MapQuest unveils alternative to Google Maps for iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
MapQuest on Monday took the wraps off a new application for iPhone users designed as an alternative to the built-in Google Maps software and billed as a "leap forward in how people interact with maps, directions and local search" on their Apple handsets.



One tap search

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Among the highlights of the free application (App Store), called MapQuest 4 Mobile, is a "place carousel" that makes it easy for users to conduct one-tap category searches from any location on a map.



Similar to the Dashboard feature of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the carousel features icons, called 'place widgets,' that represent categories such as hotels, movie theaters, post offices, shopping centers, parking garages, schools, bars, pharmacies, gas stations and restaurants.



iPhone users can customize their place carousel with any of the 20 or so place widgets available simply by dragging and dropping them to and from the carousel. There are also place widget icons for leading brands, such as, Walmart, Autozone, Holiday Inn and Best Western, with more promised for future releases.



Driving directions



Unlike with Google Maps for iPhone, users of the MapQuest software can plan and save maps and driving routes on their computer using MapQuest.com and then retrieve them on the iPhone by logging into their My Places account. Some users may even find this interaction essential given that MapQuest for iPhone cannot access addresses stored in an iPhone's Address Book the way Google Maps can.







Asked about a lack of Address Book address, a spokesperson for MapQuest said the company is looking into adding the capability in a future release of MapQuest 4 Mobile for iPhone.







For trips that include more than one stop, the software offers multi-point routing and draggable re-ordering capabilities. Driving directions can be seen in standard map or list view, but are also available in a third view called "Max Maneuver" that kicks in when the iPhone is held in landscape mode. Under this view, each maneuver instruction fills the entire screen and users can progresses to the next or previous maneuver simply by "swiping" the screen to the right or left.







Other features



Some other features of the MapQuest iPhone app include smooth panning maps, live traffic, free-form search, GPS to identify a user's current location, and a search history.







Users can also customize the icon that represents their location on the map, either with a stock "My Position" icon that is chosen from a list of options or by using any phone available in an iPhone's photo album.



For those interested, MapQuest has also posted a silent walk-through video\t of the new software.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    macosxpmacosxp Posts: 152member
    I used to use MapQuest... until Google Maps started letting me find what the places I was looking for by typing in an address that wasn't perfectly formatted, or just the place name. MapQuest sucks in comparison since their maps are no better than Google's in my estimation, and their search feature sucks worse too.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    mapquest got me lost in the middle of kentucky once. That was fun, especially since me and my girlfriend were freaking out so much over the directions we failed to notice we needed to get gas. We puttered into an exxon at 4am and miraculously it took credit cards.



    Screw mapquest.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    thebuddathebudda Posts: 26member
    As a law enforcement officer of 13 years, I can attest that over the last 10 years I've come to easily spot vehicles on the side of the road or driving erratically with the driver holding some papers in his/her hands as Mapquest users. I hate use the term profile, but they all have the same confused, desperate look about them. 98% of the time I would pull up beside some confused looking driver and ask "Let me guess, Mapquest?" and they would all say yes. They would proceed to tell me about trying to find some highway that didn't even exist in my state, much less my county. I've grown to down right hate Mapquest over the years just for the aggravation they put everybody through.



    I wonder if anybody has ever gotten some BS government funding to conduct a study about the carbon footprint of using Mapquest? Has to be at least a few hundred thousand miles in America that have been wasted with this crappy service.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macosxp View Post


    I used to use MapQuest... until Google Maps started letting me find what the places I was looking for by typing in an address that wasn't perfectly formatted, or just the place name. MapQuest sucks in comparison since their maps are no better than Google's in my estimation, and their search feature sucks worse too.





    I just clicked the link in the article to go to the app in the store and it says it's not available in the US app store.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    docpregodocprego Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blue1516us View Post


    I just clicked the link in the article to go to the app in the store and it says it's not available in the US app store.



