One of the most important updates to Apple’s iOS 6 is the Apple’s own maps application. The new maps application replaced Google Maps which was the default pre-loaded maps app on iOS devices since iPhone was first launched in 2007. But, many users are not happy with Apple’s maps application as it is besieged with problems like poor address location, improper traffic reporting, and poor 3D driving interface. But, there are a number of free alternatives in iTunes App store to help you find your way around town. You can try out any of these free alternatives.
Global Navigator Free
This app allows you to choose from a variety of maps which include Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Bing Maps, etc. You can save routes and can search for domestic and global routes. The basic version of this app connects to the web to connect to the various mapping services. You need to upgrade to the premium ‘Pro’ version if you want to use this app offline.
PD Maps Worldwide Edition
This is another app which lets the users to access multiple mapping services. PD Maps allows you to choose from Open Street, Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps and Panoramio. Apart from the mapping service, you can also select your own routing service using this app. So, you can select to see a map in Bing, but opt for Google Map’s excellent routing service. But, this app is highly data intensive and takes long time to load even on high speed 3G networks. This app doesn’t support offline navigation.
This app is popularly called as the social GPS app by many users as it allows users to share traffic information with each other. Users of this app can alert each other about traffic jams. The app comes with social media connectivity and the ability to create and join driving groups to know what is happening on the routes frequented by you. Other than the social angle, this app works very fast and can be a good alternative to Apple’s mapping service. This app is totally free and the maps are updated very frequently.
Glympse is not an app developed for navigation. It was developed to enable users to share their current location and travel route with some other selected persons. But, it has a nice navigation aspect. You can send your current location to anyone and they can get directions to reach you using Google Maps online (no need of the Google Maps app). This app will be very useful when you want to see a person rather than visit a place. Both the users who want to share their locations should have Glympse installed in their phones.
This is a public transit-focused app that gives GPA-enables directions, transit schedules, and maps to its users. There are some good options in this app like setting the preferred kind of public transportation like buses, finding wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly routes, biking directions in major cities, etc.
The above apps are certainly not as good as Google Maps. But, they will be handy till Apple fixes the problems with its maps application or Google Maps app is again made available for iOS. But, do remember that you can always access Google Maps through the browser of your iOS device. Just point your iOS browser to http://maps.google.com and you will be able to see Google Maps.