Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

Smooth navigator

PUBLISHED: 11:59 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 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 Travel

Fri, 16:00

There’s more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, as author and blogger Lindsey Tramuta proves with her off-the-beat guide to the city’s best-kept secrets

Read more
Paris
Fri, 15:22

Known for its laid-back elegance, Montpellier is an enchanting southern city with plenty to rival its glitzy Côte d’Azur cousins. Here’s our insider’s guide to the main attractions, restaurants and property in Montpellier

Read more
Languedoc-Roussillon
Friday, April 21, 2017

From arts festivals to wonderful food markets, there is plenty to do in Provence this summer

Read more
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, spring has sprung in France! Take a look at how stunning France is in the spring

Read more
Paris
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From amazing swimming pools to entertaining kids’ clubs, these are the 11 reasons a family camping holiday in France is the perfect choice for your next family holiday

Read more
Family holidays
Thursday, April 13, 2017

From the spectacular, 14th-century papal palace to the renowned performing-arts festival, there is plenty to see and do in Avignon in the south of France

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Picturesque fishing ports and beautiful sea views…the French coast is full of charming little towns. Here are some of France’s prettiest coastal villages.

Read more
Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur
Monday, April 10, 2017

If you’re planning a driving holiday in France then you might want to consider leasing a car rather than a traditional car rental - it could save you a lot of money

Read more
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ever dreamt of escaping it all? Discover these hidden islands off the French coast where you can enjoy true peace and quiet

Read more
French beaches
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Aude in south-west France offers a huge array of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to cycling and windsurfing, and so is the perfect place for your next holiday

Read more
Languedoc-Roussillon

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now