Gone are the days of folding and unfolding huge maps that you get from the gas station or the Automobile Club, what with GPS, Maps apps, and the like. Using the built-in Maps app is a great way to get where you need to go, but what if you want to take your navigation to the next level? What if you need to make sure you don’t get a speeding ticket? What if you want to get your kids excited about the National Park you’re all going to see? Maps app won’t do any of that justice. Here are three apps that will, though.
Turn by turn navigation is really the best way to get around, especially when road-tripping through unfamiliar cities and towns. There are a ton of apps out there, but why spend all the cash on those when you only need it for one trip? AT&T’s own navigation app, AT&T Navigator, is a free download, and will simply add a $10 to your AT&T bill, saving the hassle of signing up for another service. When you’re not gadding about the country, you simply turn off the feature, and don’t have to pay another cent.
Speeding tickets are kind of a bummer. It’s hard not to speed, though, when you’re jamming along the highway, cranking the tunes, headed for who knows where far away from here. Luckily, Trapster is here to help you avoid those speed traps along the way. The app will alert you when there are road hazards ahead of you as well as letting you know when you are going too fast for the posted speed limit, using the accelerometer in your iPhone. There’s also live traffic reports from NAVTEQ, and some great crowd-sourced info from other Trapster users. It’s also free, so you don’t have anything to lose by checking it out.
Google Earth may seem like an odd addition to this list, but boy is it fantastic if you want to show your kids (or other passengers) where you are headed. Going to the Grand Canyon? Simply search for it and zoom into the beautiful satellite imagery provided by Google’s amazing app. You can have it label things for you, or turn them all off for an unfettered flyover of your destination. Slick, fun, free, and gorgeous on the new iPad.