CoPilot GPS: Challenging Free Map Apps

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The first thing I did when I got my iPhone was head to the app store. I was late in the game in acquiring a smartphone, and couldn’t wait to play with the apps my friends were raving about. I was equally pleased to have a device that could stand in as a GPS device when I took road trips. I don’t travel outside of my comfort zone frequently enough to justify buying a GPS device for my vehicle, but always wanted one for a host of reasons. Now, my phone could serve as a GPS device. A small dilemma cropped up: which app would be the best for me? The iOS standard maps app was great and all, but what about the others? With a large family, free was also key. Google Maps ended up being the app I chose, but recently CoPilot GPS has been released for free, taunting me to download it and check it out for myself.


The first question I always ask: “Is it truly free?” Kind of. Download CoPilot for free and you are treated to one country’s worth of maps. If you would like more country maps, you’ll have to pay for it (but let’s be honest, how many of us are lucky enough to travel around the world making the acquisition of these maps crucial?)


This offline functionality helps keep your data plan as intact as you can. Unlike other apps, CoPilot GPS uses a minimal amount of your data plan when displaying a route. CoPilot gives you the opportunity to access route information without worrying if you are getting a wireless signal or not, which in turn leads to low data usage when you happen to receive a signal. It offers offline route planning thanks to the app, which stores the map and route information right on your phone. This is handy when you are vacationing in remote areas, where there is no guarantee there will be a cell signal.


The catch: if you would like CoPilot to give you live traffic updates, be prepared to pay about $9.99 annually. Want turn-by-turn? That will be a one-time fee of $19.99. Some may be turned off by this, but as we’ve stated in the past, if you want a reliable GPS app, you have to expect to pay something. It’s the age-old “You get what you pay for” and has been proven in the smartphone world with the numerous GPS apps that have been tested over the years.


If you are an Android user (Androids come standard with Google Navigation), you know that the additional paid features offered in CoPilot are included at no cost with the free version already included on your phone. However, when CoPilot GPS is compared to the expensive TomTom app for iOS users ($80.51, pay for new maps as you need them), there really is no comparison. TomTom has yet to offer a navigational app for Android users.


If a GPS device just isn’t for you and you have a smartphone, go check out the CoPilot GPS app. You can’t beat the price of free, and you just might find out it’s exactly what you need.

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Khristen Foss

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