If you are a road warrior, you must know that one of the major problems when driving to new places is finding your actual location or the best route available to get to your destination. While there are a lot of mobile GPS Navigation apps, most of them are not free and require an active data connection to show the map of our current location in real-time. Fortunately there is MapFactor: GPS Navigation, a very capable free app that works using previously downloaded maps and your GPS to guide you through your journey.
The app’s main menu consists of six shortcuts that offer all the functionality you will need, although the ‘tools’, ‘map’ and ‘navigate’ are the ones you will use the most. There are 3 additional buttons at the bottom: Settings, Map Manager and Exit. In order to configure the app to your specific needs, the ‘settings’ button is the place to go. It contains all the options the app offers (vehicle profiles, the measure units, find points of interest and such), so make sure this is the first place you go before using the app.
MapFactor uses OpenStreetMap maps and downloads them directly to your phone memory through the ‘Map manager’. All the maps are free and the list is really long; they can take from a few megabytes to several hundred depending on the places (states or countries) you need to cover. Although downloading maps can be considered an annoying task by some people, this kind of approach lets the app to work completely offline once you hit the road, so it is ideal for users that do not have a 3G connection or find themselves driving through remote routes with very limited or null mobile data coverage. It is a clever way to avoid those expensive roaming data rates, too. Another benefit is that you can perform a smooth international routing without switching to a less detailed map once you cross into another country.
Selecting your starting and destination points is an easy task, just go to the map, tap on any desired location and then tap on the flag with a ‘S’ letter located at the top. The same goes for your destination, although you have to hit the checkered flag instead. Once you have set your starting and destination locations, you can use the ‘tools’ menu to calculate the best route available, simulate it, calculate the ETA, or activate the odometer. You can set the map to rotate in your driving direction (dynamic), or north up (static).
While navigating, the app shows 3 slots at the bottom of the screen; each can show different information and you can choose among 15 different options ranging from your current altitude, to the time to the next maneuver, your current speed, or the distance left to your destination, among others.
OpenStreetMap’s data is updated monthly, and its advanced features allow you to trace your own route using different routing modes such as pedestrian, bicycle, truck, bus or car. For this last one, the application incorporates a practical option for radars / speed cameras detection, so it will warn with an audible alert whenever you approach one. Also, as with other major GPS navigation apps, MapFactor gives you the ability to display the maps in 2D or 3D, different compass options, a special ‘night mode’ to prevent the screen to dazzle you when driving at night, and voice guiding among other great features.
Ultimately, MapFactor: GPS Navigation is an amazing navigation tool that will save you a lot of money and trouble if you are the kind of person that drives a lot, whether it is for leisure or living. Even though the OpenStreetMap maps MapFactor uses are not as detailed or eye-candy as Google's, they are accurate and get the job done. The app is available for any device running Android 2.3 and up. The download size varies depending on your device, but it lies between 9 to 11.5 MB and will take around 13 MB once installed. The app is ad-supported, but the only time you will see them is while downloading maps, so it is a fair deal.
MapFactor: GPS Navigation — Free Mobile App of the Week
Size: 9 to 11.5 MB
Get your own favorite app published! Know a free and neat app? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your suggestion.
Click here for more items like this. Better still, get the latest articles about mobile apps delivered daily via your RSS feeder or alternatively, have the RSS feed sent as email direct to your in-box.
Please rate this article: