App review: MapQuest for Android with turn-by-turn spoken navigation directions

Yesterday, MapQuest unveiled their Android mapping application. This new app offers something fantastic – navigation with spoken turn by turn directions. I took it for a spin and can safely say that this is the new best free navigation package for Android.

Everything you expect from a decent GPS package is in this app – spoken directions and street names, traffic information, points of interest and voice recognition. Even though they are by no means the first Android map app with turn by turn directions, the MapQuest interface is by far the easiest to use. Maps are also very clean and crisp, making use of data from map leader Navteq.

Navigation results can be provided for driving or walking, but not for public transit or bikes like in Google Maps. The quick link bar at the bottom of the map can instantly display any of the categories on your map, and you can minimize the bar by clicking its down arrow.

Maps load and scroll very fast, and even on a sluggish data connection, I rarely had any blank map tiles. In addition to this, map tiles can be locally cached.

The new MapQuest for Android can be found in the Android market at this link. You can also scan the QR code in the video after the jump – probably one of the first ever QR codes completely made out of Lego!


[Full disclosure: AOL is the parent company of both MapQuest and Gadling]