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Mocal is a locally developed free iPhone app that lets users search for shops, services and locations. In many ways, it's a more ambitious version of AroundMe. Although Mocal's interface isn't as simple to use, nor as snazzy, it boasts a whole slew of extra features to compensate.
While AroundMe only pulls results from Google, Mocal fetches results from TrueLocal, Eatability and Navteq. Both TrueLocal and Eatability results feature user-written reviews, although you aren't able to scribe your own reviews from within Mocal. According to Yapp Mobile, the developer behind Mocal, more search and review providers may be added in the future.
Maps on Mocal lack the pizzazz of Google Maps.
(Credit: CNET Australia)
There's a built-in map viewer for displaying locations and general browsing, with map data supplied by Navteq and downloaded over the air as required. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the Google Maps application that's standard on all iPhones, except that the maps themselves aren't anywhere near as slick. Absent are satellite images, street view and traffic.
You can obtain walking or driving directions from point A to point B but, again like Google Maps, these instructions don't adapt to your movements — so, venturing off course requires re-entering starting and destination points.
Turn-by-turn navigation is available and it's free for the first 30 days after installation. If you like it enough to pay, AU$10 will buy you 30 days of use, AU$50 a year and AU$60 three years.
Again, the maps aren't the last word in slickness, but turn instructions and street names are legible whilst driving. A 3D view is available, although switching between day and night colours is a manual task.