Archives for Features and Improvements

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  1. Travel is more fun today, isn’t it?  Travel is easier, more intuitive, more fulfilling and just plain better.  If you had asked the good people who founded MapQuest in 1996, I think they would have shared that their hope for this — the pioneer provider of online maps and directions — would be to do just that: Make travel better.

    Nearly two decades later, that’s why we MapQuest folk get out of bed every day.  Our teams around the country and partners across the globe spend literally every second on the job working, yes, to improve travel, but also to expand your idea of how we can help make your DAY better.

    As consumers, we look for help making 254,800 decisions each year.  It’s exhausting!  Just trying to decide what’s for dinner or where to take fido for a groom can spin the day in a sour direction.

    But what if that didn’t have to happen?  What if MapQuest were there to help with the most remedial decisions required every day?

    Friends, that day is here.  If you haven’t checked out the new MapQuest Local experience launched just last month, that’s a good place to start.

    • Taking Timmy to a soccer game and need to have dinner waiting when you get home?  Review menus and order online from hundreds of thousands of restaurants nationwide.
    • Did your favorite professional hockey team surprise everyone and make it to the second round?  Let us help you try and find last-minute tickets.

    And don’t miss the myriad of other functionalities from booking an appointment and checking your flight status to finding a hotel or making a dinner reservation. It’s the beginnings of what we believe will be the best single source of local discovery and experience on the planet.

    Though we find people appreciate printed directions and riding shotgun with them, millions have taken a liking to our free, re-imagined navigation apps launched late in 2013.  Our heralded iOS and Android apps focus on the three most important areas for our consumers:

    • Safety: Our upside-down mode means you don’t have to monkey with your phone to navigate the road.  Keep your hands on the 10-and-2, and we’ll flip things around for you.
    • Accuracy: Nobody in this business offers the plethora of algorithms we do to get you there, even if road conditions change and an alternate route is required.
    • Relevancy: Driving more than a few hours on your trip?  Drag and drop the map icon to find hotel options along your route.

    There’s a lot to see and do with the new MapQuest these days, and while we hope you take a peek at these meaningful offerings, we’re not even close to being done with them.  Keep an eye on us these next few months as we continue to roll out features to make the every day better.  Because it’s what happens AFTER you get there that matters, isn’t it?

    We’d love to hear from you!  Tell us what you think and what you want: @MapQuest or feedback@mapquest.com.

    About the Author

    brianmcmahon
    General Manager, MapQuest
  2. JFK Airport details on the new MapQuest Local

    Want to know if your flight is delayed?  Need to find a quick grooming appointment for the family dog? Late night at an offsite and need to order-in dinner from someplace close? On the eve of its 18th anniversary, MapQuest today launched the initial phase of its desktop property reinvention — a completely reimagined experience for local discovery and a nod to nearly two decades of enhancing local experiences for millions of travelers. The new MapQuest Local is available on desktop and tablet website, delivering relevant details, handy functionality and valuable reviews from several trusted partners to create a single source for in-depth, local information.

    Do More: What The Newly Improved MapQuest Offers Users

    • Order online or book a restaurant reservation
    • Book a wide-range of service appointments … even for a pet
    • Search and secure an event ticket
    • Book travel via MapQuest’s booking widget
    • Find airport delay information, concourse maps, and terminal information
    • Take advantage of great local deals
    • Find user reviews, ratings and tips

    MapQuest partnered with top data providers and included publicly available government data sources to create the most relevant information set, including:

    • Foursquare: Providing venue tips*
    • GrubHub: Access to online and mobile ordering from more than 28,000 takeout restaurants
    • SinglePlatform: Menu information for nearly 500,000 businesses
    • Booker: Scheduling functionality for more than 40 business types including spas and salons
    • SeatGeek: Ticketing for more than 180,000 events at 50,000 venues
    • FAA (Federal Aviation Administration): Airport status information such as ground stops and average airport delays made publicly available by the FAA (Airports are the No. 1 queried search on MapQuest.com)

    MapQuest leads the industry with patented algorithms that determine what information is pertinent and how it is served. These information sources complement MapQuest’s existing partners, including Priceline Partner Network and OpenTable.  

    We believe we’ve created a truly intuitive one-stop shop for all relevant information a consumer may need – the right information, at the right time, in the right place.   This is a game-changer for current and new MapQuest users who are looking for that one resource to save them time and better empower their decisions.

    *Foursquare tips to be integrated in mid-2014.

    **MLB.com integration currently available; expanded content scheduled to debut in mid-2014.

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    Did you know you could customize your map icon in our iPhone and Android apps? The map icon marks your position on the map and while the default is a basic blue dot, we offer 25 other icons to help you add a little pizzaz to your MapQuest app, free! In the most recent update, we’ve added cat and dog icons to the mix, paying homage to fido and our feline companions. Show your furry friends a little love and customize your map icon! Here’s how:

    1. Open your MapQuest app for iPhone or Android. Need the app? Click here.
    2. Click the menu icon, then click “Settings”
    3. Click “My theme” or “My Position Icon” and choose your map icon

    Feedback? We love feedback! Get in touch.

  4. Let’s be honest. Getting places on time is stressful. Being late can have many consequences, so it’s no wonder some of the most used and discussed features across all of MapQuest are our ETA-based solutions. We estimate your arrival time based on your specific route, traffic, and other road conditions to help you better plan for what’s ahead. Since millions rely on these estimates to navigate and plan their trips of all types, we take this pretty seriously. We’re constantly looking at ways to improve and we take pride in giving all the information needed to make a cool, calm, on-time arrival.

    When re-designing our mobile navigation apps last November, we kept ETA top of mind and launched an industry-first ETA status bar in our iPhone and Android apps. Today, we are excited to announce some significant improvements in how we calculate ETA in our iPhone app and, soon, our Android app. ETA is now more responsive to traffic conditions than ever before and, in combination with our automatic traffic re-routing feature, you can impress your friends, family, and boss with your punctuality and effortless navigation style.

    While others are sweating it out in standstill traffic, know that your navigation app is giving you the most desirable route and ETA. Haven’t tried the new MapQuest app for iPhone and Android? Get it today.

     

    Have feedback? Get in touch.

    Press inquiries? We’d love to chat.

  5. Voice Guided, Turn-by-Turn Directions Just Got A Facelift

    We’re excited to announce the launch of our beautifully redesigned mobile navigation app (iPhone/Android). Our product and engineering teams went back to the drawing board and have completely re-imagined our flagship mobile app from the ground up. Launching today, our new MapQuest mobile app offers a personalized navigation experience that’s both easy-to-use and safe for everyday drivers. We’re so proud to present an app that better connects drivers to routes that shape their everyday lives. But this app is just more than a handy navigation app with cool features – it also represents a new era for MapQuest. We’re bigger, better, savvier and more responsive than ever.

     

    The new MapQuest navigation app is available for iOS7 and Android and offers several new features, including:

    • High-resolution vector maps- Our beautifully designed maps offer improved quality and resolution, enhanced zoom features and beautiful new cartography.
    • New interactive map layers and customizable category buttons – These features make finding nearby business and popular locations quick and easy.
    • An industry first ETA status bar – This status bar informs users of time and distance to their destination, as well as anticipated in-route traffic.
    • Advanced navigation features - These include voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic re-routing.
    • One-click point of interest and location sharing - Send your location or destination out via social media, SMS or email.

    Get it now! Our new app is available FREE in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download, start it up and set off for adventure! We can’t wait to hear how it’s working for you.

    For more information about the features of our new app, visit here. For media inquiries, please get in touch here.

  6. Traveling and exploring new places is a passion of ours at MapQuest. And as any traveler knows, finding the right place to stay during a trip can make all the difference.

    Since February, users have been able to book hotels directly on MapQuest. Today we’ve rolled out our first major innovation on that product:  Hotels at Destination. With Hotels at Destination the hotel booking experience is seamlessly integrated into the MapQuest experience.

    When you search for a long route, we now suggest hotels at your destination that might interest you:

    Hotels on Map - Pin at Destination

    When you click to see the hotels, they are now arranged on a map taking into account distance from your destination. You can then sort them by price and popularity:

    Hotels on Map

    And you can then check out hotel details:

    Hotels on Map - Hotel detail

     

    We’re very proud of the new hotel search functionality. We’re continuing to innovate on this product and you will see improvements in the near future.

    Let us know what’s important to you in a hotel booking experience in the comments!

