When Google introduced free turn by turn GPS Navigation on their Android OS with their 2.0 update, the entire landscape of mobile navigation was changed and left everyone else trying to catch up. It was soon followed by a similar announcement from Nokia and now we have our first voice guided GPS app for the iPhone with the latest update to the free MapQuest 4 Mobile.
With version 1.5.1, MapQuest now includes basic voice guidance for getting to your next destination. To be fair, the guiding is very basic as you won’t be getting street names read out loud to you but rather prompts as to when you will need to make your next turn. And instead of a 3D map of your route, you’ll only be able to follow along using the standard overhead view of the map.
In tests around my neighborhood, the navigation worked as advertised but be ready to make some U-turns because the voice prompts for your next turn tend to occur just moments before the actual turn is required. The voice guidance does advise you that turns are approaching but doesn’t relay any information as to relative distance from the turn. Fortunately, there are rerouting options if you go off course and need new directions from your current position.
As an alternative to some of the costlier navigation apps out there, it serves its purpose. Plus, nothing beats free, right?