GPS, please - Weekend

GPS, please

By Meg Rivera


I WENT on a road trip to Siquijor recently. It was gorgeous, and everything you could ever want in a holiday. There was lots of sun, beach and new sights to see. We planned to spend a whole day exploring the island, and we wanted to do it old school. The hotel manager gave us a map and pointed out the sights. We were ready for an adventure.

It’s not easy to get lost in Siquijor, but we seemed to have managed it in the first 15 minutes of our trip. We were headed for Kagusuan Beach, one of the more secluded sights on the map. We would have missed it completely if one of us hadn’t had good old Google maps installed. It was such a lifesaver, and it didn’t even need an Internet connection!

This week, we have three apps that work as GPS and navigation systems. These are such a big step up from the old paper maps that nobody knows how to fold back. For the sake of travelers everywhere who have no Internet, none of these apps requires a connection to function. So get yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to get lost while you look for your next big adventure!

AndroiTS-GPS-Test-FreeApp name: AndroiTS GPS Test Free

App developer: Alessandro Bonetti

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: When I first saw this app, I instantly felt that I was one of the Wild Thornberrys. I could get lost absolutely anywhere in the world and I would know exactly where I was. This app is much more than a GPS; it works as a compass, a pedometer and a satellite register.

Overall comment: This is for the passionate travel who wants to know how far they’ve walked or how much time they’ve spent in a certain area. If you’re also wanting to know how many satellites are helping you with your information, you can see that too. It doesn’t have a map feature, but it can help you triangulate your location if all you have is a paper map. Damn helpful. Four clicks out of five.

Google-MapsApp name: Google Maps

App developer: Google Inc

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: I’ve said this before, but Google always delivers on products that are simple to use, but gives the best results. You can use this to determine your location in a certain area, and you can use this to listen to driving instructions as you make your way to your destination.

Overall comment: This was our salvation, as we stood on that dusty side road in Siquijor. We just wanted to go for a swim in a little beach, but couldn’t find the path that led to it. Google Maps was able to track our location and give us detailed instructions on how to find it. Perfect for the solo traveler who can’t always ask for directions. Four clicks out of five.

GPS-EssentialsApp name: GPS Essentials

App developer:

Available on: Google Play

Easy to use: Did you ever watch Johnny Quest as a kid and feel envious of his talking car? This app will help you relive those days, as GPS tool has everything you need to navigate your car journey. From sunrise to moon set settings to a tracker that allows you to map out your route on Google Maps, this GPS has everything.

Overall comment: This has everything but clear instructions on how to use it. For all its detail and incredible HD maps, there is nothing here on how to use it effectively. I had to figure it out based on the comments on the Google Play page, as well as flicking around it myself. I might be missing something here, but if they could make the instructions easier to find this might have been rated higher. Three clicks out of five.

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