This week, a few of us from the MapQuest mobile team traveled to Vegas for the CTIA Wireless Conference, one of the biggest mobile conferences in the country. We’re here to discuss our focus on the User Experience, always answering the questions ‘Where is it, how do I get there, and what’s nearby/along the way?’ – consistently, over all connected devices.
According to the most recent semi-annual survey results CTIA-The Wireless Association®, there are now more than 257 million data-capable devices in consumers’ hands, up from 228 million at the end of 2008. MapQuest wants to be on every one of them.
If you own one of these 257 million devices, take a second to acquaint yourself with what MapQuest has to offer with this quick video interview by Butterscotch.com shot earlier this week.
Ever find yourself lost and needing directions in a jiffy? Grab your iPhoneTM and download MapQuest Navigator from the iTunes store for just $.99.
This simple and intuitive app is a no-brainer download. For less than $1 for the first 30 days, you’ll receive turn-by-turn voice-guided directions to restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, bars and, of course, residential addresses as well. At the end of 30 days you do not have to renew your subscription, but, if you choose to do so, you can renew your subscription for 30 days at $3.99, 90 days at $9.99 or a year at just $29.99. Not bad considering the price of a GPS!
Downloading MapQuest Navigator is extremely easy and downloads almost instantaneously, unlike other apps that require you to download a gigabyte of data or create a user account.
We’re constantly upgrading the app, too. A recent upgrade improved the local search user experience. You can now enter a business name, followed by the keyword ‘near’ and the location all in one line, making it easier and quicker to get to your destination (e.g., Tacos near Manhattan NY).
Need another reason to check out the app? MapQuest Navigator was recently voted as one of 100 Greatest iPhone Apps for 2009 by Mac|Life subscribers.
Not to be overshadowed by the recent MapQuest.com release of 360 View, the MapQuest Mobile Team has been working around the clock (almost like little North-Pole Elves) to roll-out upgrades, feature enhancements, distribution arrangements with carriers and much more.
Put simply, our mobile software suite is now better than before, can be accessed on more phones and is available through more channels and carriers.
Let’s go through the list and see what has changed:
I. Mobile Safari and Android Updates(Mobile Web experience)
We have listened to your requests and added Geo Location to the latest release. That’s right, iPhone and Android users visiting MapQuest.com now have the ability to utilize their Smartphone’s GPS receiver to pinpoint their current location within the map, directions and search forms.
For those of us that love to “tap” instead of type, this feature is a huge time saver!
A few additional highlights of this release include:
A. Access to saved maps and routes from MapQuest.com B. Utilize walking directions to navigate pedestrian-only paths.
Since its introduction in July, the MapQuest 4 Mobile on iPhone product has gained feature enhancements every month–with December being no exception. Available last week, version 1.2 features many enhancements that our users have long asked for.
The latest release (1.2) includes:
A. Walking directions feature that provides directions to navigate pedestrian-only paths. B. New map styles with terrain and vegetation imagery that emulates the MapQuest.com experience. C. Directions Mode now includes a collapsible “hat” that allows users to expand and contract their route narrative, resulting in a larger view of the map. D. Metric Units Support. In Directions Mode, users can now view their route detail in metric units.
The last few months we have also been busy collaborating with new carriers and distributors to offer the BlackBerry version of MapQuest 4 Mobile to their customers.
As such, we are happy to announce that MapQuest 4 Mobile for BlackBerry is now available as a free download on BlackBerry App World!
In addition, you can also download the product for free at the following locations:
A. http://www.handmark.com B. Sprint customers with BlackBerry phones can download the product via the “PocketExpress” application.
NOTE: New BlackBerry models are coming! Look for the popular 9700 and 9630 models soon via BlackBerry App World.
We are excited to be able to bring you these updates as we head into the New Year. Make sure to check in at http://wireless.mapquest.com to see the latest release information. Happy Holidays from the MapQuest Mobile Team!
The stage is finally set. With the introduction of MapQuest Navigator on iPhone earlier this month, we now have two distinctive mapping and directions products for iPhone users. Both applications, MapQuest 4 Moblie and MapQuest Navigator, provide the ability for users to get where they need to go and what to do along the way.
