Archives for MapQuest Mobile Apps

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?
  7. As an engineer for the MapQuest mobile team, I helped create the MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone app.  I think it’s safe to say I know it pretty well so I wanted share with you some of the cooler features that you might not know about.

    1. Landscape View For Route Narrative. This is one of the least known features.  Next time you’re using the navigation part of the app – check out the flashcard view of your next maneuver!  Just click “List” and turn the phone longways/horizontal view.  Look, an easy glance look of the next maneuver – SWEET!
    2. Editable Routes. When you have a bunch of errands to do, you probably add numerous locations to your route.  One feature that I love is that you can “Drag and Drop” the order that you want to run the errands.  Sometimes you can pick a circular pattern for a round trip – or pick the errand that’s farthest away first then make it back to your house.  The app has the power and the functionality to be able to support any multiple stop route you want! You can easily edit the order that you want to visit the locations by clicking “Edit” and Dragging the locations into the desired order – then Clicking “Get Driving Directions”.
    3. Walking Directions. When you have a small distance to lunch – and your not sure if you want to walk or drive – MapQuest 4 Mobile can help you out.  We give you the ability to set your walking distance threshold in the Settings -> Directions Settings – Walking Directions Alert.  Just pick the distance that you are willing to walk – and then when your route falls within that – you will get an option to do a walking route.  Of course – you can always create a walking route on the fly if you click the “Edit” button in the Directions tab.
    4. Customizable Map Toolbar. You know the toolbar right under the map?  Ever looked at it and said – “Jeez I wish they had a button for ice cream parlor”?  Well, we do!  Scroll the bar to the left and hit the “plus” sign to see the other categories that are available.  Just touch the icon you want for a second and drag it down into the Toolbar – then you can search for ice cream anytime! (great for the kids or after a date!)
    5. Position Icons. Unless you saw our contest last week, you might not know that you can have a Tornado, Hand Dog, or a Tank represent you on a map! Just click on settings – My Position Icon -> and choose the icon that you want.  If you’re not a fan of what we offer, you can also upload your own picture.

    These are just a couple of tips and tricks that I have found useful in MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone.  If you haven’t checked out the app yet, we hope you do.  Enjoy!

    Landscape View for Route Narrative

    Editable Routes                     Walking Directions

    Customizable Map Toolbar

  8. [Insert Drum Roll Here]… And the winner is Robot!

    After two full weeks of voting the new Position Icon for our MapQuest 4 Mobile app is the Robot icon. We have to say that at the end it was a very close race with the Fist Bump in the lead for most of the week. With all votes in, here is the final leader board.

    We hope everyone had fun voting to customize the MapQuest 4 Mobile experience. For us, the customization of our app is one of our favorite features and so we thought why not let you help us make it better.

    The Position Icon is one of the many customizable features in the MapQuest 4 Mobile app. The Position Icon is the image that represents you on the map and moves as you near your destination. If Robot wasn’t your first choice, don’t worry, you can import a photo or take a photo using your mobile phone camera and use that photo instead. Every journey can truly be your own.

    So when will you be able to start using the Robot to represent you? Now that your votes are in, we are submitting the update to the Apple and Blackberry app stores, so keep checking back to our blog or Facebook page for the latest news on MapQuest 4 Mobile.

    If you are wondering what other features make MapQuest 4 Mobile the best free turn-by-turn app for your mobile phone, stay tuned…

  9. AMapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone App with a 'Tank' as the Position Icon T-Rex.  A Robot.  A Double Rainbow.  What do these all have in common?  They’re just 3 of the many options you can vote for to be the next Position Icon on our iPhone app!

    Vote for the Next MapQuest 4 Mobile Position IconSince the MapQuest 4 Mobile app debuted, you’ve been able to customize your icon.  After all, who wants to be a be a plain old pin or waving man when you can be Skull & Crossbones, a Hot Air Balloon, a Football or even upload your own photo?

    So, go vote for what you think should be the next Position Icon.  Once you vote, you can come back to the voting page at anytime to see whether you’re icon is in the lead.  You can only vote once, but if you get your friends and family to vote, your favorite has a better chance of winning! Voting is open until next Thursday (9/23) and then we’ll announce the winner that Friday (9/24).

    If you want to check out the feature now, download the app, click ‘Settings’ -> ‘My Position Icon’ -> and choose the icon that you want!

  10. 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!