Nearby Explorer is a full featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics.

It uses onboard maps, so a data connection is not required, but if you have one, Nearby Explorer supplements the on board map data with crowd collected locations from Foursquare or Google Places. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada which contain millions of points of interest. The onboard maps are over 4GB in size, so be sure the device you plan to use has enough available space before purchasing.

Nearby Explorer works with any device running iOS version 9 or later, but if the device does not contain its own GPS receiver, like most iPads and iPods, you must use an external GPS receiver. All iPhones contain GPS receivers.

Nearby Explorer works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations, and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and let's your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.

You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for businesses, even in a moving vehicle, or tilting it vertically to function as a compass, including a listing of streets in the indicated direction. This all works with the device locked, so one need not fuss with the touch screen while moving. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location.
Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route.

You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area.

For complete details about Nearby Explorer, see

Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

What’s New

Version 1.27.0

* Brings back support for Foursquare as a search provider.

* Corrects a problem where context menus were not automatically spoken when using iOS 12.1.1.

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Kc7udh ,

Nearby explorer

Hi there! I just wanted to say thank you for the nearby explorer app it is a godsend I use it the last couple of days and trust me! I could never be without that app this app provides Geo beam feature and compass feature although I don't use the Compass feature I'd leave that feature off but the Geo being feature I absolutely love you guys are great I hope there's more to come with the indoor navigation as well as outdoor navigation

the Murph Man! ,

James Murphy I love this app

This is the best, gps app, for all, blind people. It is outstanding!!! I love this app. An so does everyone that I know use the app.... Its better , than every gps app.. I mean every app... gps, app, for blind persons. Please, keep the updates, coming. I have the paid, one..... An its well worth, the price, and some.

curls55 ,

An excellent GPS system

This GPS system is easy to use and very complete. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially those of us who cannot see well. It works very well with voiceover.


American Printing House for the Blind
33.1 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 4+
This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
© 2018 American Printing House for the Blind


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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