Contemporary world is the age of technology. Back in 80’s, GPS was a luxury, mainly associated with military and scouting. Star-mapping, moon positions and “asking someone” was the common ways of getting direction. Okay, maybe it is a bit exaggerated, yet today’s GPS navigation techs are so advanced and common to a level that was unimaginable in the past century. Maps are digitized and now both online and offline maps are doing their job perfectly on smartphones and tablets – in your pockets and bags. On your fingertips, easy and fast.
What is GPS?
"GPS, or the Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system that uses at least 24 satellites, a receiver and algorithms to provide location, velocity and time synchronization for air, sea and land travel." (source: https://www.geotab.com/blog/what-is-gps/)
But most importantly, we have to mention that: GPS signals are not related to Internet. Which means, your phone receives GPS signals directly from the satellites, without using internet data. Fortunately, Europe is well covered by the satellite GPS system, so GPS in Europe is not a problem.
Does GPS use internet?
No. As mentioned above, GPS does not consume data from your internet service. However, your phone needs internet connection for the map itself. That is to say, the phone (or tablet) calculates your locational coordinates via the satellites, therefore you only need an offline functioning map. This is where internet comes. You need to download a map of Europe so it can work offline, or you can use an online map app, staying up to date. Using a wifi hotspot device will help you stay connected all the time. You can read more on map apps from here.
What are the Best Sat-Nav apps?
There is no “best app” but some apps obviously have better functionality than others. There are many satellite apps and navigation apps on AppStore for iPhone and iPad and PlayStore for Android that works abroad.
Google Maps is undoubtedly the most known and used free GPS app. It works both online and offline. You can select a portion of the map and download that part to be able to use offline later. You still need a network connection beforehand. Additionally, Google Maps does a fantastic job when online. You can search for touristic locations in Europe and read reviews. It also has driving assistance with dozens of languages available and real time traffic data.
MapFactor GPS Navigation is another free navigation app offering both online and offline maps. Using data from OpenStreetMaps, MapFactor supports offline maps in over 200 countries abroad, including Europe. It is free to use, however there are some ads. In app purchases to remove ads are optional.
Here WeGo may look familiar to many. It is the former Nokia GPS services. It was and still very popular among drivers and traveler abroad. It has frequent updates, making it a reliable satellite app. It is fast and easy to use. Here WeGo will be your personal guide during your travel to Europe. It is free but comes with ads.
Sygic is a polished and professional looking navigation app. It uses TomTom maps and mainly designed for drivers. Being accurate and various map view options (including 3D), Sygic is like a co-pilot. It warns you about speed limits, has a lane guidance system and real traffic information. You will require an internet connection.
So, the important question is whether a network connection is necessary when travelling.
As mentioned above most of these apps still need a network connection, in order to download locations or to use all of the necessary features while travelling. Furthermore, you will be able to fulfil your daily requirements with a reliable, unlimited network connection, such as gaining access to other mobile apps/ emails, communicating with loved ones.
Rent 'n Connect mobile wifi devices will be a great partner with these apps, helping you to find your way wherever you are in Europe.
Here are more benefits: Secure connection, unlimited Wi-Fi, service in more than 30 countries, high-speed Wi-Fi and excellent customer experience… Of course, besides all of these benefits, your experience counts! Book now and be fascinated!