Many navigation apps on smartphones offer GPS navigation, but not all of them offer live traffic data. And for those out on the road every day, this can be an extremely important factor.
Some apps use navigation to find a suitable route based on active traffic, which can cut your journey time short by avoiding traffic jams and congestion.
This is often crowdsourced data from other users, which can help apps to identify where traffic conditions are worse.
But which apps offer this feature, as well as others like lane guidance, speed limit alerts and more? We took a quick look at some of the best GPS navigation apps when it comes to traffic.
Google Maps: The Easiest
If you’re looking for easily accessible maps that provide detailed traffic information based on your circumstance, Google Maps may be the best choice for your needs.
Google Maps will help you to find the best routes for your daily journey, automatic rerouting based upon live traffic, events and traffic shutdown.
What makes Google Maps perhaps the best traffic app is that they have access to far more data than anyone else. This means that for live traffic, it’s very tough to compete with Google (although Waze does a good job, which I’ll get to in a minute).
Of course, as well as live data, Google is one of the best options when it comes to public transit maps, city navigation and route planning.
Google Maps has a vast knowledge of local areas, which includes speed cameras – great for avoiding speeding fines.
Plus, with the additional voice navigation and calendar integration, it makes sense to download Google Maps, even if you use it in combination with another traffic app.
You can also use Google Maps to get some insight from their innovative street views too, as they have satellite views of everywhere on Earth.
Overall, this is still one of the best traffic apps when it comes to making your daily commute. However, not being able to enter your vehicle size is a little annoying, and one of the main reasons it doesn’t make a great trucking or caravan sat nav app.
Waze navigation & live traffic: Our favourite
The Waze app is one of our favourite travel applications here, and this is thanks in large part to the realtime traffic data provided.
Waze is another community based app that relies on other drivers using it, meaning that a lot of the data is backed up by drivers rather than algorithms.
The apps lets us avoid traffic jams by using this data, and it’ll work quickly to help you find an alternate route based on traffic congestion on your preferred route.
The app will help you to find the cheapest petrol stations in your area, and calculate whether they’re along the route you’re taking too. It’s easily integrated into your car stereo setup, and it supports Apple CarPlay too which makes it perfect for iPhone users.
You can actually also download and play podcasts in Waze too that can help keep you busy. There are various different voice options within the app too that will give you turn by turn directions on your journey.
For most people, Waze is a great navigation app to download as it works great for identifying traffic flow, observing traffic features and much more.
Apple Maps: The Default iOS traffic app
Apple’s Maps is the default choice when it comes to using a Maps app on iPhone, but many users rarely even notice the different between Apple Maps and Google Maps.
For GPS Navigation, Apple Maps isn’t a bad choice, as it’ll give you the option to enter in multiple routes, saved your most frequently used routes to the app as well as working well with your Apple Watch.
However, it’s not the best traffic app when it comes to live traffic – Apple did update the app a few years ago to incorporate live traffic into the service, but it’s still not on par with Google or Waze (Google own Waze too, so really it’s Apple vs Google here).
Apple Maps does allow you to check speed limits in your area, and it’s not a bad choice for standard driving directions and getting from A to B.
Scout Maps: Feature-rich maps
Scout Maps helps people to overcome roadblocks and heavy traffic by displaying data in realtime. It’s one of the best choices when it comes to accessing traffic data online, and it has extremely up-to-date information.
Scout Maps helps to make finding the most convenient route to the destination easy.
However, although the user experience the app provides is pretty straightforward, it’s actually quite a complex app that uses more than a million editors to keep their information current.
You can easily save custom route preferences within your app, and you’ll be able to save your favourite map views within the app too.
You can use the live maps to check public transportation, see alternative route options and a bunch of additional features too.
Sygic GPS Navigation & Maps: Great safety features
Sygic is another solid choice if you’re looking for turn by turn navigation when trying to find the best route for your needs. You can track route progress and add your frequent destinations within the app too.
It offers a variety of safety features, which includes the Realtime Route Sharing feature, and Dynamic Lane Assistant, that helps guide you to the correct lane.
Sygic is a valid alternative to the other traffic apps already mentioned, and it’s perfect for making road trips.
It’s a useful choice, and it also works well when it comes to offline maps and offline navigation too.
For many of us, every day we need to deal with traffic on our way to and from work.
Most people will probably do best by sticking with GoogleMaps, as it’s an easy navigational tool that allows users to plan their routes by using car, but also with other transport methods like bus or bicycle too.
Many professional drivers turn to apps like Waze to get real time traffic updates and a more accurate picture of traffic slow. It can also help when it comes to taking alternate routes, as it has automatic re routing based on your location.
Some apps may require you to have location sharing on, as they rely on traffic data from other users to function properly. Hopefully, between the free and premium apps that we’ve shared you’ll be able to avoid traffic cameras and get to work that little bit faster.