Poor man's GPS: Free MapQuest app adds turn-by-turn voice prompts
The newly updated MapQuest 4 Mobile can now speak to you while you travel, effectively providing free GPS-powered navigation.
Before you spend any money on a GPS app, take note: MapQuest just rolled out a new version of the MapQuest 4 Mobile app that includes, among other updates, turn-by-turn driving directions with voice prompts.
In other words, you can now get GPS-powered navigation absolutely free.
Don't mistake this for, , or even --all of which offer a lot more navigation acumen. For one thing, MapQuest 4 Mobile delivers only a top-down view of your map--no 3D, no bird's-eye. What's more, it doesn't announce street names or fetch traffic updates.
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.
Another gripe: The voice volume is way too low, even when cranked to maximum.
Now let's look at the upsides. MapQuest 4 Mobile remains a free app, and the turn-by-turn directions do their job: guide you to your destination. Plus, there's a new off-route assistance feature that will help you get back on track if you take a wrong turn. It's hardly perfect, but it works.
I've always found MapQuest 4 Mobile a bit buggy, and version 1.5.1 is no different; it crashed a couple times during my tests.
On the other hand, it can effectively route you from point A to point B, and the newly added voice prompts let you keep your eyes on the road where they belong. And did I mention it's free?
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