MapQuest 3.0: Up-Close Mobile App Inspection

Posted on 23. Jul, 2012 by in Auto News

  • What is it? MapQuest puts traditional turn-by-turn navigation in the car with voice guidance, easy destination input and points-of-interest markers
  • Price: Free
  • Platforms: iOS 4.3 or higher, Android 1.6 or higher, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones
  • Info: www.

App-based navigation systems are a great alternative to expensive portable GPS devices and in-car setup. With dozens of different navigation applications on the iOS and Android markets, which does a best? A newer version of the free MapQuest app (see our review of version 2.0 here) was released, now with voice navigation. How to measure it work?

What you need: I tested. The new version of the MapQuest app with an Apple iPhone 4 with iOS 5.1.1 in tiny Scion iQ I aim for the Wisconsin Auto Museum in Hartford, home to a valuable collection of more than 100 beautiful, historic vehicles. The MapQuest app uses your phone's GPS location-based services, and I recommend plugging your mobile device to activate either in the car AUX input and Bluetooth audio streaming, if available, in order to better hear the voice guidance, complements the on-screen instructions.

MapQuest 3.0 provides an interactive attractions locator so that the user can select from categories such as restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, gas stations, parking lots and even ATMs. It is entirely engaged, but by pressing the Map POI indicators should be carried out by a passenger or while the vehicle is stopped.

What works: This revised version of MapQuest is fairly straightforward and easy to use. Put the address in the search box and press the green "Go" button. You can also put the name of a company or agency, but it often takes a while to find the app and process the directions, if you are lucky. Early in my trip, I needed to fill up the gas tank of the iQ. I knocked at the gas station POI icon and a Citgo station dived right down the street. I was able to see the real-time gas price for regular gasoline. When I drove my Chevrolet Camaro, I would tap the POI for a second time to see the real-time premium price. This feature would be an extremely useful tool for long-distance road trips that require a lot of fill-ups.

The map graphics are easy to read and easy when in. You can switch to a larger satellite view, but the map looks almost impossible to see when mounted on a windshield.

Even in rural Wisconsin cities like Minneapolis, the navigation worked flawlessly. To the MapQuest app to a real test bed, I headed out of the main course and a side street surrounded by golden wheat fields, snap a few photos of the iQ. The purple indicator moves from the directed path, but the app will find a new way almost immediately. That was impressive.

Until you run the app in the background, the voice-guided navigation will continue – no matter what other app you have open.

What does not: Even when mounted within reach of the steering wheel, I had a hard time reading parts of the screen, including the map, if not recognize close enough. There is a display that tells you how far you should up your next turn, and I was amazed, surprised how small the text compared with other text on the screen. It is an important part of any navigation system, and I often found myself squinting or leaning forward to see how many yards I had until the next left turn.

The voice guidance was frustrating than helpful. If your mobile device is not connected to your car stereo system, you will not be able to hear the directions, use your mobile phone the volume all the way up. Fortunately, this Scion iQ Bluetooth audio streaming for Pandora Internet radio, and the MapQuest app lowered the volume of the music each time the direction was discussed. A couple of times, but streaming music at low volume would long remain after the vocal direction. Repetition was another problem with the voice guidance function, how I felt almost as a "screaming" while he. By a roundabout A lot of vocal direction, not four within a 20-second span.

If there a simple way to use the app without voice guidance, that would be very welcome.

While stopped at a red light, I called the iPhone drop-down notifications to see a text message. The light went green and I slid the menu back to the top of the screen, only to find that the card itself was stopped in its tracks. The purple icon does not follow the purple line on the map, until I tapped the "locate yourself" symbol. Odd.

The navigation works best when. Entering an exact address instead of a place name A few other times the app would recognize the exact, full address, but it would have difficulty applying for and drawing prompts. I had this procedure two or three times repeated one morning on my way to work. I'm not sure if this was an app issue or a cellular signal problem, but it's definitely become disgusting.

Bottom Line: MapQuest has a good job on the new version of its mobile app, and it took me and the little iQ for Wisconsin Auto Museum, where I was made by a collection of rewards jaw-dropping old Kissel, Nashes, AMCs and other automobiles in the great cheese state. Apart from a few points of criticism with the voice guidance, address and some small text, the app was reliable. If MapQuest fixes these errors and fine-tune a few things that could 6th App shoulder to shoulder with Google Maps and maybe even Apple's new map app for iOS

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