In the past there were quite a few great free GPS Navigation Apps made for windows phone and desktop devices.
However, as the time went by they were narrowed down to MapFactor and HERE Drive+ and few more products from the HERE family.
Unfortunately, as of 30th of June 2016 HERE apps will be no longer supported for Windows phone 10 and the maps and data will not be updated for Windows 8 phones.
This fact leaves the owners of an Windows phone with the choice of sticking with the Navigation App that comes by default with the Windows phones or download MapFactor.
If you have ever used the Microsoft Navigation App, you probably already know that you are in need of a different Windows GPS Navigation App.
The one that you can get free at the moment in the Microsoft store is MapFactor. It is a Navigation App that is way better than the Microsoft one, but you may find it needing a few improvements. Let’s have a detailed look on the app.
MapFactor GPS Navigation is a great free app full of features designed to help your way anywhere you are and we should point out of course, the ones that every driver needs, like voice guidance, downloadable maps, free map updates, unlimited number of waypoints for your routes and a large collection of Points of Interest.
Some people might find the app a bit overdone with options and somewhat clunky, but once you get the hang of it, you will be enjoying the great work it actually does while on the road.
In this post we will try to make things simpler and give you some straightforward info on how to operate the app.
Once you have downloaded and launched your MapFactor Windows GPS Navigation app, what you have to do is to install your maps. Windows phones use OpenStreetMap data, so are offered with maps for almost every country all over the world.
The continents included are Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas.
After you have finished with the map installation you will be sent to the MapFactor GPS Navigation main menu where all the following main options appear:
- Search: You have the options to search by map coordinate, point of interest or an exact address.
- Navigate: Sends you to the map view and starts the navigation through the waypoints you have chosen for your route. If you need to back out from the map view, the Navigate option is replaced by a Stop Navigation one.
- Route Information: This is where you can see your route, create waypoints or see the ones you have already created. There is also a three-dot menu where you can, reverse or optimise the route, save it as favourite, pin it or delete it.
- Favorites: This is where you can find the listing of your routes and places you have marked as favourite previously.
- Tools: It enables a Speedometer feature.
- Map: This is a 2D image of the map centered around your current location. At the bottom of this screen you can also find a zoom option and a compass button.
- Map Manager: Using this option you can manage your already installed maps by updating them, adding new ones or deleting ones that you are no longer using.
The MapFactor GPS Navigation doesn’t have a home button, but by using the back button of your Windows Phone you will be able to get to the main menu of the app.
This is something we think might be improved in future as sometimes you need to hit your back button a few times in order to get to the main menu.
- Settings: Under this option you will find five more categories to help you adjust the app to your taste and make your driving experience as comfortable as possible:
- App: These settings are purely related to the app’s performance. You are offered with cover display always on option, option to turn on or off the analytics, you can allow or disallow your current location to be used and you are also offered with a possibility to send feedback to the developer.
- Vehicle: This is where you can optimize your route (fastest, shortest, toll roads, pathways, etc.) and add your vehicle type.
- Navigation: This is where you can make your choice regarding using over speed warnings, speed camera warnings, U-turns allowed and detailed instructions.
- Map: Here you can pick your map day or night themes, route colors, the scale of the map, the displayed points of interest, zoom buttons, system bar display and compass display.
- Language: This is pretty straightforward as here is where you choose the language for yourapp, the voice guidance, map labels and also the units of measurement.
In general, the MapFactor GPS Navigation is a very nice GPS app for devices running windows 10 and 8, or 8.1.
It needs some improvements in order to get to the level of HERE Drive+ or any of the other navigation apps available in the Windows Store, like Streetpilot or Navigon. On the other hand, it is the best one available for free and here is worth mentioning that not only the app itself is free, but the map regularly updates.