Now that winter is almost over, people have started looking for vacation destinations. And in any vacation, there isn’t anything more useful than a map. Luckily for you, your smartphone is the universal all-in-one device and has capability to double as your GPS, map and compass, making it the perfect travelers’ companion. That’s why we’ve piled up a nice collection of Android map apps so that you wouldn’t be lost in your journeys.
Some of these apps offer a few layers over what Google Maps have, but many of them operate on the Google Maps backbone, so, basically, you will see the same map (most of the time), but with a different level of details. On the other hand, some Map apps use topology maps (a.k.a. topo maps); these have great detail and terrain view, excellent for mountain hiking, but also have city and road layers.
Top 9 Android Map Apps
Not the cheapest Map App on the market, but without a doubt, the most detailed outdoor map available. BackCountry Navigator PRO GPS contains high-detail maps of outdoor regions, mountain tracks, snowmobile and ATV trails, and so on. A great app for hikers and hunters alike. Also, you can set way-points and follow your track via GPS or the old-school compass. The high level of detail of its maps is due to the use of topographic maps and OpenStreetMaps (used in the new iPad, as well) and NASA Landsat data worldwide.
2. Maps (+) / Maps (-)
Simple but yet, detailed maps can be viewed on Maps (+) or, the free version Maps (-). This Android map app combines multiple map sources to make a wonderful worldwide map with high accuracy and level of detail. It features a simple interface and the possibility to download your maps to the SD card and use them offline. The GPS has good accuracy and it connects really fast. Maps App for Android is a great alternative to Google Maps.
3. aMetro – World Subway Maps
The first step when deciding to visit a new city is to get familiar with it. Getting to know where the best restaurant are, the best coffee shops, and tourist attractions. But it’s crucial to know how to get to these places. And here is where aMetro steps in. An app that has all the subway maps in the world. They can be very confusing at the start, especially for big cities with lots of lines, but with this app, you can plan your route in advance and not have any problems when you arrive at your destination. Obviously, this Android map app won’t be suitable for hikers or mountain climbers…
The second is Google Maps! Although it looks similar to Google Maps, this one is quite different, offering approximately the same level of detail and accuracy. The app’s best feature is the quick loading time, but it also packs quite an impressive suite of features, such as voice navigation, traffic levels and satellite maps, to name just a few. Oh, and did I mention the app is Free on
Android Market (it’s Google Play now) !
Some of you might have heard of this app, ArcGIS is specialized software for mapping (kind of like AutoCAD) that helps you to make topological maps. But the app’s map is pretty good. A highly detailed, worldwide map that has practically no loading time! You will be surprised by how well this Android map app works and by the accuracy of its maps.
6. Gaia GPS
This app is not for the faint-hearted. It features some of the most detailed maps ever, with great topological layers and road layers. The built-in GPS is a great addition, and it makes Gaia GPS a great wilderness navigator. The compass and the possibility to map way-points are just a few of its features, and the list goes on.
One of the simplest Android Map apps out there, RMaps has been a big surprise. They managed to offer a great Map App for Android. The reviews from its users speak for themselves. This app is awesome: it’s free, and it offers highly detailed maps, and lots of useful information. The interface is simple, and because it can search for many useful things on the map fairly quickly, I might even say it’s almost better than Google Maps from this point of view.
Some may argue why MyDirections is here because it’s an extension for Google Maps and not Android map app itself, but the truth is MyDirections make Google Maps a totally different app. Most map apps use Google Maps for the base layer, but MyDirections works with G Maps to make it even better than it normally is.
9. Maps With Me
Maps With Me is a familiar name when you think of Maps. They have the fastest loading map I’ve seen so far, and it can access them offline so that you will have no trouble because of slow internet connection or lack of a decent Wi-Fi network. It features a highly accurate GPS and compass, and adds this to its lightning-fast maps, and you’ve got a great Android map app!