Best navigation apps for Android

by Kristen Nicole

One great thing about Android phones is their ability to help you orient yourself, based on your exact location. With navigation tools, you can find your way to anywhere you'd like to go. The Android market has a number of navigation apps to choose from, helping you track down garage sales and avoiding speed traps along the way.

Local Search

Google Maps is one of the best free navigation tools for Android. The app gives turn-by-turn directions for walking, transit or driving, with an option for spoken navigation, as well. Search for nearby venues, track traffic, and access Google Maps Street View from this app. You can also view friends' locations, and add custom layers.

Navigate your surroundings with the popular iPhone and Android app, AroundMe. Free, AroundMe will navigate you to businesses in your vicinity. Broken down by category, you can filter results based on distance to your current GPS location.

Custom tools

Waze is a free mobile app available for iPhone and Android users. With several layer options for your immediate location, you can find nearby venues, avoid police traps, keep track of friends, and receive traffic updates. The crowd-sourced contributions for Waze add context to your mobile navigation, orienting the tool for your purposes.

WisePilot's free Android app adds a custom touch by tracking your history and letting you add favorites to your navigation locations. Similar to Waze, WisePilot aggregates speed alerts, weather updates and venue details along with its navigation tool. Though based in the U.K., WisePilot works for U.S. users, even with local search.

Activity specific

BackCountry Navigator is an add-on for accessing the full version of the Android app. For $9.99, you get offline topography maps, aerial photography and road maps, which you can use to navigate unmarked terrain. Designed for the adventuresome, hikers and hunters will make the best use of this outdoor recreation tool.

Appreciate a good yard-sale find? Try the Garage Sale Rover. This $2.99 Android app maps local yard sales, pulled from Craigslist, and gives you turn-by-turn directions to each. Now you'll catch all the yard sales you want, without having to scour the city aimlessly. Save sales of interest, plot your path, and get to roving!