HALF PRICE Subscribe to one of our French titles today CLICK HERE

Smooth navigator

11:59 07 January 2014

iPhone navigate through France

iPhone navigate through France

Archant

Next time you take a trip to France, your phone might be guiding the way, thanks to the latest travel apps

With smartphones and tablets an increasing feature of our lives, it has become easier to access information on the go. If memories of driving holidays evoke visions of wrestling with a map as you try to negotiate the highways and byways of France, you might consider downloading a mobile app to help you on your next cross-Channel trip.

Mapping expert Michelin has a number of free apps to help you make the most of your trip. Michelin Navigation allows you to plan your route and will let you know the driving time and average fuel cost. If you don’t have satnav, the app uses GPS navigation to guide you along the route in real time, warning of any roadworks and jams ahead and flagging up speed limits. Once at your destination, use the free Michelin Restaurants and Michelin Hotels apps to search for nearby places to eat and stay.

Saving money

If you’re already using Google Maps on your desktop computer, the free mobile version might appeal. Another option is the free-to-download CoPilot GPS app, which links to Google and Wikipedia so you can research your destination.

A smartphone app can save you paying for a satnav device, but a fully capable app with all mapping features can eat up space on your phone and won’t come for free. At £34.99 the CoPilot GPS premium upgrade (pictured) offers a greater set of features than its free counterpart, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation that turns your phone into a satnav device.

Satnav manufacturer TomTom publishes an app covering Western Europe for iPhone/iPad or Android (both £69.99). Voice-guided navigation and 
a view of the route ahead are among the paid-for features; it will even announce street names so you can keep your eyes firmly on the road.

Some driving-related apps do not offer an interactive experience, but can still help you make the most of your trip. Michelin France is a digital version of the printed map, optimised for iPhone and iPad. Costing £7.49, it features offline zoomable maps of France in three scale settings. And don’t forget the FRANCE Magazine app Beautiful Village Drives, available for £1.99 (in iTunes and Android). Created in partnership with the Plus Beaux Villages de France association, the app is full of ideas for driving routes between France’s prettiest villages.

While a navigation app offers an unrivalled set of features compared with the humble printed version, there are a few things to bear in mind while road testing them. To avoid high roaming charges when abroad, make sure your app offers offline mapping and, if you are using your phone as a satnav, buy a window mount so you can consult the route in safety while driving.

Live-mapping a long journey will drain your phone’s battery, so investing in a car phone charger is a good idea. This could help you to avoid getting lost en route, wishing you hadn’t left your trusty old road atlas at home.

For a full range of navigation apps visit the iTunes and Google Play stores.

0 comments

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from holidays in France

Yesterday, 15:22
Flowers carpet the tranquil waters of Lake Annecy ©Thinkstock

Escape the summer heat with a visit to the French mountains, where you can do everything from hiking to shopping. Here is our pick of things to do

Read more
Hotel le Couvent Royal à Saint-Maximin in Var ©ChateauxetHotelsCollection

Want to enjoy a special night in France without breaking the bank? Here are 14 hotels that are all under €150 a night

Read more
Where to stay in France
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The Route Napoléon takes you through some stunning sites, including the village of Sisteron in Alpes de Haute Provence ©ThinkstockPhotos

Get behind the wheel and embark on one of these epic drives in France to enjoy stunning scenery on beautiful French routes

Read more
Driving in France
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The bay of Calvi from the citadel

The French island of Corsica is home to stunning scenery, unique traditions and delectable cuisine

Read more
Corsica
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The stunning infinity pool at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes ©HDCER

Need to cool off this summer? Take the plunge in one of the amazing swimming pools dotted around France, from historic lidos to extravagant infinity pools

Read more
Activity holidays
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Saint-Malo © Saint-Malo Tourisme / Servane Combabessou

Visitors to the attractive maritime city of Saint-Malo in Brittany will find plenty to see and do

Read more
Brittany
Friday, July 8, 2016
Welcome to the brand new France Magazine app!

The new France Magazine app is available to download now!

Read more
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
The August 2016 issue of FRANCE Magazine

In the August 2016 issue of FRANCE Magazine, we go in search of the real Saint-Tropez, cook up a feast in the Provençal town of Uzès and uncover some great places to stay in tranquil Normandy

Read more
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Ferdinand Cheval's incredible Ideal Palace outdoor museum ©Dreamstime

Fancy something a little different during your next trip to France? Visit one of France’s many weird and wonderful museums

Read more
Culture and attractions
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Impact of Brexit on holidaymakers © pichet_w / ThinkstockPhotos

Visas, EHICs, passports, exchange rates and the price of flights... We take a look at how Brexit could affect Brits visiting the EU

Read more
Brexit

Holidays

Find news, offers, information and advice on all aspects of taking a holiday in France, including information on travel, destinations, getting there and more.

Read more

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Living in France

Find valuable information, expert advice and real-life experiences to help you with all the practicalities of living in France. Topics covered include; working in France, retirement, healthcare, tax, finance and education.

Read more

Our magazines