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MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS, Maps & Traffic

Free

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    4.8
  • Total Downloads:
    5,251
  • Date Added:
    May 08, 2015
  • Price:
    Free; iTunes account required.
  • File Size:
    19.5MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    173
  • Platform:
    iOS

Editors' Note: The download button opens the iTunes App Store, where you may continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed with an active iTunes account in order to download and install the software. This download may not be available in some countries.

Editors' Review

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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 destinations, and no real points-of-interest database.

Its one nod towards traditional navigation is a menu bar at the bottom of the screen with icons for gas stations, banks, restaurants, and other categories. Touching one of these menu items lights up corresponding icons on the map, and any one of these can be set as a destination. As one very useful additional feature, the gas station listing includes per gallon fuel prices, making it easy to find the cheapest nearby gas.

The free form search is nice in some ways, but can be frustrating. It did a good job when I entered a partial address, or used 'sf' instead of spelling out 'San Francisco'. For less specific searches, I found it best to have the city or region where I wanted to look showing on the map screen. For example, when it was showing downtown San Francisco, I entered 'shoreline', thinking it would show Shoreline Amphitheatre, a venue south of my location. Instead, it jumped to a town named Shoreline in Washington. When I entered 'Shoreline Amphitheatre', and even intentionally misspelled it, MapQuest showed the right destination.

That search box also works as a partial substitute for a previous destinations list. When I entered a letter, it immediately brought up a list of prior searches that started with that letter.

Once I selected a destination, MapQuest took a moment to calculate a route, after which I could push a button to start voice navigation. The voice prompts, broadcast in a harsh robotic female voice, were very useful, and even enunciated full street names. A bigger surprise was that the voice prompts also said the name of the business to which I was driving.

Although the voice prompts were perfectly adequate for navigation, the interface also shows turn directions. I could have the route displayed on the map, or switch to a list of turns on the route. The turn direction graphics are on the small side, and the app does not show lane guidance, making it inferior to dedicated navigation apps.

MapQuest automatically recalculated when I got off of its suggested route, but became confused when I was on an elevated freeway, suddenly calculating a route as if I was on the street below. The iPhone's GPS might be partly to blame for that error, but the app should have made the assumption that I was most likely still on the freeway, since there had been no exits for the road below.

And while the app shows traffic information, it did not seem to take bad traffic into account when calculating a route. When I programmed in destinations beyond some slow areas of freeway traffic, it calculated a route into those traffic jams.

The MapQuest app relies on an active data connection to work, so will not load new maps in areas without cell towers, and it is not able to cache maps. Its standard maps load quickly, but only show in 2D mode. Zooming into a city also shows building outlines. The app also has maps based on satellite imagery, but these load much slower than the graphical maps and add a lot of visual confusion to an already small screen.

Probably the best part of the MapQuest app is that it is completely free. Where other apps make features such as traffic or voice prompts paid options, there is no charge at all for MapQuest. However, it does show small ad banners at the top of maps, which can be annoying.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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Results 1–4 of 4

1 stars

"Used to be a great app - but useless compared to others"

November 05, 2015  |  By Rich Turner

2015-11-05 14:08:48  |  By Rich Turner

 |  Version: MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS, Maps & Traffic 4.8

Pros

hard to find one - used to be good...

Cons

Slow, cumbersome, unable to paste in addresses, no support (except Twitter??) - note, this is the PC site, perhaps the mobile is better.

Summary

I am in the habit of researching a trip before I jump in the car and use either the nav or my Android. I used to do this on MapQuest - but not anymore. I can't speak for their mobile app - certainly gets some good reviews - but for a Windows or web app, this is truly miserable. It mis-locates me (by 1/2 mile - and you can't edit it!), it switches at will between English and Spanish, and I can't even paste-in an address I looked up in Google - sloppy programming, they only accept the first line (i.e. if there are "returns" or multiple lines, they just cut that off). Granted, the old site was looking a bit antique, but this one's a miss.....and in the fast-paced world of the web, a misstep can be your last step. Stick to Google Nav - it's lightyears ahead.

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1 stars

"Another burial"

November 02, 2015  |  By dlbhina622

2015-11-02 16:24:07  |  By dlbhina622

 |  Version: MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS, Maps & Traffic 4.8

Pros

None. Nothing here eye-catching or new

Cons

Slow, clumsy, frustrating. Twice the work as before with no added value.

Summary

You lost me. Take a simple, easy to use interface and "improve" it. It's an insult and goodbye.

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1 stars

"The new MapQuest is unusable!"

October 27, 2015  |  By mickyearnshaw

2015-10-27 08:57:51  |  By mickyearnshaw

 |  Version: MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS, Maps & Traffic 4.8

Pros

My pros for MapQuest apply only to its previous (prior to October 2015) version. That version, which I used satisfactorily for ten years, was user-friendly and gave clear directions from point A to point B, with alternate routes easily tweaked by me.

Cons

After using MapQuest for 10 years, I have deleted the "new-improved" version of MapQuest from my Favorites. It is constantly "in your face" overriding what you are trying to enter. If I try to go back and edit what I just entered, my entry highlights and I have to re-type the ENTIRE address again from scratch. I can't get beyond the initial stage now. My advice to MapQuest? If it works, don't fix it!

Summary

New versions are not always improvements. In this case, the new version of MapQuest is an unusable disaster.

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5 stars

"The Traffic Bomb"

October 19, 2015  |  By Miles Wright

2015-10-19 09:50:28  |  By Miles Wright

 |  Version: MapQuest: Free Navigation, GPS, Maps & Traffic 4.8

Pros

Extremely effective traffic based app. Excellent for avoiding traffic jams and says "traffic ahead route updated to avoid it". Once it says traffic ahead, you know it is recalculating the route. Sometimes, the route does not change, but always has done well. It may get fooled some of the time for large clover leaf interstate interchanges where traffic may be crawling to get on and off the highway (shows low average). Overall, a thrill to use when you drive back over the highway or beside on access way, etc. and the highway is a parking lot. A lifesaver for me when driving in the byzantine Cincinnati area and its traffic issues (don't live there, but frequent visiter.) Just obey the voices and go!

Cons

Overall the interface is pretty bad compared to Google Maps, but one should not be looking and driving at the same time!

Sometimes in poor signal areas and circumstances where the driver has not obeyed the route mapquest may tell you to take an exit with less than a quarter mile to go. Not a problem if driving sensibly and all the exits are on the right.

In highway construction zones sometimes assumes the driver has gotten onto surface streets, but easy to ignore once one realizes this is the situation.

Summary

Able to voice command addresses on the go with some success, but pales compared to Google Maps. A bit of a data hog as does not store maps. If you enjoy avoiding traffic and sailing by other "smartphone" users, mapquest is the one hands down. Just obey the route intstructions and be on your toes when "Traffice Detected Ahead". A great compliment to Google Maps.

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Results 1–4 of 4

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Full Specifications

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General
Publisher AOL
Publisher web site http://macblog.aol.com
Release Date June 11, 2009
Date Added May 08, 2015
Version 4.8
Category
Category Educational Software
Subcategory Map Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems iOS
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 19.5MB
File Name External File
Popularity
Total Downloads 5,251
Downloads Last Week 173
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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