Archives for MapQuest Mobile Apps

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  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!”

    Shortcuts

    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. 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.

  3. 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 MapQuest.com 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 thinkrecycle.com.]

  4. We all know that distracted traveling is a major problem nowadays. Whether it’s talking on the phone, texting or eating a burrito we all could do with fewer distractions during our travels. Here at MapQuest we’re on a mission to make receiving and following mobile navigation simpler and easier.

    The current release of the free navigation MapQuest App for Android™ boasts some significant upgrades to the gps navigation experience our users have come to love.
    MapQuest for Android Mobile App

    What, When and Where

    Some inspiration for the new design came from the way car dashboards are designed. In a driving context, icons, buttons and dials need to be simple and intuitive with high contrast and legibility. A driver shouldn’t spend time trying to figure out what the various instruments mean and how to activate them. The controls mesh seamlessly into the natural movements and tasks a traveler executes during the trip.

    In a mobile navigation context, we tried to follow these same principles. For example, rather than directions such as, “Turn right onto Broadway” the screen now displays a large right turn arrow and the word “Broadway” in large type. This method provides the user the same information but in a simpler, more graphical way. The visual clutter of a long sentence is replaced by an easily digestible direction that is understandable at a glance.

    Less is More

    In previous versions the navigation controls were always on display (even when not needed) which added to the distractions during the navigation experience. With the new release, theses controls such as List View, New Route, Edit Route and Stop Nav are nested within an “Actions” menu that reveals with a simple tap. This leaves more room for the things that really matter during a trip—directions and the map.

    Are we there yet?

    A commonly requested feature now in the latest version of the application is the ability to see the estimated time of arrival (ETA). This comes in handy when you need to give someone an estimate of when you’ll be arriving or when you just want to know how long the trip will take. As a bonus, tap on the ETA display and you’ll also get time remaining and distance remaining.

    Testers of these new upgrades raved about the simplicity and intuitiveness of the navigation interface. All users were able to easily read and interact with the new design even in a driving or walking context. Similar to a GPS, the app still offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions, but now the matching visual directions are quicker and easier to comprehend.

    Download the free app from the Android Market or the Amazon Appstore for Android today and check out the new navigation interface during your travels this summer. We think you’ll really like it.

  5. MapQuest for Android Navigation App Improves GPS Capabilities If you are fortunate enough to be living in or visiting the great city of New York, you might have noticed your GPS-enabled Android™ devices don’t fare as well as you may hope in certain high-rise areas.  GPS devices need a clear view of the sky in order to determine the current location, so when you’re in an area canvassed with skyscrapers it’s difficult to get a consistently clear view.

    Our goal is to change that with the latest release of the free navigation MapQuest App for Android™ with the addition of Skyhook! (Wait for applause)  Skyhook is an advanced service utilizing nearby wireless networks to determine your location at appropriate times.  You can find more details in Skyhook’s press release.

    On a recent trip to the Big Apple, we tested out the new and improved Skyhook-enhanced application by renting a pimped-out SUV (Dodge® Journey), loaded up six burly developers, and hit to the chaotic streets of Manhattan.  Now, I don’t recommend driving in one of the craziest cities with nearly a dozen Android devices barking orders at you, but we had to make sure our data was valid.  Even with the constant stops for coffee and “potty” breaks, the app worked wonderfully and stayed the course keeping us on track through even some of what are considered the worst GPS areas in town.  After a full day driving up and down 5th Ave, with cabbies flying by us like maniacs and my sanity fading by the minute, the app still kept up with ease.

    To see an example comparison of a navigation app with and without Skyhook’s technology, check out Skyhook’s two videos of Boston (Treemont St. video and Charles St. video) showcasing the app in a real-world situation.  We hope you’ll test it out as well and email us your feedback at android-support@mapquest.com.

    Download the free app from the Android Market or the Amazon Appstore for Android and let us know what you think!

  6. Go green – it’s something I think we all really want to do, but frankly, it can sometimes be inconvenient!  Well, good news – MapQuest’s earth-friendly tools are super helpful and you’ll get the internal satisfaction of giving Mother Earth a big ol’ hug.

    Save Paper.  Go Mobile.
    Next time you get directions on MapQuest.com, try sending directions to your mobile phone instead of printing.  When you use our Send To Mobile tool, we’ll send you a text message.  Just click the link and the directions you planned online will be available right there on your mobile.  It’s incredibly easy and you’ll save paper and ink.

    If you’re already on the go, you can also choose to plan your entire trip from your mobile device.  MapQuest’s iPhone and Android app offers voice-guided directions (yes, it’s just like a GPS!) and it’s free.  If you’re on a different device, you can use our mobile website (http://m.mapquest.com).

    Transit, Bike and Walking Directions
    Hopping in the car is second nature to most of us, but why not try alternative transportation next time?  We can route you there based on the transportation mode you prefer – transit, bike or walking.  Just pick your mode of green transport and we’ll get you where you need to go.

    Alternative Fuel Prices
    With gas prices rising, many of you have been using our Gas Prices site to find the gas station near you with the cheapest gas prices, but did you know you can also use the tool to find stations with alternative fuel? Just click on the drop down and you can choose from Biodiesel, electric, hydrogen and many other fuel options.

    Drive Less
    Even if you drive a super-green hybrid, choosing the most efficient route saves extra time in the car.  MapQuest’s Route Planner tool lets you enter up to 26 locations and will reorder it based on the shortest or quickest route.

    Hope these tools are helpful this Earth Day and the rest of the year!

  7. MapQuest for Android SweepstakesIn case you haven’t heard, we just launched the MapQuest app for Android™! We’re pretty psyched and, to celebrate, we’re giving away some great prizes and sharing a fun video.

    MapQuest for Android Sweepstakes
    Free tablet anyone? Between now and March 9, 2011, at 5 p.m. ET, you can enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 Samsung Galaxy Tabs™ or 1 of 150 MapQuest for Android T-shirts! Just head over to our Facebook page and enter your information for a chance to win. If you prefer Twitter, we’ve got you covered there too. Remember to share with friends once you enter as the more you share, the better your chances are to win.

    How to Make a QR Code Out of LEGOs Video
    We love that you can get apps by just scanning a QR code, but we wondered: What would make this even better? Why, scanning a QR code made out of LEGOs, of course! So we created a life-sized QR code from LEGOs and recorded the process. Have your Android phone ready as you can scan the QR code for our free app that appears at the end of the video.

    Need an Android app to scan the QR code? You can find some at the Android Market.

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

  8. 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 android-support@mapquest.com.  Hope you enjoy!

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

  9. 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 MapQuest.com. 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.

  10. 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 MapQuest.com.
    • 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?