There are lots of different mapping applications out there for finding places, getting directions, or just pinpointing your general location on a map, with the most common of these apps that are used being Google Maps. Taking Google Maps out of the equation though, there are plenty of smaller maps applications out there which help you with similar functions. Route Finder is one of these apps and it's main goal is to find you a route for travel, even if it's just within your state or province, but it also has navigation, an option for finding places nearby, and even finding your location so you can share it with people. Let's take a closer look at Route Finder to see all what it offers and how it works.
First things first, you'll need to head to the Play Store and download Route Finder before you can start grabbing directions for routes that you may need when on the road.
Once you open up the app everything is accessible right from the main screen that you see above. There is a decent sized list of options including finding your route, and getting directions.
There are also options for bringing up your address, sharing the app with other users, and there's even a field for leaving feedback for the developers as an easy method for contacting them if you have an issue with the app or would like to see some features added.
If you tap on the my location option it will immediately bring up your current location on the display. Since the app uses Google Maps for its mapping base layer, everything should familiar. You'll see a pin dropped on your location on the map, but the address of that location will also be displayed in the bottom left corner in the giant purple circle. There's also a share button to send your location to friends or family if they're trying to meet up with you.
If you choose to share your location you have multiple options for sharing, such as Facebook, SMS, WhatsApp, and other social apps. Though there really shouldn't be any limit to what apps you can use for this purpose.
If you stumble upon a location of a place you'd like to visit, then you can easily use Route Finder to bookmark this location within the app. You simply tap the bookmark option and then add the location by starting with adding the name. If it's a business for example, you'll add the name of the business.
It's easy to forget places you've been and if you didn't mark those places down then you might spend a long time trying to remember where they were. With Route Finder you can go into your location history and see the places where you've been while using the app, and if the list ends up getting fairly populated and cluttered, you can clean things up by clearing the history.
If you enter the option for finding a route, you can use your location as a starting point or you can enter one of your own if you're looking for a route while starting from a different destination. For instance, if you're trying to plan out a trip you can find a route for when you get to where you're traveling. It is worth noting that in addition to being built on Google Maps, Route Finder opens Google Maps to provide you with route information instead of keeping things in the app itself, so you could just use Maps for this purpose, but the nice thing with using Route Finder is that it consolidates all the information into one app. So your routes, your location history, your saved places etc. can all be accessed within Route Finder.
There's also an option from within Route Finder on the find a route page that lets you use Google Maps directly if you prefer to do so. This link is located just below the GO button you would tap if you were entering your route start and end locations in Route Finder.
On the Nearby Places screen there is a large list of different places filtered by category. To make finding specific places nearby where you are easier, you can tap on a particular category, like cafes, and Route Finder will bring up all the cafes that are around you wherever you happen to be.
Once you select one of the Nearby Places categories, the map will populate a list of results, and if you tap on the icon for any of the results that show up on the map you'll get a message at the bottom of the screen which shows you the distance it would take to walk to the location you tapped on, and how much time it would take to get there. You also get address details when you tap these icons as well.
If you tap on the Address section of the app you can tap anywhere on the map to bring up an address. If you're zoomed out on the map like shown above, you'll simply be given the name of the region. If you zoom in though, you'll get more precise address information, though in my experience how detailed the information is seems to vary.
Route Finder does what it says and works pretty well. There are enough options included to make it a pretty useful application and since it's built on Google Maps it works basically everywhere. The app is also mostly easy to navigate once you become familiar with each function that it provides.
- Speed (4/5) - The app loads up quickly and works quickly as well. I never had to wait for it find something for me.
- Features (5/5) - Quite a few different functions on offer.
- Theme 4/5) - The app is easy to navigate and although it doesn't feature the newest style of design for an app user interface, the color scheme and UI are decent.
- Overall (4/5) - Definitely a nice app and easy to use.
- Easy to use
- Easy location sharing
- Bookmarks places
- Find routes and offers navigation
- Supports voice directions
- Nearby places list is great with the extensive list of categories to help narrow results
- Shows distance and time to destination for nearby places results
- Ads are much too frequent and sometimes pop up after every screen you open or leave. Being ad-supported is not an issue, but the ads could be toned back just a bit so the full-screen ads don't pop up after every or every other page. Other than that nice app.
When it comes down to it, an app for finding routes or sharing your location isn't hard to find, and depending on what it is you're looking for that app to do, Route Finder works great. In fact, there isn't a lot that it can't do for you when it comes to maps, directions, and finding nearby places around you. It's certainly easy to use and it is free, and it didn't seem to have any bugs or issues that I noticed personally as the app never crashed or gave me an error of any kind. If you're looking for a tool to help you with these kinds of features, give this one a shot.