Utilizing navigation services has become part of our living experience. Regardless of our personal or business destinations, several navigation apps help us get around. Over the years, Google Maps has become a popular and impressive navigation app for people and businesses.
Google Maps is an efficient, reliable navigation service that helps to pinpoint your location accurately. It also provides useful features to ensure you get to your destination faster. They include multi-stops functionality, speed tracker, live traffic updates, etc.
However, Google Maps is not without its drawbacks. Its limitations and recent reports of privacy concerns cause many users to seek Google Maps alternatives. In today’s article, we’ll provide intriguing details of other navigation apps you can consider. Time to explore their unique features, perks, and drawbacks.
The Need for Google Maps Alternatives
Business owners utilize various navigation apps and services to thrive and satisfy their customers. Despite many offerings available to users, Google Maps takes precedence among other navigation apps.
Since its creation, Google Maps has provided useful and robust navigation features and services online and offline. To keep abreast of its competition, Google Maps gather user data to provide the best user experience for everyone.
Despite its praises, you may wonder why there is a need for Google Maps alternatives. The answer lies with the creator of Google Maps — Google! In 2018, this tech giant announced that users could fully control their location history. It means that users have full rights to adjust, delete, and turn on or off their location at any point. Sounds like a helpful feature, right?
Google, however, had other means to track users, which tech experts discovered. Google used the “Web & App Activity” feature to track your location. When this information became public knowledge, it became challenging for people to trust Google Maps fully.
The issue still lingers five years later as users search for other Google Maps alternatives to boycott Google services. But do these alternatives care about user privacy?
Google Maps Alternatives and Privacy
Privacy concerns continue to linger around Google and its navigation app, Google Maps. Thankfully several navigation apps do not track your location and even offer seamless offline navigation.
However, it is vital to note that these navigation apps will require a bit of personal data for easy identification as you utilize your services. Some may want to obtain your IP address to develop their mobile apps further. The good news is you have full control as you use their navigation services.
Overall, these Google Maps alternatives care about your privacy. They will rather ask for your permission to collect data than snoop behind you and steal it.
Waze – The Best Google Maps Alternative for Android Users
The majority of android devices utilize Google services for their mobile applications. Hence, it is common to find Google Maps already installed on these devices. Yet, many users are trying to boycott this mapping service and continue searching for an alternative.
Thankfully, the Waze platform provides the perfect Google maps alternative for Android users. It is a community-focused mapping service to help with your navigation needs. While Google acquired this company in 2013, Waze continues to run independently. Thus, Waze provides users with essential navigation features separate from Google Maps.
Waze provides a smooth navigation experience, lets you search for your destination in real time, offers multi-stops, and provides proper route planning. Also, suppose you are a business owner delivering products to a particular region. In that case, Waze allows you to create customized maps.
As a Google Maps alternative, the Waze platform provides a proper street view, police and traffic alerts, a speed tracker, and real-time directions. Since this mapping service relies on community input, you can pin and upload snapshots of new locations in your area.
- Provides real-time updates on traffic, accidents, police alerts, and more
- You can share your navigation experience with Waze users around you
- Waze provides a social driving experience, so your trips are fun
- It offers fewer details in certain areas on its mobile app
- Its affiliation with Google raises concerns among Android users
- The navigation app provides fewer features than other navigation apps
4 Free Google Maps Alternatives for Your Trips
Indeed, Waze is an excellent option for Android users. However, here are other free Google Maps alternatives you can consider. Check out these four free maps apps. As you do, consider their features, pros, and cons to determine which maps work best for your needs.
1. Apple Maps — Google Maps Alternative for Ios Users
iOS users can use Apple Maps for their navigation needs. It is an ideal Google Maps alternative that efficiently delivers top-notch services, including traffic data, pinning new locations, and the use of its voice assistant, Siri, for hands-free navigation.
Interestingly, Apple has a good track record for respecting user data so that you can sync your privacy settings across your devices, including iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Apple Maps only uses data allowed by a user utilizing its navigation services.
- Apple Maps utilize the data its users receive to provide an optimal navigation experience
- Aesthetically pleasing and friendly user interface
- Apple Maps is exclusive to only Apple devices
- Its reviews of places are somewhat limited than other maps
- It does not support map customizations
2. Here We Go — Easy for Basic Users
Here We Go is yet another free Google Maps alternative. It is an in-car GPS navigation system for popular automobile manufacturers, including BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. This navigation app, however, is not as popular as Apple Maps or Google Maps.
Yet, it provides a unique navigation experience to millions of customers in over 200 countries worldwide. Its intuitive navigation features make it an excellent mapping service for long and short-distance trips.