And while both products share this same base functionality, each were designed for their own use case and specific purpose in mind. Here is a tale of these two apps:
MapQuest 4 Mobile:
The next evolution of maps and directions on the iPhone.
Overview: A FREE simple and full-featured alternative to the on-board iPhone maps application providing users easy access to maps, directions, points of interest business listings, and the ability to view MapQuest My Places information.
Casual and business travelers, as well as anyone looking to view maps or easily create directions (route) to and from a specific location(s).
Users wishing to view and utilize their Maps & Directions created and saved at MapQuest.com on their iPhone. Get your My Places account here.
Users traveling to a new destination wanting easy access to various business listings such as coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, and more.
Simple, intuitive, voice-guided navigation for everyone.
Overview: An affordable streamlined, easy to use turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation application that presents users with an intuitive interface for receiving their route directions via spoken street and highway names.
Casual and business travelers, as well as tourists looking to optimally navigate to a new or known destination via verbal cues and spoken directions.
Users that are looking to easily navigate to a known or unknown location-avoiding traffic incidents or traffic congestion.
Users traveling to a new destination wanting easy access and route guidance to various business listings such as coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, and more.
Current Version: 1.0 Get it here for only $3.99/mo, $9.99/3 months, $29.99/yr
Now that MapQuest Navigator for iPhone is out in the wild, we thought it best to provide a bit of guidance both for those who have the app and those who are looking to get the app and need more clarification on its features.
With that said, here are a few tips that will help you better harness the power of the Voice Guided routing feature within MapQuest Navigator:
A. GPS and Cell Coverage Questions:
It goes without saying that the app is fairly reliant on both cell and GPS connectivity in order to navigate. However, the good news is that because we download the “route corridor” (a limited surrounding distance around your route) when you start a trip, you can lose cell connectivity and still navigate towards your destination with no ill effects.
Unfortunately, losing the GPS signal is another story. The app has the same limitations as any/all GPS reliant devices: if you lose connectivity or have a weak signal, the routing engine may become confused and display inaccurate information such as erroneous directional prompts and traffic info. Additionally, cloud-cover and dense urban high-rise environments can severely impair your iPhone’s GPS signal and accuracy.
B. Routing Tips:
1. When going “off-route”, from a main road/highway or interstate onto a smaller street, the app will do its best to keep you on that major road even prompting you to “make a legal u-turn” well into your diversion. What to do: Before creating your route, go to the “settings” panel on your iPhone and select “Navigator.” Choose the “Avoid Highways” option to allow the app to accept “off-route” diversions that include smaller streets and roads.
2. When traveling on a route with heavy traffic and slow movement, you may receive your directional voice prompt multiple times before you can take action. What to do: With the app open, tap the iPhone screen or click on the “Options” to reveal the Route Settings panel. Choose the “Mute” button to force the app into silent mode while you progress through traffic.
3. Need to make a stop during your route, but want the flexibility of returning where you left-off? What to do: Simply quit the app. When you are finished with your stop, power up MapQuest Navigator once again, and you will be prompted to continue with your route–right where you left-off!
C. Using the Place Carousel for searching points of interest:
In some cases, finding locations within a certain business category (icon), may not display locations within your map view. What to do: Zoom out to enable a larger map area and therefore larger coverage.
Have other questions or concerns? Visit our handy support site or view the “Quick Start Guide” here.
Some of you may have noticed that when we initially launched MapQuest Navigator for iPhone, we offered a $.99 price for a 14-day trial. Unfortunately, due to App Store restrictions, we are now unable to support this offer. The application is now initially available for one month at $3.99.
After the first month for $3.99, users can choose the subscription model that best suits their needs: one month at $3.99, three months at $9.99 or one year at $29.99.
Thanks to everyone that has already downloaded the MapQuest Navigator for iPhone, and for the great feedback we’ve received. If you haven’t already downloaded the application we encourage you to try it, and believe that you’ll like its easy-to-use interface, voice-guided navigation and convenient local search capabilities.
