, coffee, parking, Wi-Fi hotspots, offline maps, traffic rerouting, speed traps, and lane assist. An interesting feature that Scout offers is the IMDB-like Movies support that shows what movies are playing at which theaters and a quick review on those movies. Makes it easier to decide if the movie is worth all the drive around, eh?
Another feature worth mentioning is the Voice control. You can enable voice-controlled navigation with a push of a button. The recent improvement of Scout is the availability of offline maps which proves useful if you are stranded in some unknown place. Also, Scout gives with as much as three alternate routes for you to choose from.
The full version of Scout is priced at $9.99, being one of the cheapest voice-controlled navigation apps.
There is a reason that Waze was referred by Tim Cook as an alternate navigation solution in his apology letter for the Apple Maps debacle – Waze is one of the apps highly rated by users. Waze focuses entirely on social experience in terms of providing accurate navigation results. Waze provides customization settings to know about traffic jams, police beats, accidents, security cameras, fuel bunks and their current-day prices, and more. Waze supports Foursquare check-ins. One intelligent feature in Waze is that you can record your driving and traveling habits. Waze optimizes your route based on your past records and provides you intelligent navigation results.
One probable disadvantage of Waze would be the lack of offline maps supports. But all good stuff comes with a price, and Waze is a free app, so there isn’t nothing much to complain, is there?
MapQuest can flaunt one crucial feature over other map apps – free turn-by-turn voice-controlled navigation. Although there are no options to save your previous navigation details, no real points-of-interest database, MapQuest does provide a lot of features including regular ones such as fuel station listings, a 360 degrees street view near major intersections, integrated actual photography, satellite imagery and digital street maps, ‘drop a pin’ feature, and alternate views of many locations.
Some latest improvements in MapQuest are – landscape view for navigation, editable routes, directions for walk mode, customizable map toolbar, and numerous position icons. Out of these, the most impressive feature is the editable routes – MapQuest gives you the option of arranging your routes in the order that you travel using just a drag-n-drop. MapQuest also suggests this order of routes based on the distance.
So we have seen some alternative maps that we think can be used as an alternate till Apple fixes its map-issues.
Use these and let us know if you agree or disagree with us!
Apart from these apps, there is always Google Maps, Nokia Maps, and Bing Maps that can be viewed on a browser.
If you’ve found a better alternate, we’d love to hear that as well!