Gaia GPS adds compatibility to its navigation app, offering drivers an alternative to Google’s first-party Google Maps and . However, Gaia’s focus on off-road and backcountry navigation makes it unique from other third-party Android Auto mapping apps.
With the app installed and Android Auto connected in a compatible vehicle, Gaia GPS users will be able to view satellite-view and topographical maps, as well as trail maps provided by Nat Geo Trails Illustrated, the US Forest Service’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) and more with turn-by-turn navigation and databases of landmarks, trailheads and restrooms. Routes and maps can be stored for offline use, which is critical as trail routes typically don’t have the best cellular coverage.
The Android app has another unique trick up its sleeve: second-screen functionality. While displaying a view of the map in the dashboard via the Android Auto display, the smartphone app is also able to function separately with full access to its features. This means that users can mount their phone and use it like a second head-up display — perhaps with a more zoomed-in view or different information thn the main screen.
Of course, users can also continue navigating on foot once they reach their destination using the core features of Gaia GPS. The Gaia x Android Auto update is currently being rolled out, with full functionality scheduled to hit devices this week. As for Apple aanad iOS users, Gaia GPS announced and launched in-vehicle compatibility for its iOS app via earlier this year.