What decent free offline no-login privacy-enabled road map apps exist for Android users to enjoy?

5 views
Skip to first unread message

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 7, 2020, 1:07:59 PM2/7/20
to
What _decent_ free offline no-login privacy-enabled Android road map
apps do you like, and why.

Offhand, I kind of like these offline no-login freeware decent roadmap apps
1. *OSMAnd~* (Open Street Map Automated Navigation Directions)
<https://f-droid.org/packages/net.osmand.plus/>
2. *MapFactor* GPS Navigation Maps, by MapFactor
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator>
3. *CoPilot* GPS - Navigation, by ALK Technologies
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alk.copilot.mapviewer>
4. *Sygic*, by Sygic maps navigation
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sygic.aura>
5. *Navmii* GPS USA (Navfree), by Navmii
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navfree.android.OSM.USA>
6. ??? What else is _decent_ for offline roadmap navigation purposes?

The better map apps, IMHO, have:
o No login
o Accuracy (almost all road map apps are accurate enough nowadays, IMHO)
o Spoken or visual lane directions (e.g., MapFactor is visual, not spoken)
o Spoken & visual distance to next turn (e.g., OSMAnd~)
o Spoken & visual street name of next turn (e.g., OSMAnd~)
o ??? What else is in the better map apps?

IMHO, almost zero map apps (other than online Google Maps) seem to have
great offline address lookups; but the better the offline address lookup
for your area, the better the utility of the map - although I simply
anonymously scrape the Google Map database for the global coordinates and
use those addresstogps global coordinates to route, so the map app must:
o Easily accept a past of global coordinates (e.g., 125.5 N, -35.5 W)

While I think only Google Maps can work hands' free, that would be nice:
o Hands free navigation

There are a zillion map apps, where I've tried some (e.g., ZNavi) which
aren't worth anything, but that's why I ask here the question:
<https://play.google.com/store/search?q=map%20navigation%20offline&c=apps>

What _decent_ free offline no-login privacy-enabled Android road map
apps do you like, and why.
--
Together we can learn more by public discussion than we can learn alone.

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 11, 2020, 9:51:50 PM2/11/20
to
On Fri, 7 Feb 2020 18:07:57 -0000 (UTC), Arlen Holder wrote:

> What _decent_ free offline no-login privacy-enabled Android road map
> apps do you like, and why.

BTW, I recently dug up this review I wrote, _years_ ago, which is relevant.
o My test of freeware Android offline GPS navigation applications
<https://androidforums.com/threads/my-test-of-freeware-android-offline-gps-navigation-applications.806872/>

Libor Striz

unread,
Feb 11, 2020, 10:58:49 PM2/11/20
to
Arlen Holder <arlen.geo...@is.invalid> Wrote in message:r
> On Fri, 7 Feb 2020 18:07:57 -0000 (UTC), Arlen Holder wrote:> What _decent_ free offline no-login privacy-enabled Android road map> apps do you like, and why.


My favourites are, in decreasing order of being dedicated to cars,
or roads.

MapsFactor Navigator
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator
with free OSM maps ( TomTom maps are paid )

Very good car dedicated offline GPS

-----------------

Osmand - universal
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.osmand
( see free Fdroid version of paid Osmand plus )

Versatile offline navigation from cars to hiking.

-----------------

LocusMap+Brouter- combo ( focused on non car usage and outdoor,
but usable for cars, for advanced users only.

Great for hiking and bicycle navigation, on-road or off-road, with
s riot based navigation profiles.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=btools.routingapp

https://github.com/poutnikl/Brouter-profiles/wiki




--
Poutnik ( the Wanderer )

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 14, 2020, 10:22:28 AM2/14/20
to
On Wed, 12 Feb 2020 04:58:44 +0100 (GMT+01:00), Libor Striz wrote:

> My favourites are, in decreasing order of being dedicated to cars,
> or roads.

Hi Poutnik,

Thanks for all your mapping help over the years, particularly on off-road
map apps, and roadmap apps, where I too, often use MapFactor Navigator and
or OSMAnd~ (from F-Droid, not from Google Play, which is OSMAnd+).

What I do is scrape the Google map database for what I'll call "gps
coordinates" for the accurate address lookup and paste those coordinates
into any offline map app (which addresstogps used to do for me
automatically).

My main beef with MapFactor Navigator is that it often seems to remember
the last few routes, simply tacking on the latest route to the previous
routs, which is difficult to delete while driving.

