Overall I’m not a big fan of smartphones for navigation, the battery life generally being pretty awful, but they have their place. There are numerous apps out there, some free, some which you pay for, which you can use for navigation, such as GPS or compass. I’ve been trying out a few free smartphone apps recently, both of which I can recommend.
The first is called RUNKEEPER and is, as it’s name suggests, an app which is aimed at the runner, although it can be used for walkers and cyclists as well. This app requires GPS enabled on the phone to operate, and records your route, speed and time, displaying them on the screen. It also has an audio function which tells you at variable (mine is set for 5 minute) intervals how far you have travelled and your average speed. You can also display a small thumbnail map of your route which uses google maps. Routes can be saved, and can be shared on facebook.
The other app is the National Rail Enquiries journey planner. This uses GPS and requires an internet connection. If, like me you use trains to get to and from your walks or cycle trips, this can be invaluable. Set your home station and the “Get Me Home” feature will locate your nearest station and tell you when the next train is, and even which platform it will depart from!
Both these apps are free and can be downloaded from Google Play.