As we all know behind any Mobile OS success, Applications (Apps) are playing a huge role. When we purchase a particular Mobile OS Smartphone (such as Android, Windows Phone or Firefox OS) what we want is easy to use Interface (UI) and availability of our desired Apps. Maps is one such thing which we all use every now and then. But Firefox OS marketplace is already flooded with bunch of Map Apps. Which one is actually better or suitable for you?As a reader of Firefox OS Guide, let us do the harsdwork. So I’ve gone through a whole bunch of maps, on the marketplace and off, and I’ve boiled them all down to three. Which map is the best? Let’s find out the Top 3 Mapping Apps available on Firefox OS Marketplace.
Firefox OS App Review: Top 3 Mapping Apps
Number Three: HERE Maps
In-between making mobile phones, Nokia also develops a mapping system. HERE Maps seems to be more business-oriented than consumer, but it has a presence in the consumer market anyway, and it’s also pre-installed on the ZTE Open C. Possibly a few others as well. I didn’t check.
HERE Maps seems to have pretty good coverage of the places that I checked, and panning around and zooming works just like any other map. The satellite coverage is also quite good, as you can zoom in quite far without losing detail.
It must be said, however, the user interface is pretty bad. It looks fine, until you want to get directions, arguably one of the most important things for a mapping app to do. So you tap the three by three grid in the top right, and then tap on directions. Already a bit far just to find directions, but whatever.
Then you have to type them in. This is a real pain. The text fields work fine, but the suggestions for what you want just do not work well at all. Sometimes they don’t come up at all, other times they put the exact match for what you typed surprisingly low.
Once you’ve finally got the directions all figured out, for some reason it defaults to walking, which seems sensible for some areas, but not others. Also it defaults to the imperial system (feet and miles) no matter where you’re from, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to change that. It’s very frustrating, and is the main reason why this app was third.
Link: HERE Maps on the Firefox Marketplace
Number Two: OpenStreetMap
The open source map comes in at number two. OpenStreetMap has a lot of the same features as HERE Maps, except without a satellite view, as they haven’t been able to get a freely available source yet.
The user interface on this is a lot better than on HERE Maps. Zooming in and out works as you’d expect, as does panning.
OpenStreetMap tends to have great coverage of basically everywhere on the planet, which is nice. The only problem is that houses tend to be hard to find, but I’ve edited OSM before, and I can see why there aren’t that many. It’s so tedious to do.
Of course, this makes for a bit of an issue. It has directions now, which is nice – it didn’t used to have any sort of directions capability before – but without street numbers, it tends to be a lot harder to do. If you just type the street name, you’re generally fine, but the number can send you halfway across the planet if you’re not careful.
I do love OpenStreetMap, it’s a personal favourite of mine, but until it has better house coverage, I can’t recommend it as the best for most people.
Number One: Google Maps
I bet this came as a surprise. Google Maps is easily the most popular mapping tool in the world now, and it’s not hard to see why. The flaws that the other two apps have are fixed in this. All coverage is great, including houses, and the directions are great as well.
Of course, if you don’t particularly like Google, then you wouldn’t want to go with this one, but that should be obvious. There’s a reason why Google Maps is so popular, and it’s because it has great coverage, a great user interface, great features, and it’s very stable. For most people, this is what you’ll want.
Link: Google Maps
Conclusion: Not really a point in writing this, I just thought I’d say thanks for reading so far. I know that I’ve been late a few times recently, but I do my best to keep up, honest. Admittedly there aren’t any apps that would be good to review, but there’s nothing I can do about that but wait. See you next week.