The Best Navigation App of 2022

Google Maps on CarPlay 14 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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The app arsenal of the modern driver comes down to just a handful of apps, but more often than not, a navigation solution is the one stealing the show.
And this isn’t by any means surprising. Navigation apps, be they Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, Sygic GPS Navigation, TomTom GO Navigation, or HERE Maps, come with a plethora of features supposed to make the time we spend behind the wheel not only more convenient but also safer.

The way they do this is as innovative as possible. One of their main goals is to make the road overall more predictable, and to do this, they keep the driver up-to-date with what’s happening ahead. Warnings about traffic jams, speed traps, and accidents have become a must-have part of the feature lineup of any modern app.

But at the end of the day, there’s one app that once again spearheaded the navigation software push in 2022. And its name is Google Maps.

As the world’s most popular mobile navigation app, Google Maps continues to sport an impressive feature lineup, including offline map support, real-time traffic information, and navigation capabilities that align with the modern world.

Google Maps has evolved significantly in 2022, and without a doubt, the feature that helped it secure the leading spot in the navigation software market was the support for fuel-efficient routes.

The eco-friendly routes in Google Maps aren’t new, but in 2022, Google tried and eventually managed to bring them to most users worldwide.

The way the fuel-saving routes in Google Maps work is as straightforward as possible. When searching for a route to a user-defined destination, Google Maps tries to determine not only the fastest way to reach the address but also the most fuel-efficient. As a result, the application takes into account more factors, including the road incline, in an attempt to determine just how much fuel your car would use to arrive at the destination.

Eco\-friendly routes in Google Maps
Photo: Google
The eco-friendly route could therefore be longer than the fastest sibling, but at the end of the day, it allows drivers to save fuel and reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicles.

At the same time, Google Maps has also introduced new capabilities specifically aimed at zero-emission vehicles. Users can now launch Google Maps and simply search for “EV charging stations” just like they’d search for anything else. The application should then display the nearest charging stations based on their locations.

Furthermore, Google Maps even allows users to filter the displayed results according to various settings, so, for instance, you can only see fast charging stations where 50kW or higher chargers are available. The EV plug-type filter also comes in handy whenever you want to make sure that you’re heading to a compatible charging station.

Without a doubt, Google Maps has evolved substantially in 2022 and leaving aside the occasional bugs that showed up throughout the year, this aggressive push for new-gen capabilities eventually turned it into the best navigation app in the last 12 months.

On the other hand, Google Maps isn’t the only app that’s focused on innovative features.

The runner-up

As one of the leading companies in the navigation world, Sygic has also tried to update its software with modern capabilities.

And in so many ways, Sygic managed to deliver on all the things it said it would do. One of the biggest updates is the support for wrong-way driver warnings.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where wrong-way drivers are a real concern, and what’s even worse is that despite all the measures that have already been implemented by authorities across the world, some people still end up going in the opposite direction. More often than not, this happens on high-speed roads such as highways, and it’s not difficult to figure out just how dangerous the whole thing is.

Sygic GPS Navigation
Photo: Sygic
Sygic has tried to address this problem with a new feature that is integrated into its navigation software. The wrong-way driver warning is now available in the company’s GPS Navigation solution, and it is based on a system that is more or less inspired by the one in Waze. Using a crowd-sourcing engine, the feature allows other motorists to report a wrong-way driver, with all the other users that are driving in the region then getting an alert on the screen.

Furthermore, if the wrong-way driver themselves is running Sygic’s software, the navigation app can show a notification on the screen and tell them to stop safely on the emergency lane.

The main shortcoming is that Sygic’s software is only available with a subscription, and without a doubt, this is the reason its adoption continues to be lower than in the case of Google Maps and Waze.

But at the end of the day, it’s pretty clear that navigation apps are making massive progress these days, not only in terms of driving convenience but also as far as the safety behind the wheel is concerned.

The most popular navigation apps today are (in totally random order) Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, HERE Maps, Sygic GPS Navigation, TomTom GO Navigation, TomTom AmiGO, Huawei Petal Maps, OsmAnd, and
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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.
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