Since they often pick different routes, I let them both speak (the default
female voice is surprisingly similar, although Navigator has a British
accent).

One gives nice touch directions, e.g., you just tap the big arrow and it
tells you the entire route, which is nice. The other gives good spoken road
names, although both will, at times, tell you to "bear left" when their is
absolutely no need to say that, and at times both will say turn right when
they really should say like Google does, "turn right in 500 feet onto
Poutnik's Way".


> LocusMap+Brouter- combo ( focused on non car usage and outdoor,
> but usable for cars, for advanced users only.

Thanks for the links to these two apps, one of which I had tested before.
As I recall, I'm a bit worried about the PRIVACY of LocusMap, where, by
default, doesn't it make your itinerary public? (I'd have to look as it has
been a while since I used it.)

I downloaded both from the Aurora anonymous scraping of the Google Play
store, and will test them out.

Any advice on a test of BRouter that makes sense will be helpful.

Libor Striz

unread,
Feb 15, 2020, 2:57:02 AM2/15/20
to
Arlen Holder <arlen.geo...@is.invalid> Wrote in message:

>> LocusMap+Brouter- combo ( focused on non car usage and outdoor,
>> but usable for cars, for advanced users only.

Thanks for the links to these two apps, one of which I had tested
before. As I recall, I'm a bit worried about the PRIVACY of
LocusMap, where, bydefault, doesn't it make your itinerary
public?

I have never heard not read about such a feature.
What is public, is the free version of sharing your location among
the application users, if you decide to use it , under your
nickname.

I am as a beta tester regularly in contact with ( Czech )
developers, and their support is superb.

Note that the application does not have its own routing service,
using the 3rd party online ( YOURS, GraphHopper ) of offline (
Brouter, GraphHopper ) routing.
With BRouter, it can operate completely offline.

> Any advice on a test of BRouter that makes sense will be helpful.

A routing or route planning, using BRouter as routing back-end,
can be tested
on http://brouter.de/brouter-web

with web GUI front.

Be prepared that, unless you want to use it as a black box, it
offers very advanced features, especially for bicycle routing, in
exchange of learning.

BRouter specific is the routing is script based, with possibility
to take a lot of way related OSM map features into
account.

Car routing, unless you create your own routing script=profile,
by by author redesigned to internally use a kinematic routing
engine, not using just road classes,but also real map-based road
geometry and altitude profile. And eventually even recuperation
of e-car batteries, if economy is considered.

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 15, 2020, 1:30:14 PM2/15/20
to
On Sat, 15 Feb 2020 08:56:59 +0100 (GMT+01:00), Libor Striz wrote:

> What is public, is the free version of sharing your location among
> the application users, if you decide to use it , under your
> nickname.
>
> I am as a beta tester regularly in contact with ( Czech )
> developers, and their support is superb.

Thanks Poutnik for the detailed information on the privacy of Locus and the
routing power of BRouter, where you know this advanced map stuff better
than I ever will.

What "worried" me about Locus Maps was messages like this one:
<https://i.postimg.cc/xTvRrTyY/permission03.jpg>

Where I'm not sure "what" LocusMap is trying to back up.

Do you know what Locus Map is trying to back up, and to where?
(i.e., is it backing up stuff locally, or, on the cloud?)
--
Note that the Locus Map automatic backup failed likely because I have zero
permissions given to Google Play Services, but that's an aside as my
question is about what locus map is backing up and to where it's backing it
up to. <https://i.postimg.cc/Cx4m8LzJ/permission01.jpg>

Libor Striz

unread,
Feb 16, 2020, 3:26:38 AM2/16/20
to
Arlen Holder <arlen.geo...@is.invalid> Wrote in message:

> What "worried" me about Locus Maps was messages like this one:<https://i.postimg.cc/xTvRrTyY/permission03.jpg>
> Where I'm not sure "what" LocusMap is trying to back up.

> Do you know what Locus Map is trying to back up, and to where?(i.e., is it backing up stuff locally, or, on the cloud?)
> Note that the Locus Map automatic backup failed likely because I have zeropermissions given to Google Play Services, but that's an aside as myquestion is about what locus map is backing up and to where it's backing itup to. <https://i.postimg.cc/Cx4m8LzJ/permission01.jpg>

----------------

As the services are a system process and a black box for ordinary
users,
system and applications may use it for some system services
and may get confused or malfunctioning.
It may be possible Locus needs it to write data to public local
storage area.

