The designated portable Sat Nav device is by no means dead technology yet, but the increasing sophistication of Sat Nav apps for smartphones is making them the preference of many users. A Sat Nav device is still a strong investment. If you are making regular long journeys in unfamiliar places then you will still probably want to get hold of one. But if you’re a more occasional traveller, or rarely stray from a certain number of familiar routes, simply downloading a Sat Nav app will probably be sufficient.
The benefits of smartphones to drivers have long been obvious. Hands free calls and music streaming have become far easier since they came along, but it’s not all comfort. The future of the Sat Nav may well lie in Sat Nav app. Here are some recommended apps:
Google maps is automatically installed on Android phones and can be easily downloaded on Apple devices. For many of us, Google maps is now our go-to atlas, streetmap and A-Z all in one, and this familiarity can be helpful in responding quickly to directions when on the road. It also has the advantage of being free!
Waze is another free app which responds and develops according to the data provided by its 40 million users. Information on congestion, speed cameras and fuel prices is constantly being updated. The visuals aren’t as intuitive as Google Maps, but this is very much ‘the future of Sat Navs’.
AA have their own Sat Nav app, priced around £25. If you prefer tried and tested professional expertise to the more fashionable user-generated content of Waze, then this may be you. AA’s app has the benefit of continuing to update you on directions, even as you make calls. AA’s massive and trusted database of recommended hotels, restaurants and other convenient sites of attraction is also incorporated into the app.
Another trusted brand who know what they’re talking about. One of the big manufacturers of Sat Nav devices also make their own app. TomTom UK & Ireland’s app uses your phone contacts to automatically garner addresses you are likely to need. It is on the pricey side though, at over £30. And reviewers often express frustration at the lack of inbuilt traffic updating.
Sat Nav technology is not only for road users. Increasingly, the health conscious are turning to devices that use exactly the same innovations to help them measure their fitness and to keep them on the right track. A personal activity tracker could help you lose weight and improve your fitness by providing incentives to take the stairs, walk to work, or run that extra block. Like the pedometers of yesterday, these more recent devices measure how far you walk or run, and help you calculate what this means for your calorie burn count.
These devices can automatically detect when you are walking, running, or riding a bicycle, and code their results accordingly. Some models link up to an online account, keeping track of your progress over days, weeks and months. Worn on the wrist, or clipped onto the front of a sports vest or bra strap, these trackers won’t get in your way when you’re pounding the track.