Alternatives to Google Maps for vanilla builds
Sometimes no matter how much we try, even with android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION granted, I have noticed that Gmaps will simply refuse to work. It will stubbornly show my last cached location even after re-initializing the GPS clearing the app’s data, its cache and rebooting.
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it…
But luckily, there are other alternatives for Google Maps and some of them are actually quite good. Not on the same level with Google Maps but more than enough for daily usage.
One of these is called Petal Maps… From Huawei. Based on TomTom which has been in the industry since 2004.
One of the first things you will notice about Petal Maps , is just how fast they acquire that GPS lock. Unlike Google Maps who seems to be waiting forever for an input from the nonexistent GAPPS , Petal Maps seem to have been designed from the get-go to be able to operate without any help from GAPPS.
This is visible straight away if you look at the amount of data Petal Maps uses… It starts in bursts of 20 to 30 KB/s and reaches even 50 to 60 once you start driving. You can see how it behaves here :
When used for the first time in walking mode it will take a few seconds until it acquires a GPS lock and by the looks of it, only uses the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION permission. (Probably to save battery) .
So you will notice that arrow jumping back and forth slightly.
However, as soon as you start walking or driving, the android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION seems to be kicking in and the arrow showing your location becomes really stable as you can see from the video above.
Some users have reported that Petal Maps is not available for their region.
In these cases I recommend to use Here WeGo maps… It used to be the original Nokia maps… Again, same like Petal Maps, it is able to operate without any input from the GAPPS…
A huge advantage over Petal Maps is that Here WeGo maps can actually work offline (for those moments when you are either outside of your country or have no more money and no data left).
Once you download your offline maps you’re good to go.
You can actually see a video of it in action in our group chat
You can see how good it is in that video… you can actually see me ignoring the map’s indications and being redirected in real time to the next route… Is as good as Waze or Gmaps…