LocusMap has extensive configuration settings and a pale of user data,
so backuping is as essential as backuping a long manually written
document.
It backups by default everything but too big files as maps.

As you do not want to lose data when you accidentally uninstall
the application,
and as you want backups to be accessible
by the user,
Locus requires storage permission.

Local automatic backups serves mainly as a security feature
to be able to restore or revert the settings.
You can configure it how often it runs and how many backups to
keep. My current backup is cca 12MB big.
The user can optionally configure it to use additionally the Dropbox
or Google Drive cloud storage .
The user can disable automatic backups, but it is IMHO not wise.

Aside so automatic scheduled backup plan, you can trigger it
manually, what offers you optionally the standard Android share
feature to multiple cloud and other targets. Manual backups have
( for now) 2 possible levels, settings only or settings plus
data, going to probably use the latter only in near
future.

LocusMap optionally uses Google account
to access its webshop, selling its OSM maps for small fee ( you
can get free ones at OpenAndroMaps ),
paid licenced maps of 3rd parties like raster cartographic maps,
and various free auxiliary files.

I am not sure if the account is needed for free stuff. It is
possible it is used as well to make track what you already have
or what needs update.

There is lot of useful info in help.locusmsp.eu and forum.locusmap.eu.
The account at the latter is useful for downloading community
created files like various styles of vector maps.

Libor Striz

unread,
Feb 16, 2020, 1:27:14 PM2/16/20
to
Libor Striz <poutnik4R...@gmailCAPITALS.com.INVALID> Wrote
in message:

> As the services are a system process and a black box for ordinary users,system and applications may use it for some system servicesand may get confused or malfunctioning.It may be possible Locus needs it to write data to public local storage area.

Also, it may be possible the export folder is not present,
it should be checked with Locusmap settings.

Frank Slootweg

unread,
Feb 17, 2020, 11:18:23 AM2/17/20
to
Arlen Holder <arlen.geo...@is.invalid> wrote:
> What _decent_ free offline no-login privacy-enabled Android road map
> apps do you like, and why.
>
> Offhand, I kind of like these offline no-login freeware decent roadmap apps
[...]
> 4. *Sygic*, by Sygic maps navigation
> <https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sygic.aura>
[...]

While Sygic has a free version, I think it does not satisfy your
other requirements:

> 6. ??? What else is _decent_ for offline roadmap navigation purposes?
>
> The better map apps, IMHO, have:
> o No login
> o Accuracy (almost all road map apps are accurate enough nowadays, IMHO)
> o Spoken or visual lane directions (e.g., MapFactor is visual, not spoken)
> o Spoken & visual distance to next turn (e.g., OSMAnd~)
> o Spoken & visual street name of next turn (e.g., OSMAnd~)
> o ??? What else is in the better map apps?

AFAIK, after the 7 day trial period, Sygic has *no* Turn-by-Turn
navigation at all, hence also not the other TbT-related navigation
features.

See

'Free versus Premium'
<https://help.sygic.com/en/sygic-gps-navigation-for-android/why-sygic/difference-between-premium-and-free-usage>

FWIW, OsmAnd+ (OSM maps) is my main navigation app, with (paid) Sygic
(TomTom maps) as a hardly ever used backup. Third is HERE WeGo, which I
have because it uses yet another kind of maps (HERE maps).

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 17, 2020, 10:01:56 PM2/17/20
to
On Sun, 16 Feb 2020 19:27:11 +0100 (GMT+01:00), Libor Striz wrote:

> Also, it may be possible the export folder is not present,
> it should be checked with Locusmap settings.

Thanks Poutnik,

You've helped me a lot over the years, particularly on creating and
following backcountry tracks where there are no trails whatsoever.

Here's what I'm currently testing by way of map apps:
<https://i.postimg.cc/z3Y1BZ08/map01.jpg>

I see Frank Slootweg has also added good advice, which I'll follow up on
after I run a few tests of the related road map apps (e.g., Sygic).
--
NOTE: The u.t.m ng was removed as per the group's UK-related charter.

