If you haven’t tried out MapQuest 4 Mobile yet now’s the time! Recently updated with voice spoken street names and updates, auto re-routing, and the ability to keep running in the background it’s easily my favorite free navigation app available in the App Store today.
All three of the new updates (voice spoken street names and updates, auto re-routing, runs in background) are features that every iPhone user has been thirsting for since day one and now they’re in! No longer do you have to continuously tap your screen to keep it alive while staring intently at a list of directions while driving. Now, with MapQuest 4 Mobile you can generate directions (by either shortest distance, or shortest time) and just set down your iPhone and relax. The app will conveniently keep running in the background, calling out street names as they approach.
Of course, we all know the iPhone’s GPS at times isn’t the most accurate (when generating location based on proximity to cell tower), so conveniently MapQuest 4 Mobile offers automatic re-routing. If you happen to miss your turn it’ll recognize it, generate alternate directions, and will continue calling out which streets to take until you arrive. It may not be as accurate as top of the line GPS apps, but it’s darn close and it’s free!
In addition to the great new features, I’m a huge fan of MapQuest 4 Mobile’s interface. Yeah, it offers the standard map and list view that we’re all familiar with, but it also offers the ability to get directions by shortest time instead of just shortest distance. It also allows you to customize a bunch of things ranging from turning on/off highways, toll roads, and seasonally closed roads, selecting the amount of energy usage the app uses when it runs, the units distance is measured in (miles vs. kilometers), to choosing your own position icon (waiving man, battleship, cat, etc., even your own photo). Everything feels naturally laid out and is extremely easy to use.
In addition to just the standard Point A to Point B directions, MapQuest 4 Mobile also allows you to find nearby points of interest such as hotels, gas stations, bars, restaurants, etc. You can customize and order these destinations any which way you want. There’s literally tons to choose from and to display them on your map all you have to do is touch the icon. You can display one at a time or multiple at once. Touch any of the results on the map to view the name, phone, address, etc., and to get directions. And as mentioned, once you pick one you’ve got voice directions straight to the door!
If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a huge fan of this app. To me it executes all of its features very well. It’s by no means perfect in every way, but it’s very close. If there is any room for improvement it’d be on the number of locations it displays. It by no means displays every single store, restaurant, coffee shop, etc. in a given area, but it does display the most established locations. Which, isn’t really a surprise as most navigation apps are the same way. In my opinion, MapQuest 4 Mobile is an extremely convenient and elegant navigation solution for iPhone, and given it’s free price point, shouldn’t it’s a no brainer to snatch up!
Version Reviewed: 2.0.2
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad; iPhone OS 3.0 or later
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