Best Route Planner iPhone Apps Waze vs InRoute vs Here WeGo ... and 3 more
Edited by Jasmin, Eng, Maria Quinney
iPhone apps with GPS have made the world of navigation and route planning quicker and easier than ever before. There's no longer a need for a separate GPS device or paper maps (unless you're feeling nostalgic.) Whether you need help navigating through traffic by car, want to plan the safest path for biking to work, or planning a walk through an unfamiliar neighborhood, the following apps are your best bet. Sure, you could just use the default iOS or standard Google Maps apps, but the following 6 apps each offer a little something different to really up your route planning game.
Method 1: Waze
- 1Description. Specifically for car navigation, Waze is a community-based app that runs on user-generated traffic information. Every active user contributes to the collective data, so alerts remain up-to-date and precise.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free.Advertisement
- Speedy live routing and recalculations, as the app is constantly taking in real-time changes in traffic, accidents, road closures, police locations, and more.
- Since map editing is constant, Waze will likely be the first map to reflect even the smallest of road closures in your neighborhood.
- Will always choose the fastest route based on traffic estimates.
- Accurate, easy to read maps in 2D or 3D.
- Displays and color codes traffic speeds during rush hour; yellow for average, orange for slow, red for heavy/very slow, dark red for a standstill.
- Add friends to share your location and arrival time.
- Voice guided directions.
- Saves your recurring destinations, typical driving hours, and preferred routes.
- Add notes about local businesses and places of interest.
- Find the cheapest gas prices in your vicinity through updates from other users.
- Night mode display option.
- By taking different routes than you normally would, you end up seeing more of the city or town you live in.
- Upload photos of a destination so future drivers to that destination can have an idea of what they're looking for.
- Drains battery life pretty quickly.
- Ads pop up each time the vehicle is at rest.
- Doesn't offer lane guidance.
- 5Verdict. Getting to your destination quickly, while helping other people get to theirs; it's a win-win. While other navigation apps have added traffic information to their offerings, Waze is the only one that allows users to confirm information making it far more accurate and reliable. Download here.
Method 2: InRoute
- 1Description. A route planner and weather app all in one. Plan your daily commutes, road trips, and more and know about current and upcoming weather conditions without leaving the app.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free, with several options for upgrade. A one-time purchase of $20.99 gets you access to the Premium version, which can plan routes with up to 25 locations. For $39.99 a year you'll get access to the Pro version, which can plan a route with up to 100 locations. Both Premium and Pro offer voice navigation and severe weather alerts.
- Thorough tutorial to help you get started.
- To add a new destination, you need only to type and address or business name. No need to go by zip code or city first.
- Newly inputted addresses can be set as starting points, destinations, or stopovers, making multiple-stop trip planning simple.
- Search along your route for places of interest, or washrooms, restaurants, gas stations, etc.
- Favorite and save your frequent destinations.
- Save routes and export them to other, supported, navigation apps.
- Adjust departure and layover times for each leg of a trip.
- In addition to temperature, the app also displays wind speeds and direction, sunrise/sunset times, precipitation, and humidity.
- Displays elevations and curves in the roads you're traveling.
- Easily switch between walking and driving modes when creating a route.
- If the app remains in the background for a certain amount of time, it will shut down to save battery life.
- Interface can be confusing and cluttered.
- Lacks traffic alerts.
- Voice guiding is only available with the paid versions.
- 5Verdict. If voice navigation isn't big on your priority list, or you don't mind paying a little extra for it, In Route is a great route planning option. It's weather and elevation displays certainly make it stand out in the crowd. If you're a major road-tripper, the paid versions will make for a very handy tool. Download here.
Method 3: Here WeGo
- 1Description. The navigation app that plans routes for multiple modes of transportation and compares them, so you can choose the quickest and easiest option. Driving, walking, cycling, public transit, taxis, and car sharing are all compared.
- Brief walkthrough to get you started.
- Know everything about the trip before you go, including transit or taxi fares and wait times, traffic delays, and places to park near your destination.
- Search by address or business name, without needing to input zip code or city.
