Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has become an essential part of our daily lives, not only for navigation but also for tracking and monitoring purposes. Handheld GPS devices have gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and travelers who rely on accurate geographic and topographic data. However, with the rise of smartphone technology, many users prefer to use their mobile devices instead of purchasing a separate GPS device. This has led to the development of handheld GPS Android apps that offer precise location services, mapping features, and other functionalities.
Handheld GPS Android apps have revolutionized the way we navigate and explore the outdoors. These apps use the GPS receiver in your phone to provide real-time location data, accurate positioning, and efficient routing. They also come with a range of features like detailed maps, customizable waypoints and routes, and additional outdoor-specific tools like weather forecasts, elevation profiles, and geocaching.
We have compiled a list of 7 Best Handheld Gps Android App for your consideration, which have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation by our team of experts.
Table of Contents
7 Best Handheld Gps Android App
1. Google Maps
Google Maps is a comprehensive navigation tool that covers over 220 countries and territories, as well as millions of businesses and locations. It offers real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit information, allowing users to explore local neighborhoods and find places to eat, drink, and go, no matter where they are in the world.
One of the key benefits of using Google Maps is the ability to get real-time updates on traffic conditions, estimated time of arrival, and public transit schedules. This feature helps users beat traffic, catch their train or bus, and save time with automatic rerouting based on live traffic incidents and road closures.
Google Maps also allows users to explore local neighborhoods and discover restaurants, events, and activities that matter to them. Users can see what’s trending and new in the areas they care about, and get a personalized Your Match score to help them decide if a place is worth visiting. Group planning is made easy with the ability to share a shortlist of options and vote in real-time, and users can create lists of their favorite places to share with friends.
In addition to navigation and local discovery, Google Maps also offers offline maps for use without an internet connection, Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, shops, museums, and more, and indoor maps to quickly find your way inside big places like airports, malls, and stadiums. However, some features may not be available in all countries, and the navigation feature is not intended for use by oversized or emergency vehicles.
2. AllTrails: Hiking, Running & Mountain Bike Trails
AllTrails is an outdoor exploration app that allows users to find hiking, biking, backpacking and running trails around the world. The app provides GPS activity tracking to log user’s activities, as well as offline maps for trail navigation. The AllTrails community provides reviews and ratings for trails, making it easy for users to find trails that are suitable for their fitness and experience levels. The app also allows users to save their favorite trails for future use and get GPS driving directions to the trailhead. AllTrails Pro is an optional paid feature that includes benefits such as offline map downloads, off-route notifications, real-time map overlays, and ad-free use.
3. onX Hunt: Hunting Maps, Offline GPS & Weather
The onX Hunt App has been recognized as a highly innovative hunting product by Field & Stream, and has also been featured in other outdoor publications. The app provides GPS navigation using accurate satellite and topographical maps, including land ownership information and hunting/fishing units. A free trial of the Premium State Membership is available when the app is installed, offering additional features such as public land maps and access to larger databases. The app also includes offline functionality and a web mapping option for remote scouting. Feedback can be provided to the support team via email.
4. Handy GPS (free)
Handy GPS is a navigation app designed for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and geocaching. It is also useful for surveying, mining, archaeology, and forestry applications. The app does not require network connectivity, making it ideal for use in remote areas. It can work in UTM or lat/lon coordinates, which allows it to be used with paper topographic maps. The app is easy to use and does not require any user account or setup.
The free trial version of the app has some limitations. It can only store up to three waypoints and 40 track log points. If users like the app, they can install the paid version to get unlimited storage and more features. The paid version has no ads, offline maps, custom datums, elevation profile, GPS averaging, and can calculate calories.
The app’s base features include showing users their current coordinates, altitude, speed, direction of travel, and total distance travelled in metric, imperial/US, or nautical units. It stores the current location as a waypoint and records a track log to show where the user has been on a map. Data can be imported from and exported to KML and GPX files. It also guides users to a waypoint using the Goto screen and has a compass page that works on devices with magnetic field sensors.
