How to Develop a GPS Navigation App Like Waze

The GPS navigation apps like Waze use real-time user data to provide the best possible route to the destination. GPS Navigation App has made commuting easier in modern-day life which entails traveling on a regular basis. Whether to go to the market or to reach a dream destination, GPS navigation technology has changed how people […]

Updated 11 October 2023

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

Director at Appventurez

The GPS navigation apps like Waze use real-time user data to provide the best possible route to the destination.

GPS Navigation App has made commuting easier in modern-day life which entails traveling on a regular basis. Whether to go to the market or to reach a dream destination, GPS navigation technology has changed how people opt to travel. Researches suggest that more than 77% of smartphone users routinely use navigation apps and 87% of the users use them for driving instructions. 

The unprecedented growth in the GPS navigation system has provided great opportunities to business owners and investors who are interested in the enterprise and mobility industry. Waze and Google Maps have emerged as the most predominant GPS navigation apps for users of both Android and iOS. Apart from being convenient, these apps are known for their user-friendly updates and error-free performance.

In the article below, know what are some of the key features of navigation apps, what steps to follow to build a GPS navigation app like Waze, and what will be the cost of developing a navigation app, among other details. 

What is GPS Navigation System?

A GPS navigation system receives geo-information through GPS/GIS technology. It also adds audio/video components that are designed for purposes like handheld gadgets, car devices, or smartphone apps. GPS is a satellite navigation system that works on a 24-hour basis for finding the receiver’s location through signals from satellites.

GPS satellites circle the Earth twice a day. They transmit a unique signal that allows the GPS devices to receive the precise signal of the satellite. This information is used by the GPS receivers to calculate the exact location of the user. 

Global Positioning System (GPS) was created by the US Department of Defence and initially, it was used only for defense purposes. It was made available to the general public later in 1980. Since then, GPS navigation technology has been used in a wide range of products including, cars, mobile phones, ships, and electronic gear as well as in personalized heads-up projection glasses. 

With the increased usage, the navigation apps market size is expected to see an annual growth rate of 9.37% between the years 2022 and 2026.

gps navigation technology

Highlighting The Key Features of the GPS Navigation App

With the growing popularity of GPS apps, it is important to understand the benefits of geolocation-based apps on your phone. The initial work of GPS navigation systems was only to guide the user from one place to another. However, with changing times, advanced features integrated into these apps, such as route tracking, location marking, and data synchronization, have made them much more advanced. 

Offline Maps

Those who love trekking and like to spend outdoors completely off the grid would still need maps for their trip. Hence it is important that GPS apps have the feature of offline maps which helps the user to navigate the route even in the absence of a network. This way, the user will be able to access the saved maps when in an area that has no access to the internet. In addition to it, a good GPS map should also be able to track your location and mark points whenever the phone goes into offline mode.

Location Marking

This feature of a GPS navigation app is particularly useful when outdoors and one finds a perfect campsite near the lake or an elevated ground for perfect aerial photography during a trip. The location marking feature lets you mark the place so that it can be found again easily. A good GPS App must have the functionality of marking the locations and points of interest. 

Route Tracking

The feature of route tracking is significant, particularly for those in delivery business. Sometimes more than one route is available to reach the destination, but the delivery person might want to take a route that will help in saving both time and fuel. A good GPS Navigation app must help the user in picking up the optimal route by analyzing both the traffic data and distance.

Synchronization of Data

In case the user decides to change their phone, the data synchronization feature helps in retaining the saved GPS data in the previous phone. With the integration of this feature, the user just needs to download the app on the new phone, log in and wait for the app to sync data to the new phone. 

Scheduling Trips

It helps in making the travel of users more viable. The feature helps in creating a list of upcoming appointments alongside the destination which assists the users to manage their time accordingly.

features of a GPS navigation app

What do We Know About Waze and How Does it Work?

Waze is a community-driven navigation app that was created by an Israeli Company and was acquired by Google in 2013. The navigation apps like Waze use real-time data from the users of the app to provide the best route to the destination. 

