No magic found in MapQuest 4 Mobile

You would think that a mobile application developed by the makers of MapQuest – the pioneer in retrieving directions online – would be a must have for your iPhone. Think again. There is no magic in MapQuest 4 Mobile

The Directions function, a map app’s bread and butter, is a huge disappointment. Features like a real-time position indicator or notification of a wrong turn are nowhere to be found. While the List option works well and provides helpful icons to move you along, nothing can make up for the directional disappointment. 

There are some other positives. I like MapQuest 4 Mobile’s Place Carousel, a useful feature that locates things like restaurants, gas stations, and MapQuest advertising partners such as Auto Zone, FedEx Office, and Wendy’s. MapQuest needs to pay the bills somehow, and sometimes a guy just needs to find the closest Frosty.

Amazingly, the ability to find area gas prices—a key feature of the main site—isn’t available in the mobile version. What gives? Also, I found the syncing process between my My Places account and iPhone unacceptably slow. My saved maps took nearly an hour to appear. Forget about uploading maps and locations on the go—you can’t.

Part of me wonders why I’d want to save a map in the first place. Isn’t having an address book the same thing? Still, iPod Touch users should appreciate the ability to bring maps with them—as long as they save them from a computer first.

Of course, until MapQuest makes a more compelling mobile app, the computer version is still your best bet.

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