This Google Maps Alternative Really Shows the Big Guys How It's Done

Magic Earth on iOS 7 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Magic Earth
Magic Earth on CarPlayMagic Earth on iOSMagic Earth on iOSMagic Earth on iOS and AndroidMagic Earth on iOSMagic Earth on iOS
Long-time Google Maps users find it impossible to give up on the app, but some of the latest updates ended up pushing many diehard users to alternative solutions.
The updated color palette turned Google Maps into a confusing mess, especially at night when it's almost impossible to see which way to go with a glance at the screen.

It's why the countless updates received by Magic Earth are so important.

If you've never heard of Magic Earth, it's time to check it out. Known as the app that pioneered CarPlay Dashboard support, getting this feature before the big guys like Google Maps and Apple Maps, Magic Earth is now receiving tons of updates, sometimes weekly. The latest big releases are part of the parent company's commitment to offering a fully featured navigation package, especially on iOS devices (though the application is also available on Android devices).

The latest update brings the app to version 7.9.5 and includes a feature that only Sygic (and potentially other less popular applications) offers to users. It's support for head-up display navigation, which allows the application to "project" essential navigation information on the windshield. To do this, Magic Earth switches to a dark background, displaying only the most important details on the screen. Users must install the mobile device under the windshield so the screen reflection mimics a projection in front of the driver's eyes.

It's an easy way to see the route, the distance to the next turn, and the ETA without checking out the mobile device regularly and taking the eyes off the road. Magic Earth allows users to change the HUD layout by simply swiping on the view.

The latest version also includes a donation feature, as well as other bug fixes and improvements to make sure the application works correctly.

The previous update (version 7.9.4) was released in early December and included support for search in the history view and tweaks for the iCloud backup option on the iPhone. Beginning with this update, the offline maps and the recorded video logs are no longer included in the iCloud backup to prevent the app from eating up your storage.

Magic Earth keeps evolving, and compared to Google Maps (and I think this is the app's main selling point), it promises to protect the users' privacy. The Magic Earth developers say they don't track or profile users, with no data collected and, therefore, not sold to advertisers. Your information is secure, and Magic Earth isn't interested in the locations you visit.

Besides that, the application offers the essential feature package, relying on OpenStreetMap for up-to-date maps and other capabilities such as offline navigation. The application also offers CarPlay support, with support for the Dashboard to run side-by-side with other tools, including Spotify and YouTube Music.
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