Sure, Google offers free turn-by-turn navigation for Android smartphones as part of Google Maps. But iPhone users aren’t without options. There are a number of paid apps in the App Store that offer similar capabilities for the iPhone. But Skobbler is a free app that appeals to the cheapskate in me.
Unfortunately, the app is a bit rough around the edges. That’s at least partially because it relies on OpenStreetMap, a crowd-sourced map service that’s sort of like Wikipedia, except instead of user-edited encyclopedia entries, you have user-edited locations and geographic features.
The app features a big “bug” icon, allowing you to report incorrect data if, for example the app suggests you go the wrong way down a one-way street. With reports coming out every year about people driving into rivers or trying to walk across crowded highways because their GPS units told them to, I have to wonder if Skobbler is a good idea. On the other hand, if you go into it knowing that you’re using a free, crowd-sourced navigation app, then maybe you’ll be a little less trusting — because I know you’re really looking for a navigation app that you can’t trust.
Skobbler is available as a free download from the App Store. You can find a few more screenshots after the break.