MapQuest announced today that it’s released a completely overhauled version of its app for iPhone with a total redesign that hosts a much improved user interface that should make your next trip a little easier to figure out.
The most notable improvement to the app, at least in my nowhere-near-comprehensive first impression, is the directions feature. In virtually every map service, whether its Google Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest, or whatever, the directions always contain way too much information for certain junctions in your trip. Really, nobody needs to know the state route number and the multiple names of a street – one will suffice. It’s less to juggle around in the head while you’re trying to, y’know, drive an car safely. The new MapQuest app for iPhone remedies that vexing amount of information by giving you one name for your turns/exits and also presents it in a large, easily readable font.
Below is a before-and-after comparison of MapQuest 3.0 and the previous version, both of which display the same step in the same directions. In the new version, which is on the right, it is clearly apparent what street I should be on the lookout for during this trek without muddling my already-divided attention with superfluous transit details.
Another improvement in Mapquest 3.0 is the layout of the menus. As you can see in comparison above, or maybe you just know from using the app yourself, the main menu (where you type in your search or directions) has been consolidated from a full space-consuming menu bar at the bottom of the screen to a single “Menu” button in the lower left-hand corner. Now that the menu has been liberated from the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a few more options in the Menu with 3.0, like live traffic conditions and options to easily clear the map or edit your location/directions.
Where the menu had previously been you will now find a collapsable menu of options to conduct quick searches for places like gas stations, hotels, rest stops, drug stores, theatres, banks and, yes, even ice cream vendors. You can view more than one of these categories at once, so if you really want to find a hotel that is within walking distance to bar, you can choose both of those options to satisfy your every need.
The menu bar at the bottom is also collapsable now so you can see a great area of the map. Oh yeah, and if you didn’t notice in that last example, there’s now a landscape view for MapQuest, too.
Other fun inclusions in this update easy searches for gas prices at nearby stations and an overall better, faster search function when trying to figure out just where the hell you wanna be going.