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aToaD #9: OsmAnd (and some other things)

Offline maps for Android/Cyanogenmod

It took me a while to finally get a proper “smart”phone. The main reason for that was that I wanted it to have some real features and power, not just to be some kind of pumped up cell phone, at a reasonable price (600€ for a phone, seriously?). And the other reason was that I had a feeling I’d miss Nokia Maps from my previous phone. I really didn’t want to turn to Google Maps. Or actually, to any other online map service, since mobile internet speed is usually quite abysmal. After a bit of searching, I found that quite a few apps provide offline maps abilities, although they are usually limited in their Free version. I haven’t given them a lot of tries, so maybe my pick will change, but for the moment my personal favorite would be OsmAnd, for the following main reasons:
– open source (not gratis, though: the free version is limited to 10 files, I guess this means 10 countries simultaneously installed)
– based on OpenStreetMap data
– can be downloaded without going to some horrible app store in general or to the Google Play store in particular
– offers both a “standard” map view and GPS guidance views distinctly designed for car, bike and pedestrians

In my search, I first found MapsWithMe, which is a close source equivalent but without the GPS guidance mode. The interesting thing with this one isn’t about the software itself but about the downloads they offer: they list a fairly large amount of app stores, among which SlideME, which is one of the rare of its kind to offer manual downloads from a PC browser (the only other I know for the moment is F-Droid, which only lists open source apps).

Posted in A Tool A Day.

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