Archives for Michael Iams

  1. Imagine your teen has just been handed the keys to the family car to go out for the evening, as a parent, you just can’t help being a little nervous about it. MapQuest is here to help. Before they leave the house, grab your son’s or daughter’s Android phone and create a single tap shortcut called ‘Home’ with MapQuest so that no matter where they are, all they have to do is select ‘Home’ and it will navigate them back to your house using voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions without having to look at their phone while driving. They might still run out of gas, but they won’t get lost.

    This is available now as part of MapQuest for Android Version 1.3.0, which offers a trio of useful features that will help save time and keep you tethered to important places while out-and-about.

    Add Favorites

    One of our intrepid mobile engineers recently lamented having to re-find and re-enter locations that he visits frequently, yet not so frequently that directions are unnecessary. In his case, his kids play sports, and the games are held at a variety of participating schools. Over a weekend, he built the ability to identify and save the names and locations to favorite places from the place detail page. Naturally, the icon he chose to identify this feature was a heart icon. Any location can be added as a ‘Favorite’ and the list is easily accessed via the menu key on your android device.

    Voice Activation

    Not satisfied with merely selecting the locations from a list, he further added the ability to navigate to a favorite place by voice command. Getting to one of the schools was now as easy as tapping the mic button in the search box and saying, ‘navigate’  then the name of the ‘favorite’ destination.

    So now, after you add ‘home’ to your teenager’s phone, all he has to do is tell his phone “Navigate home!”


    You can also create a shortcut to a favorite destination that you saved with a long press on your devices’ Homescreen. One-click access, it really doesn’t get any easier than that ;)

    With the new MapQuest Android App, your favorites are a voice command or a single click away. Not bad for a weekend’s work. Try the latest version of the MapQuest android app and let us know what you think.

  2. MapQuest starts 2012 with an all-new mobile browser experience using HTML5. Designed to be more app-like, we built the mobile website from the ground up to have a much more intuitive look and feel. It’s now easier than ever to determine where you are, where you want to go, and how to best get there from your Android or iPhone web browser.

    Quickly find where you are:

    Pull up in your mobile browser and we’ll find your location and update it as you move around..

    Discover places to go:

    Find hotels, food, gas stations and more with a single tap. To help you decide, we have ratings and reviews for hotels and restaurants. We even have the latest gas prices near you.

    Get directions:

    When giving directions to a friend, most of us mention landmarks to make it easier: for example, “Turn left at Elm Street, immediately after the golf course”. MapQuest does the same for you by mentioning familiar places to keep you oriented and letting  you know if you’ve gone too far. And if you don’t want to drive, we’ll give you walking directions.

    Easy to use:

    Everything in the new MapQuest mobile web app is organized to be easy to find and easy to use. Common functions, like seeing traffic and switching to satellite view, are in the dropdown. And you can even pick from a selection of “you are here” icons, which includes everything from a battle tank to a unicorn. :-)

    Please check it out and let us know what you think!

  3. Here’s a scenario most everyone has faced: you find yourself in a new neighborhood with some time to kill.  Where do you go?  What do you do?  What’s the best restaurant?  What do others suggest?  Well, we built the MapQuest Vibe iPhone app (mirroring our recently announced site) that we hope answers those questions with aplomb.  Download the free new app here ;)

    MapQuest Vibe aspires to make you a local, anywhere.  Launch it on your iPhone and identify which of the 50,000 U.S. neighborhoods and 27.000 cities you’ve entered or explore what’s just around the corner.

    Use the neighborhood map to identify the best restaurants or tap an adjacent orange “Vibe Score” oval to begin discovering places in nearby vicinities.  For even greater detail, switch to list view or an individual detail page.  A proprietary algorithm combines social signals, user intent and a lot of analysis to create real-time, authoritarian rankings for each and every place.

    Sign in with your Facebook account to vote local places up or down.  Yes, it’s that simple to show your neighborhood support.  Votes dynamically influence place rankings, as well as the neighborhood’s overall Vibe Score.  Areas of concentrated coolness (we’ve termed these ”hotspots”) are voting-influenced as well, causing new ones to appear and old ones to change shape or disappear.