    Just search for it and it comes right up. The link is broken.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    milfordmilford Posts: 26member
    Still, multiple destinations that you can change on the fly, and a clean list of all the turns you need to make, are both features that I have desperately wished for in Google Maps over the last year. The former is especially necessary when your live traffic info shows something terrible ahead and you need to set an intermediate point in order to route around it; or, say, you're driving from Boston to DC and you want to force it to take the Tappan Zee bridge instead of plowing through NYC.
  • Reply 7 of 70
    ivladivlad Posts: 740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thebudda View Post


    As a law enforcement officer of 13 years, I can attest that over the last 10 years I've come to easily spot vehicles on the side of the road or driving erratically with the driver holding some papers in his/her hands as Mapquest users. I hate use the term profile, but they all have the same confused, desperate look about them. 98% of the time I would pull up beside some confused looking driver and ask "Let me guess, Mapquest?" and they would all say yes. They would proceed to tell me about trying to find some highway that didn't even exist in my state, much less my county. I've grown to down right hate Mapquest over the years just for the aggravation they put everybody through.



    I wonder if anybody has ever gotten some BS government funding to conduct a study about the carbon footprint of using Mapquest? Has to be at least a few hundred thousand miles in America that have been wasted with this crappy service.



    wow, "my state", "my country" .... feels very welcoming to people who live in your area.

    By the way what does your response have to do with iPhone? If you wanna complain, there are plenty of DMV and Gov sites that can easily help you ease your anger from people who need help.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    this may have been interesting last year, but with Googls doing such a good job, and TOMTOM and Garmin waiting in the wing, this is a non starter...
  • Reply 9 of 70
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    wow, "my state", "my country" .... feels very welcoming to people who live in your area.

    By the way what does your response have to do with iPhone? If you wanna complain, there are plenty of DMV and Gov sites that can easily help you ease your anger from people who need help.



    Did you even read what he wrote? This article is about a mapquest iphone app. He was talking about how confusing mapquest directions can make people worse drivers as they start to give more attention to the directions, and give less to the road.



    So yeah, his response does have something to do with the iPhone app the rest of us are discussing. What does your response have anything to do with mapquest or the iphone? He should complain to the DMV that mapquest sends people on wild goose chases?
  • Reply 10 of 70
    roroberrorober Posts: 5member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blue1516us View Post


    I just clicked the link in the article to go to the app in the store and it says it's not available in the US app store.



    Just like MapQuest: It's giving the wrong directions.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thebudda View Post


    As a law enforcement officer of 13 years, I can attest that over the last 10 years I've come to easily spot vehicles on the side of the road or driving erratically with the driver holding some papers in his/her hands as Mapquest users. I hate use the term profile, but they all have the same confused, desperate look about them. 98% of the time I would pull up beside some confused looking driver and ask "Let me guess, Mapquest?" and they would all say yes. They would proceed to tell me about trying to find some highway that didn't even exist in my state, much less my county. I've grown to down right hate Mapquest over the years just for the aggravation they put everybody through.



    I wonder if anybody has ever gotten some BS government funding to conduct a study about the carbon footprint of using Mapquest? Has to be at least a few hundred thousand miles in America that have been wasted with this crappy service.



    What about all of the miles saved by the 90ish % of correct directions, saving people from buying the paper maps that were sitting in gas station racks for 10 years and are out of date and do not mention construction closing and detours...
  • Reply 12 of 70
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    this may have been interesting last year, but with Googls doing such a good job, and TOMTOM and Garmin waiting in the wing, this is a non starter...



    too little too late, i have to have a substantial reason to duplicate services

    google does more and has more apps



    i wish google had a "notes" or "to do" list that could sync with gmail or allow sharing

    then when my wife needs the shopping or to do list i don't mess it up by forgetting it



    but perhaps AI members could do a shoot out for mapquest and maps maybe we can learn from it.

    what does each do better or best
  • Reply 13 of 70
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    What about all of the miles saved by the 90ish % of correct directions, saving people from buying the paper maps that were sitting in gas station racks for 10 years and are out of date and do not mention construction closing and detours...