As a Google Maps alternative, Here We Go provides multiple route options and multi-layer features similar to Google Maps (terrain, satellite, transit, and traffic). This navigation app helps calculate public transportation fares. It offers an offline mode to navigate your area without a data connection.
Here We Go takes the cake regarding data protection and privacy as it falls under GDPR compliance. So, your data is yours to control and share with the platform.
- It allows quick route planning so you can start navigating
- As an in-built GPS in cars, Here We Go provides an easy-to-follow navigation screen
- Its offline mode allows you to navigate an entire continent without an internet connection
- It offers no multi-stop features in its navigation system
- Its navigation features are basic and few to explore
3. Mapquest — Plan Multiple Stops With This Google Maps Alternative
MapQuest is another free Google Maps alternative that offers web-based and mobile navigation services which allow you to sync your navigation settings across the platform. It offers a navigation experience similar to Google Maps in searching for specific locations and providing the optimum route to get to your location.
This Google Maps alternative uses your IP address (web version) or phone GPS (mobile version) to pinpoint your location accurately. This feature helps to plot the correct route from your location to your destination.
MapQuest utilizes traffic and satellite layouts for a better navigation experience. This navigation offers up to 28 multi-stops, unlike Google Maps, which provides 10. As such, it is excellent for businesses handling demanding customers in different locations.
- It features a one-button location finding options to locate landmark buildings like schools, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
- MapQuest includes estimated fuel costs as you plan your trip
- Rerouting your planned trip path is easy on MapQuest
- It syncs your navigation settings across mobile and web platforms
- Its pop-up ads can block specific areas when viewing the app during navigation
- MapQuest’s routes are less accurate than other navigation apps
- MapQuest offers no support for offline navigation
4. Maps.me — Best Free App for Outdoor Use
Maps.me is another free Google Maps alternative with top-notch navigation features in its mobile apps. Interestingly, this mobile navigation app offers an offline mode. All you need to do is download its map when you are online and enjoy its use when you’re out of service.
Maps.me is excellent for outdoor use. You can search for directions in over 300 countries and islands without using the internet. It provides simplified traffic information and automobile and cycling navigation. Hence you can bookmark several points of interest in Maps.me.
Maps.me uses your location data to provide behavioral advertising and suggests points of interest based on your previous navigation experience. However, it is GDPR-compliant, so you can modify or delete personal data acquired by Maps.me developers.
- Its offline mode allows users to search for hundreds of destinations without an internet connection
- You can quickly discover and bookmark landmark destinations with Maps.me
- It is available on Android and iOS platforms
- It provides hiking trails around the world
- It is challenging to search for specific addresses
- It provides targeted ads, making it difficult for non-EU users to modify
- It offers fewer features than Google Maps
Three Google Maps API Alternatives
Despite certain red flags on privacy, it is common knowledge that Google Maps is a top contender in global geolocation services. Other Google Maps alternatives find it hard to replicate Google’s services. That is why its API is the top choice for map developers.
Due to its expansive growth over the years, Google Maps API is now expensive, as developers have to pay more to access its features. In the past, Google allowed developers to make about 25,000 free map displays daily, charging $0.50 for subsequent 1,000 displays.
In July 2018, Google revised its policies and allowed developers about 28,000 displays per month but charges $7 for every subsequent 1,000. This price hike makes it challenging for new map developers to utilize these high-end API services in their nascent stages.
The good news is that there are Google Maps API alternatives that are affordable and ready to provide essential mapping API services. Let’s consider three of them.
1. Open Layers
OpenLayers is a free API solution and a good Google Maps alternative for dynamic map displays for web pages and mobile applications. This API is free of charge and features vector maps, markers, and tiled maps.
Mapfit offers an excellent mapping API solution by creating highly accurate maps. It features vector maps, markers, tiled maps, route finding, and building features like doorways and garages. This API provides flexible pricing plans starting from free 250,000 monthly requests, with $0.50 for subsequent 1,000 map displays.
Mapbox is an excellent mapping API solution for social media platforms like Snapchat and Meta. It is also a great Google Maps alternative that draws its data from open sources. It offers excellent navigation, location searches, maps, and other custom map features. This mapping API is free for the first 50,000 daily map requests and charges $0.50 for subsequent 1,000.
Final Thoughts on the Best Google Maps Alternatives
There you go! Google Maps is a go-to navigation service for businesses and people. While it is under heavy scrutiny over privacy and user data, you can consider the best Google Maps alternatives that we’ve discussed in this article.
However, if you seek to create custom maps, you should check out Mapize, a tooling service that can help display data however you like. Mapize utilizes Google’s API to provide optimized routes between points, heat mapping, and essential map data for your business. Check it out today, and create your first map on our platform.