The updates provided on the navigation app are crowdsourced as users commute and can also be shared proactively via the app. The GPS technology used in Waze takes into account traffic jams, accidents, construction, speed traps, and other obstacles that could slow down the driver. 

Alongside Google & Apple navigation apps, Waze also has an equal cap in the navigation market. It has since developed all kinds of social and geo-gaming elements that have further made commuting rewarding and engaging.

Over the years, Waze app has emerged as one of the leading navigation apps among users. According to the reports, as Google Maps continues to be the most downloaded app in the United States with 25.5 million downloads, Waze acquired a second spot with some 13.4 million downloads. Just like Google apps, Waze is also free to download and it makes money by advertising places on the map.

Navigation apps market

How Does Waze Work?

Waze crowdsources information to calculate the average speeds, define directions, and check errors for turn-by-turn navigation. Therefore, the commuters using the Waze app share real-time information that further translates into traffic conditions and road structure. The user can actively report accidents, traffic conditions, weather conditions, blocked roads, and more. 

The GPS navigation app then cross-references the collected information to provide the most optimal route. In short, the commuters using Waze are incentivized to work together to improve each other’s driving experience. The app requires an active internet connection to provide the correct directions to the driver. 

Steps to Follow to Build a GPS Navigation App like Waze

In different stages of navigation app development, it is important to consider various factors, including geographic location and user preferences. While building a navigation app similar to Waze, the developer must consider the steps discussed below:

Thorough Research

Before starting the project, the team should do thorough research on how to make a navigation app. They must make a checklist to make sure the quality of every stage of app development, including building, planning, testing, and distribution of the navigation app. Simultaneously, the team should also recognize the possible risks and weaknesses of the GPS navigation app. 

Identifying the market of the app

Before diving into the idea of how to make a navigation app, the developers must first understand the target audience. One must thoroughly analyze the competitors and current market trends. The fact that GPS is capable of unleashing numerous opportunities can sometimes mislead the developers. Hence, it is important to figure out the specific segment of the audience for whom the app will be developed. 

Making the GUI of the navigation app user-friendly

The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the navigation app must be user-friendly. As the navigation software is used in a variety of environments, it is important to make the buttons and tabs of the app big enough for convenient use in every situation. 

Adding Voice Directions

Voice direction is one of the key features that makes the navigation app more user-friendly. It makes following directions secure and avoids getting the driver distracted by looking at the mobile screen continuously. 

Availability of map offline

The availability of offline maps on the navigation app provides great assurance to the users. It makes sure that they won’t face a scenario where there might be lost in the absence of an internet connection. It is imperative that the map must be implemented as part of the app and must be made available in an offline mode.

navigation apps like waze

Analyzing the Cost of Developing a GPS Navigation App

Before figuring out how to make a navigation app, the developers must understand the cost breakdown that will go into the app building. The cost of developing a navigation app depends on various factors including the variety of features, the fees charged by the developer agency, the intricacy of the program as well as the app maintenance cost. 

If the developer wants to lower the cost of the app, it is important to start with something less complex and work on the feedback received. Notably, the minimum cost of building a navigation app starts at around $40,000 and further grows into proportion as per the app’s complexity. 

Some of the factors that affect the cost of developing a navigation app are:

App Complexity

The cost of the app will be directly affected by the level of complexity with which it will be built. If the developers opt of adding more features that provide more options to the users, the cost of the app will be increased accordingly. 

Resource Expense

One of the prominent reasons that affect the cost of developing a navigation app is the fees charged by the developers. It also depends on the location of the team, as the developers in US and Europe markets will charge higher than from any other location. 

App Platform

The cost of the GPS navigation app developed on the iOS platform will differ from the cost of developing it on Android or Windows. Notably, the development of a navigation application costs higher on Android than on iOS as it needs to support more devices. 

Common Challenges in Navigation App Development & How they can be Avoided

During the development of GPS navigation apps, developers face various problems such as outdated maps, the use of old hardware, or the cost of developing the app. Mentioned below are some of the common challenges in navigation app development and what the developer can do to avoid them. 

