5 Google Maps and Waze Alternatives You Didn't Know Exist

Google Maps alternatives 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
Google Maps alternativesGoogle Maps alternativesGoogle Maps alternativesGoogle Maps alternativesGoogle Maps alternatives
Google Maps and Waze might be the world's top navigation apps, but they're not alone in this space. Competition is getting fiercer, and Apple Maps is proof that the number of alternatives keeps growing steadily.
However, in addition to the big names like Apple Maps, Sygic GPS Navigation, and TomTom GO Navigation, the market also includes underdogs whose user base is significantly smaller.

It doesn't mean these apps don't deserve your attention. They just don't have the same gigantic number of users as Google Maps and Waze, so many people aren't willing to install them, thinking they're no good.

Today, I'll highlight five of these underdogs, and if you're looking for an alternative to the big guys, giving them a try might be worth the time and fun.

TomTom AmiGO

Google Maps alternatives
Photo: TomTom
I'm pretty sure you've heard of TomTom, as the company has an incredible legacy in the navigation software world. Its software is already installed in millions of vehicles, and its mobile application – GO Navigation – is rapidly gaining traction on Android and iOS.

However, TomTom also released a more "lightweight" navigation app called AmiGO, which aims to double as a Waze replacement.

It includes the essential navigation package, supporting speed camera warnings and real-time traffic alerts. The application is completely free, but what I like the most is its clean interface. AmiGO looks great on Android Auto and CarPlay, proving that you don't have to spam the user with unnecessary data (I'm looking at you, Waze) to offer a solid navigation experience.

Petal Maps

Google Maps alternatives
Photo: Huawei
I'm not sure you knew this one, but Petal Maps was meant to be a Google Maps alternative right from the drawing board.

In 2019, when Huawei hit a roadblock in the United States, facing painful sanctions that forced it to retreat to China, the company had no option but to give up on Android, Google services, and any other piece of software ever touched by an American company.

It abandoned Google Maps, so its promise was to provide its customers with an advanced alternative. Petal Maps was born with the essential feature package, including detailed maps and turn-by-turn guidance, with more advanced extras, such as lane assistance, joining the app in future updates.

Petal Maps has improved slowly on Huawei's devices, and the Chinese tech giant has also released an iOS application. However, the latter version is outdated and feels abandoned.

Magic Earth

Google Maps alternatives
Photo: Magic Earth
Magic Earth is one of the best Google Maps alternatives, period. Its iOS version is impressive, with an Android release also making its way to the Play Store not long ago.

The first time I got to use Magic Earth was a few years ago when Apple launched the CarPlay Dashboard, which allows users to run multiple apps on the same screen.

Magic Earth was one of the first applications to support the Dashboard and run in the dedicated navigation card on CarPlay, with Google Maps and Waze getting the same features several weeks later.

The number one selling point of Magic Earth is full user privacy, as the parent company promises that it doesn't collect and sell user data.

The navigation feature arsenal includes everything you'd need, such as offline maps, turn-by-turn guidance, HUD interior, lane assistance, speed camera warnings, and multiple-stop integration.


Google Maps alternatives
Photo: MapFactor
MapFactor doesn't receive updates as frequently as others but is still a fantastic choice if you want voice navigation, speed limit and camera warnings, offline maps, CarPlay support, and multiple navigation modes.

The biggest drawback is the Premium package, which includes support for alternative routes (they should be a free feature, there's no doubt about it), a head-up display component, and no ads.

The application uses OSM maps but also offers professional TomTom navigation maps with UK postcodes.

TomTom GO Ride

Google Maps alternatives
Photo: TomTom
This one isn't a fully featured Google Maps alternative, albeit it can help users abandon Google's application if their preferred travel mode is a motorcycle.

Using TomTom's know-how and resources, GO Ride proposes a different approach to navigation, allowing riders to choose between three routing modes: fast, thrilling, and super thrilling. The fast route provides riders with the shortest riding time to a destination, while the other two modes are supposed to let them enjoy the scenery by focusing on roads with winding roads, curves, and hills. Custom routes are also available, with the application allowing users to add as many stops as they want (compared to Google Maps, which comes with limitations to this feature).

TomTom GO Ride includes a 3D view, speed information, visual warnings, sharing and saving rides support, and GPX file import integration. It's free of charge and uses TomTom maps for accurate navigation and directions regardless of the chosen route mode. It has already landed on iPhone and Android, but it lacks support for Android Auto and CarPlay, so riders will have to rely on their mobile devices to access the feature lineup mentioned above.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories