When we are in a traffic jam we often open Google Maps, Sygic or Waze, some of the best apps for navigating in the city. We see the traffic in real time and save a few minutes by taking a new, clearer path. When we travel to a new city we no longer go to the tourist office for a map but open our favorite GPS navigator app and find the ‘duomo’ at first sight. We are expert users.

That’s why navigation apps no longer seduce us with words like real time or precision. The future should offer us more. And so the present. Therefore we have shortlisted the latest news and the best apps for navigating in the city.

1.  AUGMENTED REALITY TO NAVIGATE IN A CITY

How many of us have still lost with a GPS navigator in hand? Augmented Reality, a technology that we related to games like Pokemon Go, can help in the subject. Google recently announced new changes in the Google Maps app in its I / O conference.

Among them, one of the most significant bets in the world of augmented reality was to include arrows that help navigation on foot through the city. These arrows are placed on the street that we take and at the crossings to improve the understanding of the indications that the navigator gives us.

In addition to arrows that guide us positioning the smartphone on the sidewalk, there are other ways to interact with the city through augmented reality. One of the best apps for navigating is Blippar.  This application goes a step further by placing titles on the monuments and museums we pass through. A feature that delights the traveler but also the citizen, who often passes by without knowing what is in them.

“The accuracy of Urban Visual Positioning can take location-based AR to new levels of engagement. For example virtual departure boards in front of train stations, interactive guides in front of famous landmarks. Or even a virtual menu hanging on the wall of a restaurant”, said the company on its website. 

2. HYPERLOOP NAVIGATION

Here is one of the most used apps for navigating in the world. It was created by Nokia years ago and now it has millions of users. Its new alliance with Hyperloop will place its technology to their native app Virgin Hyperloop One. This app will soon include Hyperloop routes in its repertoire of transport options.This will make it one of the most complete apps for navigating in the world.

The supersonic train that we have been listening to for years has just premiered its first vehicle in Cádiz, Spain. The train is nearly finished and it will be assembled in Toulouse, France, where the Airbus planes are also built. Once the construction is completed, the train will arrive to Dubai to perform the first public route in the history of Hyperloop, that will connect the Arab emirates.

“Hyperloop is not just about A to B, it’s an end-to-end passenger experience. That means no waiting at any point along the journey,” said in a statements Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s SVP of Software Engineering. He also added: “Here shares our vision for optimizing travel. We will redefine the passenger experience by offering real time, on demand travel connecting hyperloop, other modes, and even indoor walking directions”.

We might wonder if Here will also integrate this experience in their app in the future. Stay tuned for it!

3. ORDER AHEAD WHILE DRIVING

Apps for navigating strive not only to optimize the routes but to offer a complete experience for the users while they travel or commute. For example, we can compare petrol prices in the nearest gas stations, find free parking spaces, or see the state of the traffic.

Speaking again of the king of the maps, Google, we came across some interesting news. Google maps is launching a new version that includes direct access to Spotify without leaving the app. Although this is not the great innovation we were looking for, it gets useful when we are driving.

These features inside our apps for navigating make our daily commute more bearable. But if we could also use that time for personal benefits such as ordering food, that would be great. That is exactly what somebody thought at Waze app. The navigation app has made an agreement with Dunkin Donuts to enable us purchasing coffee and doughnuts directly from Waze while we use it to drive to work. That means when we arrive to the store our order is ready to pick up.

This integration may be a faster way than simply using the breakfast brand’s own app. Presumably, we believe that it will use the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of the route we have chosen and notify the nearest store when we will arrive. 

“It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up“, said to Associated Press Jordan Grossman, head of Waze’s partnerships in North America. According to a Dunkin Donuts representative, the agreement made sense because both services are related to the time of the commuting. 

4. FIND YOUR FRIENDS AND THE PLACE TO GO AT THE SAME TIME

One of the most basic needs we have is to find people. Finding a physical store is fairly easy as it does not change its emplacement. However, people are in constant movement and it is difficult to find them in crowded places such as in city centers, bars, shopping areas or parks. That’s why Wave Application is one of the best  navigating apps to find friends by sharing live locations on a private map.

On Wave, group maps represent a new level of interaction between friends or relatives. In addition to display the location of several people on the same map, we can set meeting points. This makes it easier for us to choose the bar, park or house of our friend as a meeting point. Once is placed, we can navigate there, call an Uber to get there or edit it.

“There are no barriers for real time location services anymore, so our biggest challenge is to become an indispensable tool in all the smartphones users. That is why we are continuously developing new features to complete the user experience”, said Manuel de la Esperanza, CEO of Wave Application, in a statement.

What do you think of these navigating apps? Will they change the way you move? Stay tuned for more news about maps and navigation. 

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