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Free GPS navigators with offline maps for Android

Choosing the best free offline navigation app for Android with maps without internet. Download GPS navigation app with offline features for a mobile phone

We've previously talked about free GPS navigators for Android. Today we're going to choose the best navigation app by how it works offline, so you can use its maps without internet after enabling GPS connection on your phone. Let's focus on the offline features of navigators and maps that come with Android apps.

The participants of our review on offline navigation apps:

  1. Waze
  2. Google Maps
  3. Navitel Navigator
  4. Sygic GPS Navigation
  5. Maps.me

Comparing our offline navigators (a table)

The advantages of offline maps

By default, all mobile navigation apps work online and can operate unstably without direct internet connection.  In the absence of network they can refuse to display maps and not want to build routes. All of the mentioned above can become a serious issue.

Which can be easily solved by downloading offline maps on your gadget. These maps will work offline both in Europe and the USA. Offline maps are indispensable during navigation, when your mobile traffic is pretty expensive or when you're in the place with no access to internet and you need to use a map.

Waze is a free GPS navigation app which works without internet

Waze navigation app developed by a community of enthusiasts. It shows road traffic in real time, notifies about accidents and traffic jams, as well as the location of road cameras. Its local versions have been adapted to the road conditions of the majority countries of the world.

Download Waze for free

In Waze app for Android there is no apparent feature of saving maps offline like, for example, in Google Maps. The navigation app from time to time requires internet connection in order to be able to fully operate. However, there are some workarounds how you can save offline maps.

How to save maps offline via Waze app

In order to download Waze offline map, you have to:

  1. Firstly, connect to any network;
  2. Open Waze app on your phone;
  3. Enter the address you want to save for offline use;
  4. After the specified location is found, Waze will store the data in the app cache.

You can use offline maps while travelling around Europe or the United States. Note that in offline mode you are unable to download any updates until your mobile device is connected to internet again. Information on traffic is also unavailable offline.

How to download traffic information to Waze navigator

  1. Make sure your mobile device has internet connection;
  2. Open Waze GPS navigation app and enter the location you need;
  3. Waze will map a route to your destination and then display it when you use the app for navigation;
  4. Click on Waze icon in order to open the menu and find "The settings" in the popped up window;
  5. In order to save the latest traffic information, go to Waze > Advanced settings > Data Transfer > Download Traffic Information > Enable.

In addition to it, Waze will also display how much data has already been downloaded and cached by the app.

Google Maps: toggling on offline maps for Android

Google Maps is another venerable offline navigation app supporting offline mode on Android and iOS.

Download it for Android

Saving offline maps

In order to save a map for offline use, you should follow these steps:

  1. Connect to any WiFi network and open Google Maps app on your mobile device.
  2. Make sure you're signed in to your Google account in Google Maps.
  3. Find the city or location you want to save in the GPS navigator.
  4. Tap the bottom panel of Google Maps app and there you'll see the name of the location.
  5. In the upper right corner of Google navigation app its menu will be available with the option of saving offline maps.

Some distinctive features of offline Google Maps:

  • You can pan and zoom a map before saving it. The largest offline map size is about 30 square miles.
  • You can save a map under any title. We suggest giving a clear title to it, so you can delete a file without any doubts or check whether the desired city is in the list of saved maps.
  • For each map you have to specify the period of its obsolescence: we advise to check its relevance and update the files when required.
  • After deleting a map, you won't be able to use it without internet connection or until you download / update it again.

Viewing saved offline maps in Google Maps

  1. Open Google Maps on Android via your previously used account;
  2. Go to the main menu of the app via the sidebar by clicking on the button with horizontal bars;
  3. Open "Offline maps" section;
  4. The following actions are available for each offline map: Download, View, Rename or Delete.

How to use Google Maps offline

Navitel is a popular navigation app with offline mode feature

Android offline maps transform your phone into a full-fledged GPS device. Moreover, there is no need to spend money on mobile traffic any more, which is often very expensive.

Not every users wants to spend time downloading separate locations (in the way we've described above). You can download a set of detailed maps for a specific country or region once. One of such solutions is Navitel Navigator. It's available for Android smartphones and tablets, iOS devices and auto navigators.

In "Buy" section on the developer's website you can find special sets of offline maps for Europe, the USA and Latin America.

If we're talking about the quality of details of navigation apps maps, then perhaps this app is the best offline navigation app for mobile devices.

Download Navitel app for Android

Sygic is an offline navigation app with the maps of the countries of Europe and the United States

Sygic is a GPS navigation app. It supports free 3D offline maps for Android and you can travel anywhere with them (at least to >200 countries). These offline maps show so-called "Points of Interest", i.e. gas stations, cafes, shops and tourist attractions. In order to be able to use them you only have to pre-download the maps onto your mobile device.

Realtime features work in online mode only. Besides, Sygic offers the most accurate information on traffic based on the data gathered from 500 million users worldwide. Moreover, this data is also given by global auto manufacturers, mobile operators and providers of information on mapping and road traffic.

Within the first 7 days you can try all the features of the navigator, including the ones available after purchasing Lifetime Premium subscription. After 7 days Sygic will leave only its basic features, which are actually enough for a full-fledged operation.

Download Sygic navigator

Maps.me is a GPS navigation app for a phone with OSM-maps

Maps.me is a great free navigation app for those users who need offline mode and want to save their mobile traffic.

Maps.me supports OpenStreetMap offline maps which are usually made with a good amount of details. Ordinary users are involved in the development of these maps. Some of them are of better quality than Google Maps. Sometimes it happens that via Maps.me map you can find a bench or a track which is absent in other navigators.

Offline mode is handy because: in fact, you can map a route with no internet connection on your phone. In order to be able to do it, first of all you have to download the map onto your device via Maps.me menu.

The second option is to go to the desired location and bring it closer. This part of the map will be downloaded to your phone cache. Offline maps take only a few megabytes.

You can download Maps.me app via Google Play at the link:

Download Maps.me for free

Navigation app

Waze

Google Maps

Navitel

Sygic

Offline maps (working without internet connection)

+

+

+

+

Availability of offline maps for Android

+

+

+

+

Navigation across Europe / USA

+

+

+

+

The cost of its full version

free

free

from 1200 RUB

€16.99

What offline navigation app is the best one?

Let's sum it all up.

If the openness and free cost of maps are crucial to you, then you should pay attention to all of the mentioned above offline navigators with the exception of Navitel. If you're willing to pay around $30 for quality, then Navitel Navigator is a great solution for you and with no doubt it’s worth the money invested. This GPS program keeps the brand standards high and is in high demand.

Google Maps navigation works without internet connection, but there is still a restriction for Android and iOS versions: you can save for offline use only specific sections of a map (one or more cities), while drivers often need more details.

Waze is a promising navigation app with a large community. But keep in mind: not all traffic information will be available offline and maps won't always be perfect in their details.

Sygic: GPS Navigation displays three-dimensional offline maps for 200+ countries. The app will be pretty handy for those traveling around Europe and the United States without internet.

Anyway, we suggest reading the reviews of other users on any navigator. Not always its maps contain enough details, so you can face troubles while riding across another country.

Tip. Install not one, but two navigation apps on your phone. Download their offline maps and test each of them and only after it keep the app the one that you liked more.