Arlen Holder

unread,
Feb 25, 2020, 9:04:31 PM2/25/20
to
On 17 Feb 2020 16:18:20 GMT, Frank Slootweg wrote:

> While Sygic has a free version, I think it does not satisfy your
> other requirements:

Thanks Frank Slootweg for that advice and for understanding the freeware,
no login, privacy, offline, and traffic requirements, where, after testing,
as you predicted, I was forced to delete the Sygic, Maverick Lite, Aponia,
HereWeGo, CoPilot, GeoLife, Navmii, Locus Maps, MapDroyd, Rout 66, & ZANavi
freeware Android offline map applications, where this was the short list
tested this week:
<https://i.postimg.cc/dtBmLFGp/directions01.jpg>

Given addresstogps doesn't seem to work anymore...
<http://s1.bild.me/bilder/110417/5217118lookup02.jpg>
<http://s1.bild.me/bilder/110417/7012818lookup01.jpg>

There are only 3 free offline map applications, IMHO, that fit privacy
requirements (where the Google trick below is used only because of Google's
fantastic traffic capability, set to the best privacy mode possible):
<http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=2528509lookup00.jpg>

a. A desktop shortcut to the google maps web page
<https://google.com/maps/@37,-122,12z/data=!5m1!1e1>
<https://i.postimg.cc/25VWFLD8/traffic01.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/fRbSDSkj/traffic02.jpg>
b. OSMAnd~ (mine is from F-Droid)
<https://f-droid.org/packages/net.osmand.plus/>
c. MapFactor Navigator (with the special American English voice, Carly)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator>
<https://i.postimg.cc/XJd936V2/directions02.jpg>

These failed the basic privacy tests (now or in the past):
1. CoPilot GPS - Navigation, by ALK Technologies
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alk.copilot.mapviewer>
2. Sygic, by Sygic maps navigation
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sygic.aura>
3. Navmii GPS USA (Navfree), by Navmii
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navfree.android.OSM.USA>
4. Maverick Lite
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codesector.maverick.lite>
5. Route 66
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.route66navigation>
6. Offline Maps
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navigation.offlinemaps.gps>
7. Maps.Me
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapswithme.maps.pro>
8. City Maps 2Go
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ulmon.android.citymaps2go>

Did we miss testing any free offline road maps for Android?
<https://play.google.com/store/search?q=offline%20maps&c=apps>
--
Usenet enables purposefully helpful adults around the world to share ideas!

Arlen Holder

unread,
Jul 6, 2020, 12:26:26 AM7/6/20
to
UPDATE:

> Incognito in Google Maps
> Another thing to note when you compare Android 9 and 10 is that Google
> Maps will operate in incognito mode. The users will now be able to look
> for and navigate places privately without having the data linked back
> to their accounts.

I recently updated Android 9 to Android 10 on my $100 Moto G7
o Where one change, supposedly, is a new Google Maps "incognito mode"

o Those on Android 10... is it worth upgrading from 9 to 10?
What are the pitfalls you've experienced & the benefits?
<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.mobile.android/X65cMyzAn-g>

The new Google Maps "incognito mode"
<https://support.google.com/maps/thread/18141335>
Seems to be the default for Android 10.

I only tested it for a few minutes, where I don't have my phone set to a
Google Account (so I'm always in incognito mode, so to speak, anyway).

Given I have no login to Google Maps, there seems to be more functionality
in Google Maps in Android 10 than there was in Android 9 so maybe they
updated the map app too? Dunno. But the functionality is back, sort of, to
what it was in Android 7 without a login in that you can get DIRECTIONS
again (even without a Google login).

So now we're back to (what I remember as the functionality of) Nougat,
where, without any login to Google on the phone, the Google Map app now
does DIRECTIONS and ROUTING (which it didn't do in Android 9).

This is good because I had to circumvent Google Maps in Android 9 by using
the world-wide address-search best-in-class feature of Google Maps on a
privacy-aware browser (http://maps.google.com), and then capture the
coordinates of the given address, and then paste those so-called GPS
coordinates into an offline map app, which then routed me to my
destination.

The two things Google Maps does best was available, without a login, using
the privacy-aware web browser, which is:
a. Traffic
b. Address lookup

Now I can do both those things _without_ needing to use a privacy-based web
browser URL attached to the desktop since Google Maps seems to allow both
now, even when you don't have a login to Google set up on your Android
phone.

I haven't tested this on the road though, so consider this preliminary good
news for user privacy in that the average person, on Android 10, now has
the privacy I had to set up with those workarounds on Android 9.

See also:
o Does anyone know how or if Google associates your identity
with your Google Map navigation activities?
<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.mobile.android/um2niVH0oYU>

o Is there a non Google freeware traffic app
<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.mobile.android//Ve_2cgliiGk>

o What decent free offline no-login privacy-enabled road map apps
exist for Android users to enjoy?
<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.mobile.android/YadPNimUcu8>
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages