Cars.com Tests New iPhone Maps App in a Mercedes-Benz SL550

Posted on 14. Jun, 2012 by in Auto News

By David Thomas and Dave Lee

Apple today announced a number of new laptops and two new operating systems earlier this week. The new mobile platform operating system, iOS 6 will arrive on iPhones this fall, and one of its most significant upgrades is a new maps application that is designed from the ground up by Apple and replaced the current Google-based version.

We installed the beta version of iOS 6 on an iPhone 4 that we had practically and decided it head-to-head test with an iPhone 4 with iOS 5.

It was a glorious summer day in Chicago, so it only makes sense that these tests to log miles in a brand new Mercedes-Benz SL550 Convertible Stickering, at just under $ 130,000. I'm behind the wheel, while gadget-obsessed editor Dave Lee occupied the two iPhones side by side in the front passenger seat equipped massage.

This is what we discovered.

First, the new Maps app is not a game changer. It works and looks similar to the current Google-based application. That's good, because it will be bad not much of a learning curve, but because of it. Still not a true GPS

Unfortunately, we were not sporting two iPhone 4S phones with features that could take advantage of the Siri system. Our plain pair of 4s (and iPhone 3GS) do not support voice turn-by-turn navigation, or the cool Siri Flyover mode in iOS 6th This is sobering news for many iPhone 4 and 3GS users. The 3-D feature was not on the app. We expect to add them later.

We started our test in Chicago Lakeview neighborhood, which is near Wrigley Field. Our first test was Edzo the Burger Shop in Evanston, Ill., is set as our goal, we immediately saw one of the biggest improvements to the app.

Search iOS 6 results presented in real time, without the Search button hit. The pin for the restaurant also featured his entire star ratings and the number of Yelp reviews. Then came the info screen for the Edzo.

In the iOS app 6, showed the top third of the screen, a stream of photos of the restaurant, which is culled from Yelp. There was also a register for the basic information is available on iOS 5 Show plus two more tabs Yelp Reviews.

The selection of routes and directions were nearly identical on the two operating systems.

Once we set off, we monitored the phones to see how well each site tracked. We also punched Edzo address in nav system of the SL for a third comparison. We were not lost on this test.

As we drove north on Lake Shore Drive with the top down and the SL-twin-turbo V-8 under the hood buzzing, it was obvious that the app is the greatest improvement in appearance. The directions should appear in larger type in green boxes, which are designed to look like highway signs, and about a quarter of the screen. The text is accompanied by directional arrows. It looks much better than the small letters in the current Maps app in iOS 5 is used, and the big guy will make sure that a driver is quick glances to the app quickly.

To move to the next direction, the green character swipe left or right, it's easier than typing on the small arrows on the Google-based application. Each app progress the way to the respective row. The bright blue ball never forces the app to turn promote markers also pass them on like a true GPS would.

Both phones have shown little difference in terms of GPS position with the blue ball tracking accuracy.

The iOS 5 iPhone would reorientation of the screen like a compass when we were traveling, but the iOS 6 phone not, albeit on a different occasion, did the screen based on the iOS to 6 phone again if you had the iPhone in a different direction .

We reached Edzo enjoying a few questions and unfortunately it was a little too early to go to a burger and milkshake. Both are highly recommended if you ever in Evanston, Ill. So we tapped back in a favorite sandwich shop in Lakeview as a second test.

The real-time search worked perfectly again and it was full Yelp integration. The return trip was uneventful and we just wish it was included a car park finder.

Total cards work in iOS 6 less cluttered compared to iOS 5. Major points of interest will continue to appear, but because fewer street grids, street signs and neighborhood names you focus your eyes on the track. There was less delay when zooming in and out of maps on the new app, but traffic information seemed spotty. Sometimes appeared, but most of the time is not enough. The relative amount of traffic information, so it may take some time until it works. However, roadworks and accidents were operating marker and seemed for what we had to do in this test, and two other standard evening commutes exactly.

From a performance point of view, both fit pretty good apps, which is a great achievement given that Apple said it extended its mapping system from scratch. But after all the work, it still looks like a beautiful version of the Google app.

We must wait until we test Siri functionality, but neither app delivered many results in the search for "gas station". "Gas" and "Find gas station" return fewer results and took a lot of time to break them out.

And like the nav system in the Mercedes reminded us, voice prompts updated move is very helpful to keep your eyes where they should be – on the road and not a 3.5-inch screen, even if it is a Retina Display.

Cards for iOS 6 brings not the iPhone closer to a GPS device, at this stage it's more of an iterative improvement, which is lucky to current user. It will not replace your nav system is not certainly a surrounded by the SL.