    Each ‘hood is ranked by a Vibe Score – giving you instant insight into your surroundings.  Is it walk-able? Edgy? Is it a great ‘hood for going out? Peer at the neighborhood details and find out.

    User votes and comments about local businesses roll up and appear on the neighborhood wall forming a tapestry of helpful commentary.  Many neighborhoods have hoods-inside-of-hoods.  The ‘In This Neighborhood’ tab lists these oft-obscure gems for you to explore.

    Next time you find yourself exploring a new neighborhood, discover the best with MapQuest Vibe.

  4. Do you know it would take 17,000 trees to make the paper for one month’s worth of printed MapQuest driving directions?* That’s a lot of paper and ink!

    Traveling TipsNext time you are planning a trip – travel green. Instead of printing the directions, just send it to your phone. On the printer-friendly page, you’ll see the new Send to Mobile option. Just enter your mobile number, then click ‘Send to Mobile’ and a text message with your maps and directions will be sent to your phone.  The link in the text message takes you to on your mobile. A mobile map gives you quick access to helpful features like:

    • Pan, drag, and zoom the map to see more than what the printout would have given you
    • See traffic flows & incidents
    • Access location details & phone numbers
    • View aerial maps
    • Search nearby – a parking lot or nearest gas station?
    • In the event you get lost: find yourself on the map (iPhone & Android devices)

    If you haven’t already, download our iPhone or Android app and get an even better experience through FREE GPS turn-by-turn Navigation.

    [* One tree equals 8,000 sheets of paper according to]

  5. Millions of MapQuest fans frequently use our mobile website from their Android™ devices. To these millions, we’re thrilled to present our free Android™ app with turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation, as well as OpenStreetMap (OSM) capabilities. Download it here.

    Similar to our acclaimed iPhone offering, our new Android app hosts the same technology that has made MapQuest a trusted name in mobile navigation, featuring:

    • Voice-guided/Turn-by-turn Navigation: Your phone tells you where and when to make a turn
    • Voice Search:  Drivers can speak a destination for directions
    • Map Toolbar: Easily find restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations and parking with one click
    • Walking & Driving Directions:  Recommends the best route and the map rotates based on orientation of travel
    • Live Traffic Flow/Incidents: Extensive coverage updated every 5 minutes

    QR Code for MapQuest app for Android

    And then there’s this OSM Stuff. So what exactly is OSM?  Why would I want to use it? OpenStreetMap is a collaborative, “by the people, for the people” mapping movement. It’s basically a living map that is improved every day by people just like you.  Disney World, Dallas (site of Superbowl XLV) or just your own neighborhoods — now you can flip a switch on your Android device and map what’s important to you. OSM features:

    • OSM Maps:  User-sourced maps that may provide unique local perspective and detail
    • Bug Logging for OSM: Standing in front of a new building?  Report it to the community and they’ll fill in the missing pieces
    • International Maps: Take MapQuest abroad on business trips (or for you ex-pats) and experience maps improved by mapping enthusiasts

    The MapQuest app is free and does not require a trial period, subscription or upgrade. We want your feedback to help us continually improve the experience. Contact us at  Hope you enjoy!

    Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.

  6. We have a few updates to our MapQuest 4 Mobile app we want to share with you.

    A few months ago, we let all MapQuest users vote on the next MapQuest 4 Mobile Position Icon and the winner was the Robot. For those of you unfamiliar with the feature, the Position Icon in the MapQuest 4 Mobile app is the icon that represents your location on the map. The default is the Waving Man, but there are 13 other icons to choose from including a custom icon, which can be a photo from your phone. Pretty fancy, huh?

    Also in the updated MapQuest 4 Mobile app we added one box search, a popular feature on the new Whether you are looking for a specific address, browsing for a local restaurant, or trying to find the closest shopping center, you can enter as much information as you know in one box and we will help you find it.