Today, MapQuest released the new MapQuest Navigator for iPhone, an easy-to-use voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation application with convenient local search capabilities. MapQuest Navigator for iPhone is available for a 14-day trial for $0.99 from the App Store and At the end of the trial period,users can choose the subscription model that best suits their needs: one month at $3.99, three months at $9.99 or one year at $29.99. Subscriptions can be purchased from within the application and are non-recurring–on an opt-in basis only.
MapQuest Navigator for iPhone offers a feature set that is focused on providing helpful driving directions while assisting people to find things along the way, including:
2-D and 3-D moving maps to help people follow the route as well as spoken directions with street names
Route optimization to avoid areas with accidents, construction or other events affecting traffic
Full route corridor download at the beginning of the journey enables the application to quickly re-routes in case of a missed turn, regardless of network coverage
One-tap search for businesses along a route via a palette of on-map widgets in categories such as hotels, shopping, gas stations, coffee shops, parking garages and more
More than 16 million points of interest and maps for the U.S. and Canada
The app is available now on the iPhone App Store by clicking here. To see a demo video, click here. If you would like more information about the application, visit wireless.mapquest.com
MapQuest Navigator for iPhone key features:
1. Streamlined 3D interface featuring voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation that speaks directions and street names.
2. Regular Data Updates: Search 16+ million points of interest and utilize up-to-date street maps.
3. Full route corridor download offers quick route re-calculation for missed turns as well provides continued service in areas of no cellular coverage.
4. Traffic Incident Based routing: US routes are optimized to avoid traffic incidents that might delay your travel.
5. Our new MapQuest® place carousel: Easily displays locations for hotels, movie theatres, gas stations, and more with a single tap.
While we’ve been making a lot of enhancements on MapQuest.com, our mobile services and products certainly aren’t being left out! Today we’re announcing our MapQuest Navigator 5.0 service is available on your AT&T mobile phone- and billable directly to your AT&T phone plan. Starting today you can get our popular voice-guided navigation service on select AT&T phones and try it out for a FREE trial period!
We’ve had great feedback on our navigation service and people enjoy the convenience of not having to buy another device when their GPS-enabled mobile phone can get them where they need to go. With MapQuest Navigator on your phone, your maps and directions data is always current – you don’t have to worry about updating the data on your PND or in-car navigation system. What’s even better is it doesn’t just provide turn-by-turn voice-guided directions, you can also see where you’re going with 3D moving maps. And, there’s live traffic, walking directions, gas prices, AOL City’s Best restaurants/nightlight ratings, and more.
Initially, we’re launching with the following phones including: BlackBerry Curve 8210, BlackBerry Pearl 8110, BlackBerry 8820, BlackBerry 8800, MOTO Z9, MOTO Q Global, AT&T Tilt, and Blackjack II – but look for many new devices by the end of the year.
I’m happy to announce that the MapQuest Wireless team launched the latest version of MapQuest Navigator 5.0, an application that provides voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation right on your mobile phone. There are some handy new features such as 3D views, a gas price finder and traffic alerts. And, we’ve included AOL’s CityGuide info to give you listings of the best restaurants, bars and live music venues- basically all the locals’ favorites.
The other day I was meeting a friend for dinner in Denver and we searched for City’s Best ‘Burgers’ through Navigator’s CityGuide search screen. We landed at a joint called “The Cherry Cricket”. My kind of place – a bar menu with humongous burgers. When I was on my way to the airport the next day, Navigator popped up an alert that steered me around a jam on I-70 – which was key since I was running late yet again…
Anyone who’s been in an electronics store lately has seen that standalone GPS units can cost hundreds of dollars, and putting one in the dash of your car costs a boatload. Why buy another gadget when your BlackBerry® or other GPS smartphone can get you the same results? Personally, I’d rather carry one do-it-all device in my pocket. With MapQuest Navigator I can get my monthly service for less than the cost of my jamocha double half-whip every morning.
So here’s the kicker – we want folks to check out Navigator 5.0, and we wanted to give a great incentive to try it out – we made it cheap! Right now, MapQuest Navigator 5.0 is only $4.99 per month- which is about half of the ten bucks a month your carrier might charge you for similar services. Anyone that signs up before the end of the year can get the great price, and there’s no obligation for a long contract – it’s a month to month service.
Check out more details here, and let us know what you think. We’re very interested in what you think.