  7. Share Locations on MapQuest MobileWe’re all taught that sharing is good, and we at MapQuest couldn’t agree more. We’ve listened to requests from our millions of mobile app users, and have introduced the ability to share your locations and destinations with friends, family, and social networks. Now available on our free apps for iPhone and Android, you can easily share just about anything you can map on MapQuest via email, text message, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Just a few examples of the benefits of sharing:

    • Kid’s ballgame across town? Share maps to the field with their teammate’s parents
    • Discover an awesome new spot for Asian food? Alert the Twittersphere!
    • On a business trip? Pick a place to meet with clients and text your location to colleagues
    • On vacation with the family? Tell your Facebook friends about the amazing resort you found using MapQuest Discover and booked on MapQuest.com

    To share a location, simply touch the map, route marker or location pin and the new “Share” icon will appear on the left side of the info box. Select that icon, and then follow the prompts to send a link using email, text messaging, Facebook or Twitter. Once sent, the links can be opened in MapQuest.com on a desktop computer, or directly in our mobile apps – which allows the recipient to easily route from their current location. If the iPhone or Android app is not yet downloaded, we’ll show a message and link right to the App Store or Google Play.

    This is just a start, and we will be expanding sharing options soon. Like our latest traffic feature that automatically re-routes you around traffic jams, sharing is just one of many innovations on our roadmap designed to help you get around and stay in touch – no matter how you live, work, and play.

    Download our free iPhone or Android app today – and don’t be afraid to share!

    As always, let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook.


  8. Last year MapQuest introduced traffic-sensitive routing into our hugely popular free navigation apps for Android and iPhone, automatically optimizing your route based on traffic conditions when you begin navigation.

    With our latest releases of the flagship MapQuest apps now in the App Store and Google Play, we can now check traffic conditions every few minutes as you traverse your route, and adjust on-the-fly. You don’t need to do anything: if congestion is detected and we can find a faster way around it, we’ll re-route automatically and notify you using a simple spoken instruction. You can keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

    We think drivers will love the benefits of this feature: saving time and gas, reducing aggravation, and finding alternate routes even in familiar areas (try it on your commute!). And if you prefer to just crank the tunes and wait for the congestion to clear, you can easily disable traffic-based routing using Settings in either app.

    Our traffic-based routing is based on INRIX data. INRIX collects more real-time traffic info from more sources than anyone else in the industry, including crowd-sourced data from commercial fleet and consumer vehicles as well as GPS-enabled mobile devices. MapQuest’s real-time traffic coverage includes over 200,000 miles of roads in North America, which is essentially all major roads in medium-to-large cities. And the coverage is even better during rush hour.

    Download our free iPhone or Android app and start avoiding traffic snarls today – then tell us on Twitter or Facebook what you did with the time you saved!

  9. Fuel prices are finally trending down a bit, but with the nationwide average still well above $3.00 per gallon it still makes sense to find the best deal when you stop to fill up.

    The MapQuest Gas Prices site has been helping drivers find those best deals for years, and we’re happy to report we’ve freshened it up. The new design makes it easier for you to find gas stations sorted either by proximity or cheapest nearby, and select your preferred fuel type (premium, diesel, etc.). We’ve also used a device-responsive design so it will work better on smartphones and tablets, and streamlined updates so that prices are now refreshed up to three times per day.





    Also, if you haven’t tried the free MapQuest Gas Prices apps for iPhone or Android, go to the App Store or Google Play and take them for a spin. They may just help you save some cash to pay off those holiday bills!

    Drive safe, and enjoy the Holidays.

  10. Have you ever been sitting in grid-lock traffic, wishing that you knew that secret route to navigate you around the accident, construction or whatever else is causing the delay? Well, good news, the latest version of the free MapQuest app for iPhone is now your insider’s guide to just that! While we’ve had traffic updates for several years, now when you punch in your route the app quickly checks the current traffic conditions and will automatically route you around any major backlogs. What’s more, if a road is closed due to construction, flooding, snow, (zombies!?), etc., the app will be sure to avoid it as well. No more following detours wondering if there is a better way, we’ll find you the best way around it all.

    Helpful hints in the list view of your directions are another great addition. These maneuver notes help you find your turn or destination by providing information about landmarks nearby. The app will offer up extra advice such as “Main St. is just past King St.” or “Bruller’s Pizza is on the corner”, giving you vital context when in the thick of navigating an unfamiliar area.

    On the less practical, but more fun side of things, we also made it a bit easier to change your position icon. Just tap your current icon, click ‘Change Icon’ and then you can choose a robot, tornado, unicorn, airplane, football or whatever icon makes you smile when you open the app.

    Lastly, for the millions of you lucky folks that already have an iPhone 5, our app is now officially optimized for your larger screen. Great news because that means more map!

    We hope you enjoy all these updates. If you don’t have the app already, get it for free from the App Store. If you do, please rate it via the App Store on your phone to tell us what you love or what you think we can improve – we always appreciate your comments!