A reader wondered how much data his smart phone would use, with GPS running the whole time, on a road trip to Florida. First the good news: The GPS system doesn’t use data. Now the bad news: Downloading maps does. One way to avoid data charges is to get a free app called “CoPilot GPS,” which currently has over 14 million users. (We wrote about it once before, but didn’t realize how crucial it was for saving data charges — since we’re on an unlimited data plan, but with very few talk-minutes.) After you install the app, download the region or country you’re interested in. Now you’re ready to see maps and directions offline. You don’t need any cellular or […]
“Waze” is a free alternative to Google Maps (also free). It calls out turn-by-turn directions, just as Google Maps does. Just tap the microphone and speak your destination, or type it in. Then tap “navigate.” For those who want more, Waze keeps you up to date on traffic conditions and can even tell you when your friends arrived at the destination. (If five minutes have gone by and they still haven’t got out of the car and wrung the bell, they’re probably arguing about whether to see you at all.)
A glass of water destroyed Joy’s smart phone. It happened during lunch. We don’t care if we miss calls, it’s the turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps that we miss. So while we’re without a smart phone, we’re using “CoPilot GPS.” It brings turn-by-turn directions even when you can’t connect to the Internet.
Joy just created a map of the best vegetarian restaurants around town. Now she can put that map into the Google Maps Gallery. Previously, the Google Maps Gallery only showcased maps from heavy hitters like the National Geographic, NASA, or the World Bank. Now you can do one too.
“Marco Polo,” an app named after the children’s game, lets you send your location to one or more friends instead of broadcasting it to everyone. Tap the “Marco” button and friends you select get a pin on a map showing where you are. Next, your friends will have a chance to tap their location back to you.