You don’t have to be a hardcore gadget fanatic to know that GPS has become a part of almost every smartphone nowadays. Although GPS based navigation technology has existed for some time now, their amalgamation with mobile phones has created a lot of possibilities for innovation. App stores of both, iOS and Android, are filled with many innovative apps that make use of the power of GPS to make your life simpler and more productive. Here we review 5 of the best GPS based apps.

Best GPS Apps for iPhone and Android

Top 5 Smartphone GPS Apps

1. Google Maps

Easily the most used GPS app (so far) all over the world. Google pioneered the digital mapping technology and brought it to its vast customer base, totally free of cost. For Android phones, the Google Maps app offers voice enabled turn-by-turn navigation.On the iPhone (as of now) though, you’ll have to shell out money for a fully-fledged navigation app to get that functionality, as the inbuilt Maps app in iOS doesn’t support it.Other nifty features that come bundled with this app include 3D maps, indoor maps, street views etc. The app also comes with Google Latitude integration, which allows you to track the location of your friends, should they choose to accept your request.

Supported by almost all major mobile operating systems, Google Maps remains perched firmly on top among GPS based apps.

2. TomTom for iPhone

Without doubt, TomTom is the best GPS navigation app on iOS. Even the heavy price tag of $55.99 did not deter iPhone users from making it one most loved GPS apps on the App Store. TomTom is mainly targeted at drivers, rather than pedestrians, and offers turn-by-turn voice navigation which, as stated above, is missing from the iOS version of Google Maps. The 3D map view is clear and well presented, and is indispensable while you’re on the road driving because the top down view is not always very easy to interpret when you’re in a hurry. Also, all maps are saved locally on your device, which makes map access faster and your experience smoother. Up-to-date maps are available for download, as soon as they are available, free of any extra charge.

TomTom also offers an extra service, named HD Traffic, which is available at a yearly subscription fee of $19.99. This service integrates itself into the main app and provides you one of the most up-to-date and accurate traffic information available anywhere.

3. Locale for Android

Ever got embarrassed because your phone rang during an important meeting? Never again, if you have Locale installed on your Android phone. It is one of those intelligent apps that you just can’t afford to miss. Locale uses GPS to trigger certain pre-programmed actions when you reach a predefined location. You can use it to remind yourself to pick up the laundry when you walk by the store. You can program it to automatically put your phone one silent/vibrate mode when you enter the meeting room, or a movie hall. Possibilities are endless. The app is available on the Google Play store for $4.99.

4. GPS Essentials for Android

Aptly described as “The Swiss army knife of GPS Navigation”, in the App Description on Play store, GPS Essentials is definitely going to make your life simpler. Highly useful for people who travel a lot, this app can display information like altitude, latitude and longitude, speed, average speed, sunrise, sunset et al. The app features a customizable dashboard, and tons of widgets to fill it with. The app can also act as a compass, and features an inbuilt map mode. GPS Essentials is definitely targeted towards professional travellers, who’ll be amazed by the plethora of features it offers.

GPS Essentials is available on the Google Play store, free of cost.

5. Nike+ GPS

Any GPS app compilation is incomplete without a fitness app. The Nike+ GPS is definitely a must-have for fitness enthusiasts, who are freakishly strict about their fitness routine. This app will accurately record your running time, maximum and minimum speed, elevations and will map the exact path of your run. The app then breaks down, analyzes, and displays your data in a very detailed and meaningful form. Using the data, the app is able to create any graph you could possible want. Another great feature is the voice alert feature, which gives you various details such as your speed and time and edges you to run faster or longer. The feature that allows you to share your run stats with friends adds a social tinge to this app, and is a welcome feature.

The app is available for iOS on the App store at a modest price of $1.99.