Navigation is crucial when traveling, especially if you’re traveling to someplace for the first time. Navigation devices for different types of vehicles have been used since the early days of travel and exploration. Over time, technological advancements in the field have led to the development of sophisticated GPS and satellite-based navigation devices and software applications.
Herein, we shall discuss the technology and its applications in brief.
A navigation app is your ultimate travel buddy. It is a digital improvement over traditional GPS systems and can be downloaded straight to your phone. The principles and concepts of navigation remain the same for all GPS-enabled devices, be it your smartphone or a stand-alone GPS unit. However, for your smartphone app, all you need is a stable cellular data connection to run this application. The main function of the app is to plot a course from point A to point B and scan the road ahead to notify any changes in the route or traffic condition, all in real-time. Navigation apps make getting around convenient, as it does most of the work to let you enjoy the drive. iPhone navigation apps, in particular, are developed for their phone and tablet line of touch devices.
Your smartphone has most of the basic components of a GPS-enabled device, including the circuitry for emergency location sharing. It is one of the main reasons why there are many iPhone navigation apps available in the market; these can transform your smartphone into a highly functional GPS-enabled device. The iPhone navigation app constantly communicates with satellites and can triangulate your exact position using three or more satellites. It can also provide accurate information regarding elevation and traveling speed. All the application needs is an updated source of maps to convert the data into visuals for reference.
Navigation apps feature a user-friendly interface. The input parameters include your current location, the destination you wish to travel to, and your mode of travel. All you have to do is provide this information and the software will compute the fastest and most convenient route across multiple options for walking, driving, and public transport. Apple maps is the default iPhone navigation app developed by Apple Inc for iOS, watchOS, and macOS. Additionally, it is available on the App Store for free and supports navigation in over 34 commonly spoken languages. Apple maps can be integrated with Siri, making it possible for you to edit your route without having to take your hand off the wheel.
You have to understand that the safety of such applications is subject to the use of the app itself. For example, a GPS application can provide only your current location. If a smartphone is protected with antivirus software, there is some security in place. Also, location-sharing is enabled only when the user gives permission. By default, an application installed on your phone must request user access to grant certain permissions. It is one of the ways you can make your GPS-enabled device safe to use.
Most navigation apps are available for free online. Apple Maps is a popular and free choice. However, there are some specific iPhone navigation apps that feature additional functions for a premium subscription. For example, CoPilot is a great option app for offline navigation of cars, caravans, and trucks. The app has been specifically designed for professional convoy routing, scheduling, visualization, and navigation. You only get a 14-day free trial after which, premium subscription kicks in for the services. Furthermore, Sygic, Navmii, and Navigon are some other premium apps available on the App Store.
The user interface, quality of maps, and connectivity are among some pertinent factors that you must consider before determining if the navigation app or GPS system is better. Note that both devices have many useful features but also lack some basic functionalities. Smartphone navigation apps have a small screen and can be difficult to use while driving, especially with a touch interface. Dedicated GPS have a more user-friendly dashboard interface with easy-to-reach control buttons. Smartphone apps automatically upgrade in the background while you will have to download individual maps sets of Portable Navigation Devices for a manual update. Lastly, a smartphone app can connect to satellites using any cellular network without incurring additional charges. But you might incur a monthly fee for using PND’s over different types of networks. Some may not even support cellular data.
Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, HERE, CoPilot, Sygic, Scout, MapQuest, Navmii, and Navigon are among the top iPhone navigation apps available for download from the App Store. These apps have free and premium subscription plans for a range of navigation features. You can compare their features through app reviews to choose an app that suits you the best.
The accuracy of navigation directly depends on how well the app connects with the overhead satellites to triangulate and pinpoint your exact location. Simply put, the greater number of satellites your GPS device can communicate with, the better and more accurate will be the information received and processed in real-time. Apart from this, the weather and outdoor conditions can interfere with the acquisition of the signal. However, most GPS-enabled apps have an offline mode that lets you download a particular section of the map on the route you have decided to travel.
Yes, navigation apps come in very handy when you are driving, as you receive real-time location updates, traffic alerts, and alternate route suggestions on the go.