So in other words, Google Maps is trying to reduce your fuel consumption when you use the app navigation, while also cutting the overall carbon footprint.
But it goes without saying Google Maps isn’t the only navigation app out there, and several other companies are investing in similar solutions, each coming with their own unique capabilities.
More recently, some of them landed on Android Auto, as Google decided to unlock its app for third-party navigation solutions in the car.
WazeOne of the top alternatives to Google Maps is without a doubt Waze. Also owned by Google, Waze relies on a different approach and tries to determine the fastest route to a specific destination based on crowdsourcing.
So how it works is as simple as it could be: it allows users to send traffic reports, such as speed traps, accidents, vehicles stopped on the road, broken traffic lights, and traffic jams, and based on all of them, it then tries to find the fastest route to a user-provided address.
So as compared to Google Maps, which is mostly focused on straightforward navigation, now with fuel efficiency in mind, Waze is specifically looking at the traffic conditions, therefore being one of the best choices for drivers who want to reach their destination faster, especially in crowded cities.
Needless to say, Waze also works on Android Auto and receives updates regularly, also allowing you to send reports from the head unit without interacting with the phone.
Sygic GPS NavigationIf you’ve never used Sygic GPS Navigation, you definitely need to take it for a spin.
Now available on Android Auto as well, Sygic’s navigation app comes with an impressive feature lineup, offering pretty much everything a driver would expect from such a solution.
For example, Sygic offers offline maps, which means you don’t even need an Internet connection to get directions to a specific destination.
But while such capabilities are also available in Google Maps, Sygic’s piece de resistance is the rich feature lineup that also includes speed limit warnings, predictive routing to try to determine when and where traffic congestion could occur, and lane assistance.
The interface of the app is as straightforward as possible, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s all just a matter of time until you figure out which option is which.
TomTom AmiGOThe third recommended app comes from TomTom and is called AmiGO.
Just like the other navigation apps currently available on Android Auto, TomTom AmiGO comes with a very clean UI, and this time mixes the standard navigation capabilities with new-generation features, including real-time alerts for speed cameras, danger zones, closed roads, and traffic jams.
In addition, TomTom AmiGO also offers average speed check zones for certain locations, a feature that’s currently missing from Google Maps, as well as mobile speed camera alerts based on community reports.
All in all, the good news is the Android Auto app ecosystem is slowly but surely growing and customers can now choose from a wider variety of apps, including in a software category that has until now been dominated by Google Maps. It remains to be seen if any of these manage to dethrone Google Maps, but giving choice to users is definitely a step in the right direction for Android Auto.