MapQuest Enhances Mobile Web Sites, Apps

MapQuest announced a bunch of ugrades for its mobile products, including the introduction of automatic geo-location for its mobile Web property:

We have listened to your requests and added Geo Location to the latest release. That's right, iPhone and Android users visiting now have the ability to utilize their Smartphone's GPS receiver to pinpoint their current location within the map, directions and search forms.

Other new features include access to saved maps and walking directions. 

There were also new iPhone and BlackBerry app releases that featured a range of improvements. I appreciate the scrolling horizontal menu on MapQuest4Mobile on the iPhone and the ability to locate categories of businsses with a single touch on an icon. But that's not a new feature. 

Here are the new iPhone app features:

  • Walking directions feature that provides directions to navigate pedestrian-only paths.
  • New map styles with terrain and vegetation imagery that emulates the experience.
  • Directions Mode now includes a collapsible "hat" that allows users to expand and contract their route narrative, resulting in a larger view of the map.
  • Metric Units Support. In Directions Mode, users can now view their route detail in metric units.

As MapQuest tries to figure out its competitive online strategy in a new era for AOL, mobile becomes a very strategic and important component of that overall strategy.

According to our data Maps & Directions are the top local content category for all users (49%). The numbers are even larger for  smartphone owners:

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Source: Universal McCann-AOL n=1,800 smartphone users (Q2, 2009)