Once the leader and innovator in online mapping, MapQuest has fallen pretty far from that perch. While the brand survives and the site is still widely used, it has for several years been overshadowed by rivals including Google and more recently Apple.
According to recent comScore data MapQuest’s mobile apps aren’t in the top 15, although AOL is a top 10 mobile web property. MapQuest parent AOL has shown itself to be ambivalent about the site, having made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to sell it in the past.
There have also been attempts to reinvigorate MapQuest from time to time. In that spirit come new mobile apps. The new iPhone app (I haven’t tried Android yet) represents a significant UI improvement over the previous version.
Among the changes and updates are the following:
- Better looking maps
- Dynamic traffic conditions
- Home/work bookmarking
- Location sharing
- Auto-muting of voice-guided directions
I briefly tested it and found the UI to be much cleaner and visually pleasing. Certain things about the app, however, weren’t entirely intuitive to me. I also didn’t find complete business profile pages (only phone the ability to initiate a call and get directions).
But before passing judgment I need to use it more thoroughly.
One of the most interesting things about the new app is that you can pay $3.99 and get rid of all ads for the year. If you’re a MapQuest user it’s probably well worth it.
MapQuest users will probably be pleased with the UI improvements. However, so far at least, I haven’t seen anything in the new app to pull people away from Google or Apple Maps.