Will the map function on my IPhone 5 work in Europe? Just hit the icon and it locates me, I enter an address and get map guidance?
Hi Don. It will definitely work when you are using WiFi data. Before you take your iPhone with you to Europe, you should call your carrier and ask them about getting a calling and a data plan that will work in Europe. They'll charge you for the privilege, but then you'll be able to use the GPS/map function on your phone. This can be very useful when travelling. Here's an FAQ we've written on the subject:
http://www.untours.com/faq.html (click on the "Cell Phones" tab)
This sounds like a good idea. Do you download them before you leave home? Last summer we did contact Verizon and had the per day plan for $10 while we were in Spain. It only costs you on the days you turn on your phone. Maps, phone calls, etc. will all work as they do at home.
There are 3 things you need to know.
1) The GPS (location services) works independently of whether you have a connection or not, and it works anywhere in the world as long as you can see the sky.
2) You need a data connection to use Google Maps or Apple Maps in Europe. There are several ways you can do this. The simplest (and most expensive) way is to extend your domestic US coverage to Europe.
3) An iPhone 5 does not support 4G/LTE data in Europe. So, even if you have a data connection, it's going to be 3G and slower than you are used to. You need an iPhone 6 or later to use 4G in Europe.
The suggestion of using a mapping program like CityMaps2Go is a good one. You can download the maps for the area you are going to before leaving home, then you do not even need a data connection to use the map. I have used similar apps in Prague back in 2010 and Venice in 2012. Theoretically, you can download sections of Google Maps, but I've never really been satisfied with the results when doing that. Google Maps works best with a data connection.
Another iPhone app that a person was using on a recent trip was maps.me. I have tried it some and it seems to be good also. I tried the routing capability on it a couple times and it seemed to be good. I haven't compared it with CityMaps2Go enough to form a judgement between the two.