Top 8 Navigation Apps Apple Watch

Location awareness is a big part of the draw of Apple’s new wearable device, both for consumers and developers. Whether you are looking for some kind of at a glance turn by turn way to navigate the world around you, or are an existing developer of this kind of app and want to bring it to people’s wrists in a big way, navigation apps are understandably taking off on the Apple Watch. That said, there are some big omissions from the line up so far, including the likes of Google Maps which hasn’t yet been update to add in Apple Watch support. There is no doubt about it: Google Maps is the go to navigation app for most users, whether you pocket an iPhone or an Android or whatever. But before Google arrives with their inevitable update, the doors are open for other developers to beat them to the punch and perhaps grab some market share in the process. One of those is the Citymapper app, which we will feature here and which has been heavily pushed by Apple as an important alternative, alongside its own preinstalled apps. We take a look at the other options!

8. Apple Maps

Starting with the official Apple Maps app, the whole world is now aware of the problems that Apple has had with this app in the past, but the Watch update is useful enough. While the app is fairly basic at this point, it does appear to be suggesting a direction for other developers of similar navigation apps by making use of the tap notifications. This bascially means that you can input a destination and then, despite the fact that it is more convenient than staring at your phone while making your way across the city, you don’t even need to look at your watch because the app will deliver a small tap should you have to turn left or right – true hands free navigation? – More Info from Apple

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7. Transit (Free)

Forever condemned to annoyingly limited third party apps, public transit info is back in ab ig way with the Apple Watch, and that’s really great to see. We’ll speak about the excellent Citymapper app in a while, but one basic option that is worth looking at should you be a new Apple Watch user who does take the train or the bus is this Transit app. Rather than the notification heavy experience we have been seeing from some navigation apps, the Transit app is more of a basic list of times and directions, so even the most illiterate of app users should have no trouble navigating its interface. – Download from iTunes

6. MOOVIT (Free)

The MOOVIT app is a great general city based navigation app that combines stuff like route planning and public transport to get you across your town in an efficient and timely manner. For those who have used the app on the iPhone, it’s a nice alternative and also quite lightweight when compared to apps. So should you be riding in the car or looking out for the next bus or train, the basic premise remains: finding the quickest way to your destination, and MOOVIT does that well,  expecially on your wrist! – Download from iTunes

5. Topo Maps+ (Free)

Some apps are great for driving and others are great for general navigation, but one of the bigger blindspots I’ve noticed amount this generation of navigation apps is the on foot capabilities. This is certainly the case if you look closely at the iOS version of Google Maps and others. Fortunately, there is one developer who has focused on the walking (or should I say the hiking) side fo navigation apps. This Topo Maps app from Glacier Peak Studios has recently been updated for the Apple Watch and is an excellent way of monitoring the peaks around you when hiking or just out for a stroll. – Download from iTunes

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4. Find Near Me (Free)

As mentioned previously, location awareness is one of the big things of the Apple Watch, and there is no app that better embodies this than the Find Near Me app. It’s an excellent way of finding nearby businesses and other small things that you might not see on apps like Yelp or TripAdvisor such as ATMs, banks and that kind of thing. It doesn’t quite have the depth of these other apps when it comes to ratings and info, but it is very quick which oftentimes is all you’re interested in. The app is also very much on the top of Apple’s list when it comes to pushing apps on the App Store, mainly due to its integration with Siri which allows you to input info via voice rather than text. – Download from iTunes

3. Citymapper (Free)

The Citymapper is one of those apps that has sen a lot of exposure recently, both by the media and  by Apple itself. With so many people these days using public rather than private transport to get around – and indeed being encouraged to do so – it’s something of a shame that stuff like public transport directions and info has been resigned to poorly made third party apps. At this point, the Citymapper app only supports about a dozen big cities, but there are more on the way. With it, you can get one tap directions informing you of the quickest and easiest way to get home, as well as the ability to save recurring locations and routest to make it easier than ever before to immediately access this info. You also get real time info on the different transit stops around you, and are informed at a glance if there are any alerts such as delays or closed routes, or whatever. – Download from iTunes

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2. MotionX GPS ($0.99)

Fullpower recently announced their update for the iOS app to support the Apple Watch, and the results are impressive. With this new interface, you can easily stop and start recording GPS journeys with the tap of your wrist, view your current stats such as speed, recorded distance and stuff like that. You can also of course view your current location, and mark waypoints on the way should you be perhaps travelling and wish to mark things that you’ve seen for later perusal. The MotionX GPS app works as an excellent companion for the iPhone version of the app, and represents not only a great way to plan and execute journeys but a great way to get around in general. – Download from iTunes

1. NAVIGON ($49.99)

We’ve featured turn by turn navigation app for the iOS platforms before, and it’s interesting the kind of expensive options there are available, should you dig a little. These are mainly based around the accuracy of their data, and the fact that the apps themselves contain all the location data already so that you don’t need to be always connected in order to take advantage of the turn by turn GPS functionality. One of these is the NAVIGON range of apps, from the German developer Garmin. Their as have recently been updated for the Apple Watch, and despite the $50 price tag for the USA app alone, it’s really worth it and I can’t stress this enough! – Download from iTunes

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