MapQuest 4 Mobile

In the online maps space, Google may draw more attention, but MapQuest, online years earlier, has continued to improve its service. And among iPhone apps, MapQuest can boast a crucial feature over Google Maps, free turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts.

MapQuest's history as a mapping company shows up in the app's interface. Unlike navigation-focused apps, the MapQuest app does little to help users look up destinations. At the top of the map the main screen shows a free form search box where users can enter an address or business name. There are no buttons for previous or favorite … Read more

Android Atlas Weekly 36: The battle of the Android form factors (podcast)

We sift through the bucket loads of Mobile World Congress news for precious Android nuggets, including hardware news, new form factors, and a few ways to view and edit video content on future Android devices. All of that and the Android guys Justin Eckhouse and Antuan Goodwin have a little too much fun with the Androidify app on this week's edition of Android Atlas Weekly.

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Mapquest adds football-themed directions

Mapquest rolled out a new feature for football fans that transforms turn-by-turn into play-by-play directions.

By selecting "Play by Play" from the Featured Sites tab on Mapquest's Web site, mundane GPS directions become strategic maneuvers to help you get from kickoff to end zone. The navigation site will also release City's Best guides for travel tips and places to watch the big game.

And if you're lucky enough to be using the Mapquest Play-by-Play directions to get to Cowboys Stadium, you may want to check the "avoid highways" option if you're in … Read more

Google Maps adds 'Send to SYNC' button

Starting Monday, you'll be able to send directions from a Web browser to your SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle using the new Send to SYNC button on Google Maps.

If you use Ford's SYNC TDI (traffic, directions, and information) application, you can send directions directly from your computer or smartphone to Ford's cloud-based application. Once in your car, you can ask SYNC to retrieve the map, which it will download from the cloud; it will then calculate turn-by-turn directions using the latest traffic information and incorporating the driving preferences you set up in the app.

It'… Read more

Google still struggling in China

Google has been very candid about its struggles in China. Now a new post from Google gives us more insight into how this battle between the search giant and China continues to unfold.

Earlier this year, Google refused to continue blocking search results that were mandated by the Chinese government so the government threatened to shut them down completely in China. Google circumvented this by routing all Chinese traffic through servers in Hong Kong.

We all knew that was a temporary solution. Now China is threatening not to renew Google's Internet content provider license if the company continues to … Read more

Poor man's GPS: Free MapQuest app adds turn-by-turn voice prompts

Before you spend any money on a GPS app, take note: MapQuest just rolled out a new version of the MapQuest 4 Mobile app that includes, among other updates, turn-by-turn driving directions with voice prompts.

In other words, you can now get GPS-powered navigation absolutely free.

Don't mistake this for Navigon, TomTom, or even MapQuest's own Navigator app--all of which offer a lot more navigation acumen. For one thing, MapQuest 4 Mobile delivers only a top-down view of your map--no 3D, no bird's-eye. What's more, it doesn't announce street names or fetch traffic updates.… Read more

AOL also likely to eye sale of MapQuest--Is Microsoft a possible buyer?


Yesterday, BoomTown wrote about AOL's efforts--including hiring investment bankers--to sell its ICQ instant-messaging unit.

But that's probably not going to be the end of the shedding of assets at the online site.

In fact, according to sources inside and outside AOL, one of the next candidates for sale could be its MapQuest online map service.

Purchasers of the service that provides mapping and directions, sources said, are likely to be other mapping giants, especially Microsoft.

But it is not clear if the software giant or anyone would fork over a huge sum of money for MapQuest.

That would … Read more

iPhone online GPS navigators: MapQuest vs. Gokivo

You have two main options when it comes to GPS apps for the iPhone: apps with offline maps and apps with online maps. Examples of apps with offline maps are the Navigon, the iGo My Way, TomTom, or the recently added Magellan RoadMate.

These apps are excellent for frequent users as they don't require a live data connection to work. All the maps are included with the app and downloaded to the phone. However, they tend to require gigabytes of storage space and take a long time to install. If you plan on going on a long road trip, they are good fits.

If you are a casual user, however, it's better to use an online GPS application. These applications are just a few megabytes in size and therefore take a few seconds to download to the phone via a 3G connection. This means you can immediately get one the moment you suddenly need turn-by-turn directions.

The first online GPS app for the iPhone is the AT&T Navigator, which works pretty well. Unfortunately, it's only available to AT&T customers and is rather expensive ($10 per month) for what it offers. The good news is, you now have other and more flexible choices. … Read more

Google Maps, MapQuest neck and neck

MapQuest has forestalled Google Maps' steady encroachment on its online mapping market share over 2008--for now.

"In late December, it looked like Google Maps was ready to overtake MapQuest," said Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins in a blog post Wednesday. But MapQuest has added some new features in recent months, "perhaps...helping MapQuest regain a foothold," she said.

By February 7, MapQuest had 39.5 percent online mapping visits in the United States, compared to 35.7 percent for Google, Hitwise said.

MapQuest gets most of its traffic directly from its own site, but Google Maps gets … Read more

Different Directions: Online mapping services are changing

Over the past few weeks, I've been using online mapping services more often to figure out which is best for me in a pinch.

But now that I've completed my research of the four major services--Google Maps, Live Search Maps, MapQuest, and Yahoo Maps--I've come to a staggering conclusion: I'd only consider using one of those apps.

Google Maps Google Maps is simple and fast, elegant and useful. It's the best mapping solution on the Web. Period.

Google Maps is easily distinguished in the market by its design. Once you surf to the company's … Read more