    We are always receiving feedback from our users and one of the biggest requests from you was to allow the screen to rotate as you navigated. We made this update a few months ago and while it has been really popular, some users miss having the top of the screen always pointing North. So, we decided to bring that feature back as an option. You now have the option to lock the orientation. It’s all about choice.

    We think these updates will come in handy right before the holidays. So go download the updated MapQuest 4 Mobile app today and check out all the choices for a Position Icon, as well as the other useful features.

  7. If I weren’t above bad puns, I might say that we have a veritable ‘storm’ of new BlackBerries supported by our popular MapQuest 4 Mobile Directions App! OK, couldn’t resist. ;)

    However, in addition to the Storm and Storm II, MapQuest 4 Mobile is now on the 8500, 8530, 9630, and 9650 BlackBerry device models. These were among the most frequently requested devices among our user community.

    Download MapQuest 4 Mobile from BlackBerry App World™ now. Once you’ve downloaded it, please rate it – we want to hear what you like and/or what we should improve!

    In case you’re not familiar with MapQuest 4 Mobile, here’s a quick look at it’s features:

    • Directions: Reliable directions you’ve come to expect from
    • Maps: Enjoy aerial maps and street maps with quick pan and zoom features.
    • Live Traffic: Live traffic with the latest road conditions.
    • Find Me: See your location from your phone’s GPS chip. Track your progress as you move (select handsets only).
    • Local Search: Search for a business, either by name, or maybe just a category. Pizza anyone?
  8. MapQuest 4 Mobile Rotated Maps

    One of the top requests we’ve fielded since the advent of our spoken street names feature is to rotate the map so that it aligns with the direction you’re traveling.  In our continued quest to be your mapping service of choice on iPhone, your wish is our command.  In other words, with this update, when you start navigation the top of your map will no longer always be North.  So, if you’re headed SW, the top of the map will be SW (see image on left) allowing your position icon (waving man, dog cow, car, hand dog, etc) to now travel along the road in the same way you do.

    Try out this convenient new feature, and let us know what you think.  To give us feedback right within the app, simply select the Settings Tab, ‘About’ Button, and click ‘E-mail Support/Feedback.’

    Hope you enjoy the new feature!

  9. MapQuest 4 Mobile #4 Free App in iPhone App StoreEarlier this month, we released version 2.0 which added great new functionality and addressed users’ most common suggestions.  Last week the app began appearing in Apple’s ‘New and Noteworthy’ category and this morning we reached the #4 in Top Free iPhone Apps.

    We aspire to help our users, and spend a great deal of time poring through Customer Service logs and App Store reviews to understand the nuances of our users’ experiences as well as their requests for enhancements.  As such, we want your feedback – make us better!

    If you don’t have the app already, take a second to download it and see for yourself what the MapQuest 4 Mobile app is all about. We hope it helps you on your next journey, no matter where you’re headed!

  10. MapQuest 4 Mobile Adds Spoken Street Names

    Last week we announced the new and today we’ve got some big news for mobile:  MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone version 2.0 debuts!  We listened to all your feedback and now this new version speaks street names aloud, re-routes automatically, and runs in the background with iOS 4 making FREE navigation easier.

    Spoken Street Names keeps concentration on the task at hand while providing the most critical information needed in an easy-to-understand medium: the street name of where to turn, spoken in a friendly voice (e.g. ‘Turn Left on York Street.’).

    Auto Re-Route eases the stress of a missed turn, by automatically recalculating the way to the destination.  In other words, no interaction with the device is necessary.

    Compatibility with iOS 4 allows MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone to organize the myriad of purposes afforded by fast application switching and background GPS (via iOS 4) by continuing Voice Guidance  & Spoken Street Names whether on a call, listening to iPod, or saving battery with the application hidden.

    MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone New App Icon

    The App Icon is also new.  To reflect our new MapQuest brand, you’ll now look for the green and white icon to launch the MapQuest app.

    Who needs in-car or paid navigation when one can carry it in their pocket, for free?