Which navigation apps would people recommend for a blind iPhone user?

iOS & iPadOS

Which app is best for a blind person to use on an I-phone for street navigation.



Submitted by TJT 2001 on Thursday, June 30, 2016

There are quite a few navigation apps to choose from. From mainstream solutions such as the stock Apple Maps that comes with every iDevice to third-party solutions such as Google Maps and Navigon, you can be certain that they will stay in the App Store for a long time and be frequently updated. Blind people tend to prefer other apps that are specifically designed for the needs of the blind. Such apps include BlindSquare, ViaOpta Nav and Sendero's GPS app that varies according to your location. In the United States, it is called Seeing Eye GPS; in the United Kingdom it is called RNIB Navigator; and in Australia it is called Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Submitted by Mark P on Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hi John, I've been using everything I could get my hands on to get to my customers in London and have settled with Google Maps as its the most accurate and doesn't drain my 5S battery too much. If you use it a lot, like me, then carry a portable charger.

Submitted by Larry Thacker Jr. on Thursday, June 30, 2016

I paid for Seeing Eye GPS when it first came out. It works well, but not so much better than Blindsquare plus Google Maps that it is worth the high price. I did not renew. That said, I don't do a lot of travel in unfamiliar places. My feelings might change if I did it more. Still the aforementioned combination with Google telling you where to turn and Blindsquare telling you what's around is a pretty good combo and the one I recommend.

Submitted by DPinWI on Thursday, June 30, 2016

I almost never do turn by turn. I generally know where I am going, and how to get there. However, I find Blind Square, and a good guide dog, to be life changing. Between the two, I get where I want to go with little fuss.

At some point, I will explore the turn by turn stuff, but for now, I just figure out a route, fire up the app, harness the dog, and go off into the wild blue yonder.

Submitted by Luke on Friday, July 15, 2016

What's wrong wit just using the built-in Maps app? Works well for me

Submitted by JeffB on Friday, July 15, 2016

I do use Blind Square however I wish there was something like Blind Square but used Google Maps. Seeing Eye GPS is good but you have to pay for it. The problem I get with Blind Square is that people tend to name their houses odd things and its a bit confusing when you hear Wacovia Center concered venue in 50 feet. There is no such place that close to me so that is something you have to be aware of when you use Blind Square. You can just have it name the intersections as a work around but it stinks that it does not have a Google Map or even Apple Map option.

Submitted by Brooke on Saturday, July 16, 2016

So far, my preference is Blind Square.

Submitted by John Meikle on Monday, July 18, 2016

In reply to by Brooke

I agree what is needed is a GPS feature in Google maps but I think it is called "seeing eye"!!!!

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hi. Up until this week I have used Blindsquare and it has done the job pretty well for me, but locating things precisely can sometimes be a little harder to do. However, after getting together with a friend of mine who was using RNIB Navigator, I downloaded the free trial and I have to say, for the most part I was pleasantly surprised. Despite having no sight, I'm quite a visual learner and often when I'm trying to figure out a route I like a visual representation of it in my head before I go on that route. I really really like the fact that Navigator gives you a visual representation of where the road is in relation to where you are. My husband, who is also blind, used blindsquare and along with me using Navigator we took a route last night that we had never done before. While BlindSquare was adequat, Navigator definitely helped when we were trying to locate the venue we were after. I also used it today on a route that I know very well and was pleasantly surprised when I was advised to turn right. This route is a straight shot with the main road being on my left. However, it indicated to me that I needed to turn right and this was in order that I could cross a pedestrian crossing which involved indenting a little ways down the side street that we were coming to. This I found was really useful and if I had been travelling this route on my own and it had been unfamiliar I would have really appreciated this. The only thing I did find was that Navigator was way off when I tried to locate my house today which was the route I was taking. It told me that the house was on the left which it was not. It also told me I was there way before I was. In fact, I had a road to cross and then the house was on my right but a fair way down. According to it, I was 100 plus metres past my destination so don't quite know what that was all about.

However, like others, the thing that puts me off converting to navigator instead of BlindSquare is the fact that we have to pay a subscription fee. Obviously if you are in a household where there are more than 1 of you who are blind, it works out to be value for money, but I'm still undecided. While blindsquare works ok, and it has gotten me from A to B without many troubles, it doesn't tell me where streets are in relation to where I am and I feel that Navigator is more descriptive and is definitely better when trying to locate specific points of interest. I would advise you to have a shot with Navigator and work out yourself whether the subscription is worth it. Failing that, Blindsquare is definitely a good alternative. I think these things are, as someone else has said, very subjective and maybe you ought to try out all the freebies and trials before spending your money on anything. Maybe then you can decide if the native apps you get on the iPhone are good enough or indeed if not and you like Navigator, whether the subscription is worth it. I know others that struggle with BlindSquare but for my husband who is probably in the top 1% regarding his mobility skills, he finds it perfectly adequate. For me, I would say that my mobility is good but I do get stressed if I get lost so the more clues I have to stop this from happening the better I am. At least if I do get lost, I have my dog with me too. :-)