MapQuest introduces free GPS app for Apple iPhone

Free turn-by-turn navigation finally comes to the Apple iPhone. So how does the new MapQuest GPS iPhone app stack up?

Going somewhere? Try downloading the new MapQuest iPhone application –the first free GPS app to hit the iTunes App Store.

Free turn-by-turn GPS navigation is already the norm on Android-equipped smartphones, but for years, iPhone users were left high and dry. No longer. MapQuest, a mapping company owned by AOL, recently introduced the long-awaited MapQuest 4 Mobile version 1.5.1, which includes turn-by-turn GPS service and voice guidance. The app is compatible with the iPhone and the iPad, and available now at the Apple iTunes App Store.

The updated version of MapQuest 4 Mobile joins a slew of GPS apps designed for the iPhone and iPad, including the very pricey TomTom application – $60 for the cheapest model – and a MotionX GPS download, which goes for under three bucks. MapQuest 4 Mobile is essentially a stripped-down, free version of the $.99 MapQuest Navigator application.

The app includes a handful of nifty features, including a toggle switch for energy settings, so your already-overloaded iPhone doesn't die before you manage to pilot your car to the desired location. Reviewing the MapQuest app for CNET, Rick Broida says "the turn-by-turn directions do their job: guide you to your destination." Plus, the price – i.e., totally free – is right.

But Broida doesn't like that MapQuest will only let you see your route from a top-down angle – 3D mapping isn't available on the iPhone app.

"What's more, it doesn't announce street names or fetch traffic updates," Broida writes. "Those aren't crucial shortcomings, but I do have a hard time living with this: It doesn't rotate the map relative to your position. Instead, it retains a true-north orientation, moving your position marker across the map as you drive."


Have you had a chance to toy around with MapQuest 4 Mobile? We want to hear from you. Drop us a line in the comments section.

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