Review: MapFactor GPS Navigator
It's a fair cop - MapFactor GPS Navigator isn't new and is in fact a Windows Phone 8.1 application. But - interestingly - it uses bang up to date OSM (Open Street Map) err.... maps. Which, as I ranted recently, doesn't apply to Windows 10 Maps, which are missing recent roads. So is this worth using instead?
In short, maybe. It depends how valuable the currency of the road maps are to you, and how valuable you find traffic allowances (or lack thereof). MapFactor GPS Navigator gives you the possibility of bang up to date street maps and competent (if fussy) real time navigation around them - but it doesn't have traffic awareness at all. While Windows 10 Maps has basic traffic avoidance, at least the route planning stage - at the expense of the aforementioned slightly out of date maps.
The pros and cons continue, with MapFactor arguably having the better POI (Points Of Interest) database, plus many map details that never made it to Windows licensed maps - but MapFactor is a Windows Phone 8.1 application and not a full fledged UWP app for Windows 10 and beyond.
Having said all this, there's no question of having to choose where to spend your money, since they're both free - one built-in, one installed from the Store, so there's no reason why you can't have and use both. Yes, it's galling that Google Maps/Navigation trumps all of this and with bells on, but that's another OS for another day - and possibly a feature, along the lines of leveraging Google Maps under Windows 10.
In the meantime, let's take a whistle stop tour of the MapFactor experience. And yes, it's all very WP8.1 in its look and feel, despite updates in the last few years. But the application does work and I tested it on a number of journeys with no issues.
Part Open Street Map browser, part navigation solution, MapFactor sits a little awkwardly in today's Maps marketplaces on all platforms. But it might still find fans and, as I say, you can grab and use this for free, so why not give it a try anyway? And let us know if it is indeed bang up to date - it certainly had the newish roads in my area!
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at