The app supports the world-wide WGS84 datum, along with the common Australian datums and map grids.
5. Polaris GPS: Hiking, Offroad
Polaris Navigation GPS is a user-friendly GPS system that provides high performance navigation capabilities for travelers without requiring any account setup or subscriptions. It can turn a smartphone into a powerful navigation device for various purposes, such as hiking, off-road, nautical, and trail GPS applications. The system provides offline maps and waypoint navigation arrows that enable users to navigate without internet access. The Polaris Navigation GPS is known for its stability, reliability, and flexibility and is used by land-sea search and rescue, military personnel, and millions of others worldwide.
The navigation system offers unlimited access to offline vector and raster maps, including topographic maps, marine, and hiking maps. It also includes offline nautical charts for the USA, and a Polaris Places Picker that helps find hiking trails, camping locations, and more. The system comes with GPS compass and magnetic compass, GPS info panel, odometers, altimeters, speedometers, and chronometers. Users can connect waypoints and navigate the track they define, and split distances on tracks. Polaris Navigation GPS offers a comprehensive set of GPS tools and diagnostics, a dynamic waypoint-finding compass, and altitude profiles, location sharing, and supports British OSGR and OSGB-36 DATUM.
The system supports various coordinate formats, such as latitude/longitude as degrees, deg:min, deg:min:sec, and UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator), military grid coordinate reference system (MGRS), and hiking trails.
6. GPS Essentials
GPS Essentials is a comprehensive GPS tool that offers a variety of features for navigation, waypoint management, track recording, route management, and building customizable dashboards. The app supports 45 widgets and can display a range of navigation values such as altitude, speed, battery, distance, and more.
The dashboard feature presents a range of navigation values such as Accuracy, Altitude, Speed, Battery, Bearing, Climb, Course, Date, Declination, Distance, ETA, Latitude, Longitude, Max Speed, Min Speed, Actual Speed, True Speed, Sunrise, Sunset, Moonset, Moonrise, Moon Phase, Target, Time, TTG, and Turn in a customizable layout.
The Compass feature displays the orientation of the earth’s magnetic field and shows an arbitrary tracking angle and the current target. It also includes a marine orienteering compass.
The Tracks feature allows users to record tracks and view them on the map. The app can export KML files that can be imported into Google Maps, Google Earth, and other platforms.
The Routes feature enables users to manage and view routes on the map. Users can import KML files from Google Maps, Google Earth, and other platforms, and create turn-by-turn instructions between waypoints.
The Camera feature provides a camera HUD view that allows users to take pictures of their waypoints and share them.
The Map feature displays a map of the user’s waypoints and can convert mail addresses of contacts into waypoints.
7. GPS Waypoints
The multi-purpose mapping and surveying tool is useful for both professional and personal use, with applications in land-based surveying activities such as agriculture, forest management, infrastructure maintenance, urban planning, real estate, emergencies mapping, hiking, running, walking, travelling, and geocaching. The tool collects Points and Paths to perform mapping and surveying activities, with Points acquired with accuracy information that can be classified by the user with specific tags or characterized with photos. Paths are created as a temporal sequence of newly acquired Points or with existing Points, allowing for measurement of distances and forming Polygons that determine areas and perimeters.
The application utilizes the internal GPS receiver from the mobile device or allows professional users to attain better accuracies with a Bluetooth external GNSS receiver compatible with NMEA stream format. Users can acquire current position with accuracy and navigation information, provide details of active and visible satellites, create Points with accuracy information, import Points from geographic coordinates or street addresses/points of interest, create Paths manually or automatically, and create survey themes with custom Tags.
The Premium subscription includes professional features such as backup and restore of user data, export of Waypoints and Paths to CSV file format, import of multiple Points and Paths from CSV and GPX files, sorting and filtering of Points and Paths, satellite signal analysis, and interferences detection. The Maps feature is an extra paid functionality that allows selecting and visualizing Points, Paths, and Polygons on Open Street Maps.