Opting for the right tech stack

The developers commonly face the issue of choosing the right tech stack for the GPS navigation app. To overcome this, they first need to define the business objective as well as the target audience of the app. With this, it can be decided what set of technologies, including databases, and programming languages have to be used to develop the navigation app that will provide greater consumer satisfaction. 

Issue of outdated map data

Another problem that the developers should take into account while developing a GPS navigation app is outdated map data. As the world’s infrastructure changes rapidly, it is important that the developers must have the data of up-to-date maps that will facilitate providing the best user experience. 

The problem of fewer satellites

In order to locate the user’s location with accuracy, the device is required to receive a signal from at least 7 satellites. Fewer satellites will result in worse location accuracy. Before building the navigation app, the developers must analyze the number of satellites available in the location to ensure that the user is guided in the correct direction. 

Flawed user interface

The user interface of the GPS Navigation app is extremely crucial for greater user engagement and satisfaction. A poorly designed interface can lead to user frustration which will further result in poor ratings and low app usage. The developers are required to invest in a user-friendly interface to ensure that the app is well-received by the users. 

How to Build a Successful GPS Navigation App?

Various factors are taken into consideration before building a navigation app. It is important that the developers make a checklist before building the app. Check some suggestions given below that will assist you in building a user-friendly navigation app. 

Simpler app design

The UX/UI design should be as simple as possible. The buttons of the GPS navigation app must be large enough to be visible during the drive. The core functionality of the navigation app must be efficient, and UI must contain only the required elements for better navigation. 

Integration of handy features

Installing handy features such as rerouting in the navigation app makes it more user-friendly. The feature will instantly provide an alternative route to the driver if there is any kind of accident or if they have taken a wrong turn. 

Social integration to navigation app

Adding social integration to the GPS navigation app provides users with an option to share their trips and communicate with each other. It helps in keeping other commuters in the loop regarding the traffic or other situation on the road. 

Video while uploading the navigation app

Adding a video explaining how the app works while uploading the GPS navigation app for review will attract better reviews. Without this, the app store might reject the app and argue why it needs to be allowed to run in the background. These videos further validate the navigation apps.

How Appventurez can Assist in Developing a GPS Navigation App?

GPS navigation apps help users in finding a simple way to reach their destination. It 

updates them on the road situation or in case there has been an accident which makes the app extremely essential. 

Both businesses and individuals can also be benefitted significantly from implementing GPS navigation. The increased use of GPS navigation apps has provided opportunities for new businesses that plan to venture into this field. 

Appventurez, as an on-demand app development company has a team of professionals who excels at developing high-performance apps. The team of developers here follows a strategic process and believes in understanding the vision before executing the app development.

They also analyze the markets that are much suited for navigation apps to incorporate features that enhance the user experience.

GPS navigation system


Q. How does a navigation app work?

Navigation apps guide the user in reaching from one direction to another. Navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze are known for services that are extremely user-friendly. The user has to provide the destination details in the app and it shows the progress of the user along with the route and the instructions for each turn.

Q. How to create a GPS app?

The development of the GPS app starts with analyzing the user’s request and then finding out the exact aim of the app. The navigation app can target various segments including tourists, commuters, and businessmen. The next stage includes design specifications, colors, features, and themes.

Q. How to make an app like Google Maps?

While building an app like Google Maps, the developer will need to incorporate features such as route mapping, location detection as well as traffic updates. Other steps include gathering real-time data from the sources, designing a user-friendly interface, and testing and updates.

Q. How the GPS is used in navigation?

The signal contains the data that is used to calculate the locations of the satellite and for accurate positioning. The time difference between the broadcast time and the time of signal reception is used to compute the range from the receiver to the satellite.

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

Director at Appventurez

Director and one of the Co-founders at Appventurez, Chandrapal Singh has 10+ years of experience in iOS app development. He captains client coordination and product delivery management. He also prepares preemptive requisites and guides the team for any possible issues on a given project.

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