Released last night, the new GAIA GPS app is the first of its kind to include NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps. Other updates include snap-to-trail routing planning and a visual overhaul…

The new app is a huge leap for Gaia GPS, with tremendous technology, feature, and usability improvements. Starting last September, eleven people worked on the design, engineering, and cartography for the new Gaia GPS. The beta tester group had about 80 participants, including professional guides, long distance hikers, backcountry skiers, hunters, off-roaders, mountain-bikers, and others – a broad cross-section of the Gaia GPS community.

Release Notes

The new Gaia GPS app displays maps more beautifully, makes map downloads smaller, and includes an expanded map catalog with the exciting addition of National Geographic Trails Illustrated. The new Gaia GPS also adds a great search experience that lets people easily find trails and parks. And, throughout the app, we refined the user interface and design elements to make backcountry navigation simpler.

New Gaia GPS App

Overall, changes include:

The ”mapping engine” has been totally replaced

  • maps are faster/smoother
  • Gaia Topo and some other sources are now displayed as ’vector’ maps – that means the labels stay crisp as you zoom in/out, downloads are smaller, and other benefits.

More maps

  • all users can now access MapBox Satellite, Outdoor, and Streets
  • Premium Members can access National Geographic Trails Illustrated, as well as Neotreks
New Gaia GPS App

New search feature

  • autocompleting search on map
  • search for parks, trails, places, and addresses
  • tap parks, trails, and other features on the map to get info

The iPhone interface has been greatly refined

  • tabs along the bottom with major functions
  • unified icons for buttons, refined colors/fonts/layout
  • improved every screen, from login/signup, to the map, to saved data

Other improvements

  • better interface to name things like tracks/waypoints (names get suggested if you are online, and you can set color/icon as you make things)
  • big overhaul to Saved/Details views for tracks/waypoints/etc
  • refined Trip stats view
  • fullscreen control in map toolbar
  • long-press fullscreen for additional map display options
  • option in iPhone settings to disable background GPS use


What happens to the classic Gaia GPS app?
The classic Gaia GPS app will no longer be available on the App Store after May 22. People can continue to use the classic app with no interruption.

Do existing users get access to the new app?
Existing app users get an extended free trial with the new Gaia GPS. The more recently they bought Gaia GPS, the longer the trial (between 30 days and 2 years free). Also, existing users with ”GaiaPro” subscriptions from the classic app get access to the new app at no additional cost, including all Premium maps.

How did the price change?
The old Gaia GPS cost $19.99 and had an optional $39.99/year GaiaPro subscription. The new Gaia GPS has a free trial, and two price levels. For a limited time, the new Gaia GPS app costs $9.99/year for the Member level, or $29.99 for the Premium level. The Member Level lets you use the full app, and all but a few map sources – try it free for 7 days. The Premium Member Level gives you access to sources like National Geographic Trails Illustrated, hunting data, and other specialized maps.

For more on GAIA GPS, check out our Using Your Smartphone as a GPS article, or visit the iTunes Store



New Tools & Gadgets

Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.