- Turn-by-turn voice navigation for drivers and step-by-step instructions for pedestrians and transit users.
- Sends ongoing traffic and public transportation alerts, so you're always a step ahead.
- Download maps (by an entire country, if you like) for offline use. Turn-by-turn navigations will continue to work.
- User can input current speed limits and the app will alert you if you're going too fast.
- Transit information for more than 1300 cities across the world.
- Provides estimates on how difficult the terrain will be during a bike ride.
- Car2Go users can book a car directly from the app.
- Integration with partnered services like Trip Advisor, BlaBlaCar, and more, help you find restaurants, parking, car sharing, car rentals, local tours, etc.
- Clean, attractive design.
- No lane guidance.
- Users have reported that walking and transit directions, as well as POI (points of interest) aren't always accurate or up-to-date.
Method 4: CycleMap
- 1Description. Whether you're cycling as a means of commute, for leisure, or exercise, CycleMap is the app that helps you get the most out of every ride.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free, with option to upgrade. At $5.49 per month, or $24.99 for the year, you'll get access to the Elite version with features like voice navigation, offline maps, ad removal, and more.
- RouteMagic feature suggests the best route for you based on skills, interest, and desire. Choose fast and direct routes for training and commuting, or slow, scenic routes for more leisurely rides.
- Provides detailed information about your route such as elevations, surface, distance, etc.
- Save your favorite places, destinations, and maps.
- Tracks your speed.
- Plot simple A to B routes, or ones with multiple stopovers.
- Creates routes specifically catered to bike-friendly and low-intensity roads.
- Supports .GPX and .KML files, so you can plan a route in another app and then import.
- Receive a free 2-week trial by subscribing to the app's newsletter.
- Points of Interest, such as bike parking, washrooms, bike share stations, bike shops, etc., are clearly displayed along your route.
- Help menu is available at all times and provides a surprising amount of information.
- Many key features, like voice navigation and offline maps, are only accessible in the Elite version.
- Interface could stand to be more user-friendly.
- 5Verdict. While other navigation apps offer basic cycle routes, they don't always take into account that people bike for different reasons and therefore need different route options. If you need an app specifically designed with cyclists in mind, this is the one for you. Download here.
Method 5: Footpath
- 1Description. A route-planning app for those who prefer walking.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. The basic version is a small, one-time fee of $1.39. The Elite version is $6.99 and unlocks access to save unlimited routes, editing of saved routes, sharing options, and more.
- Tailor made for people who enjoy walking as a means of commute, or for people who use walking and hiking as their form of fitness.
- Routes have never been easier to create; all you need to do is draw your path and let the find the appropriate roads and trails for you to take.
- Draw your routes free form when there are no roads or paths to take.
- Every planned route offers an estimated time of travel.
- Elevation profiles for each route help you gauge how difficult it will be.
- Share routes via social media, email, etc.
- Save up to 5 routes for future use.
- Many features only available with the Elite version.
- Slight learning curve in using the app's full potential.
- 5Verdict. This app understands that walkers and hikers aren't always going to take the most commonly used routes. It's freedom to create routes based on your needs really sets it apart from other navigation apps that offer walking directions as just one of their many options. Download here.
Method 6: PointX
- 1Description. No map, no address, no problem. This app helps you locate hard to find places, when maps aren't an option and even when cell service is weak.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free.
- Perfect for concerts, shopping centers, parking lots, amusement parks, the beach, or anywhere a traditional map can't help you navigate through.
- Ideal for something like an outdoor festival, where you may get lost in large crowds, and need to make meeting spots with friends or family.
- Bookmark locations, like your parking space in a big lot, by snapping photos of them. Tap the photo when you're ready to return and the app will guide you back.
- Share your location with a friend by using a photo and the app will help them find you, and vice versa.
- Live radar display shows your direction and distance to the destination.
- Indoor locations can be tricky since the app is best suited to use outdoors.
- 5Verdict. This app is a perfect complement to your other preferred car, transit, walking, and cycling navigation apps. Download here.
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