Sygic Travel Map is a competitor in the map and navigation space. While Google Maps tends to reign supreme in this category, Sygic has tried to distinguish itself by offering features that make it more traveler friendly. But most of the stand-apart features require a subscription, so functionality in the free version of the software remains limited. Still, it might be a good place to start to see if an alternative navigation tool is right for you.
In the free version of Sygic Travel Maps, you’ll have the option of either exploring a map of your immediate area or planning a trip.
Exploring will take you to a map overview dotted with small icons and images. Click on one of these, and you discover an interesting attraction such as a park, historic monument, museum, movie theater and more. The icons will also lead you to nearby hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, train routes and bus stops. It is by no means exhaustive, but definitely clues you in to lots of destinations in your area. Click on the image or icon and you’ll have the chance to navigate to it, add it to a trip or mark it as a favorite.
Unfortunately, though, descriptions of the destinations are only available in the premium version of the software. So you might see a nearby museum in which you might be interested. If available, the app will show you a photo of it, but in terms of additional information such as opening hours or what the attraction is all about, you’ll have to upgrade – or use a Google search.
Speaking of Google, when you click the “navigate” button on any attraction, the app will kick you out to your preferred mapping software on your device such as Google or Apple Maps, which begs the question: why use Sygic in the first place?
Some users might find an answer to that question in the app’s “Trip” feature. When you set out for a trip, you can enter your final destination in the app and you’ll have access to a range of information about it. This includes a list of interesting local places, tours, a weather forecast, links to car rentals and hotels, and a map of the destination. If you want to download all of that information for use offline though, you’ll again have to upgrade to the premium version.
Upgrading to the Premium version of the app gets you the features described above – access to offline maps and data along with enhanced place descriptions – plus you get walking directions, and an ad-free experience. Fortunately, upgrading is relatively affordable, and several different plans make it easy to try out. You can choose monthly for $3.99; yearly for $14.99; or you can buy lifetime access for $19.99, which is clearly the best deal.
But starting out with the free version of the app, comparing it to other mapping and navigation apps like Google Maps and Wayze, certainly seems like a good first step. You might find that Sygic’s easy navigation, friendly interface, and complete trip-planning package suits you better than those other offerings.
Sygic Travel Maps is available on the internet as well as a downloadable app for Apple and Android devices.