    He wasn't complaining about computer-based directions in general, but about MapQuest specifically--which is what this article is about.



    People are sure jumping all over thebuddah
  • Reply 14 of 70
    johnnykrzjohnnykrz Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    wow, "my state", "my country" .... feels very welcoming to people who live in your area.

    By the way what does your response have to do with iPhone? If you wanna complain, there are plenty of DMV and Gov sites that can easily help you ease your anger from people who need help.



    This seems like the perfect place to complain since we are talking about MapQuest here. Also, I like when people take ownership of their town/county/country. It doesn't mean outsiders aren't welcome, but that you have a sense of pride and responsibility towards the place you call home.



    MapQuest does suck big time! This still hasn't been fixed: When I get directions to this restaurant right next door to me, it sends me 5 miles down to the nearest highway and then tells me to u-turn and come up a different street that intersects with the street I'm on. I can literally see the place if I walk outside my office. Honestly, I don't remember why I ever looked up those directions; I think it was just because I was testing their directions way back. To be really nitpicking, I don't even like the way their maps look. They are too cartoonish and harder to visualize accurately. These features won't sway me from Google Maps.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    too little too late, i have to have a substantial reason to duplicate services

    google does more and has more apps



    i wish google had a "notes" or "to do" list that could sync with gmail or allow sharing

    then when my wife needs the shopping or to do list i don't mess it up by forgetting it



    but perhaps AI members could do a shoot out for mapquest and maps maybe we can learn from it.

    what does each do better or best



    I think you may have something there - for example you put milk on your shopping list and if you get within say 10 minutes of a grocery store you get an alert - maybe even have your favorite store plugged in - and sync across accounts would be good - you add milk to the list and your wife is heading home past the grocery store and a note pops up with the shopping list on it and directions to the store from where she is.
  • Reply 16 of 70
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 454member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    wow, "my state", "my country" .... feels very welcoming to people who live in your area.

    By the way what does your response have to do with iPhone? If you wanna complain, there are plenty of DMV and Gov sites that can easily help you ease your anger from people who need help.



    "My state" indicates he was referring to tourists from out of state.



    "My country" indicates he was referring to tourists from out of state or out of country.



    Both also indicate, like the previous poster said, pride in both his home and country.



    His response had a great deal to do with iPhone because the topic was MapQuest on iPhone, which is the entire point of this article, and he cited a very relevant career-learned story about folks being led astray by MapQuest.



    He used an emoticon to show an "angry face" which was directed from the first word toward MapQuest.



    You should toughen your extremely delicate sensibilities...
  • Reply 17 of 70
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Competition remains good.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I agree with the Officer. Map quest stinks in the implementation of the service it offers compared to Google. Out of the five or six times I have used Map quest, at least half of the times resulted in me getting lost. Usually it was something small like telling me to take a left, when it meant right. Sometimes it was naming Streets that didn't exist there. I have had no such problem using Google Directions. Of course, maybe the services make the same amount of errors, but that hasn't been my experience.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    What about all of the miles saved by the 90ish % of correct directions, saving people from buying the paper maps that were sitting in gas station racks for 10 years and are out of date and do not mention construction closing and detours...



  • Reply 19 of 70
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Competition remains good.



    And when both are free - why not try them both - compared to whatever the TomTom app and accessory will cost this may be a very good alternative for anyone.



    Having both Google and Mapquest to compare against each other - or to try the other should one fail is a good thing.



    I have had both success and failure with the built in Google maps - in Florida it got me from the airport to the hotel - after I drove in circles getting my bearings (original iPhone) - but on the way back to the airport Google maps sent me to the cargo/service entrance at the back of the airport rather than the passenger terminal/rental return.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    Does anyone read carefully anymore? If you go back and read post #4 again you'll clearly see it says COUNTY not COUNTRY.
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