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Paper maps have gone the way of the dodo bird

Smartphones have a built in GPS that works with a number of map applications. If you are on an Android, you have Locations and on a iPhone you have Maps. They both work well with clicking on an address so it loads into the navigation app but they do have limitations.

There are a number of other navigation apps you can use. For the iPhone, my 3 favorite are Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Mapquest. While each one has features I like, not one of them have all the basic things I like that are easy to use. These 3 apps show you which lane to be in, show you traffic, have voice directions if you have a newer phone, estimate time of trip and what time you should arrive. Where they differ is in user interface, in other words, how easy is it to use these features.

Google Maps will not get you lost by taking you to a town center or zip code instead of the exact address. Unlike the other two apps, I have found many locations that Google Maps cannot locate which can cause all kinds of problems since a lot of companies use Google Maps for pricing. Options such as saving a location and showing traffic are very helpful. Google Maps shows a number of businesses that the other maps do not, possible due to the businesses being registered through Google Business Profile. The voice navigation is not the best but it depends on your type of smartphone. This app seems to work better on an Android than an iPhone.

Apple’s Maps (shouldn’t it be iMaps?) is the default for iPhones so when you get an address via email, messaging, or on a calendar event, you just tap the address which opens up Maps to show you the location and you can then get directions. Bookmarks are easy to create and use and so is dropping a pin on a location. However, you need to check and make sure the location you are going to is really the address you want and not just an approximate guess by the app. The maps are quick to update and ahead of Google in finding locations out n rural areas.

Mapquest has easy to access features such as restaurants, hotels and it seems to me the traffic is more up to date. To make it quickly update, I turn traffic off and on. Saving a location, etc are not as user friendly.

You can change the voice on your smartphone. The iPhone has a voice gender option. With an Android it depends on your phone and system. Some give you many options with accents such as British.

So now you have no reason to be late for a meeting. Well, unless you have to be somewhere across the I-40 at 5pm on a week day.

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