One of the fantastic functions of smartphones and tablets is their ability to act as a navigation system when required. However with most map and travel apps your are required to have an Internet connection open in order to use them to their potential. If you are traveling abroad this can become expensive and it is inconvenient when you are in an area with no signal. However City Maps 2Go the second most popular map app in the iTunes store has recently gone free from its premium price. It does not require any data connection to give live details and offers many more features to lead us to consider it the best free travel guide app for iPhone or iPad.
Unlike other offline map apps, City Maps 2Go does not cache maps in the memory to be used offline, but rather lets you download complete city maps at all levels of detail. The maps sizes vary from 0.5 MB – 50 MB and they are adequately detailed using the open source map Open Street Map.
There are over 7,800 maps currently available for locations around the world and you can request maps from the developer Ulmon for obscure locations, which they apparently respond to within 24 hours. You can either store many maps on your iPhone or iPad or go back and add them as and when you need them.
The maps themselves contain points of interest such as hotels, transport routes, restaurants, zoos, shopping and more. These are embedded into the map and you can use them in conjunction such as to find hotels near points of interest. There is also a feature for City Maps 2Go call “Wiki Plus” This allows you to retrieve and read detailed information from Wikipedia on the attractions and as such is like traveling with a mini travel book. The removal of in-app purchases to make everything within the app free is a great reason alone for downloading it.
One thing that is disappointing about the app is that at this time there is no routing feature from your location to where you need to go. It does however show you where you are as a blue dot on the map, but the rest is up to you. In short what the app does is show your location on a map that you can access offline and save you the trouble of carrying a big map and guidebook. And it does this well.
- Access maps offline
- Your current location displayed on the map
- Over 7,800 city maps to download
- Download Wikpedia information about individual items making the app into a mini guidebook
- No routing feature
There is a reason that this app has become one of the more popular ones for iOS devices despite previously being a premium app. It does what it needs to do and cuts out the rest. You can access maps online and use them to find your location with a few other beneficial features. For more detailed mapping and navigation you can use apps such as Google Maps, which require an online connection. But for a simple travel map you can’t do much better than this and odds-on you can find the guide for where you need to go. A must-have travel app for your next vacation.