MapQuest 4 Mobile adds free voice navigation

Driving around a strange city without a GPS can be cumbersome—but driving around with a GPS that won’t talk to you can be downright dangerous. Thankfully, MapQuest has just announced that its free MapQuest 4 Mobile navigation app is now capable of providing turn-by-turn directions in the form of voice prompts.

In a post on its official blog, the company indicates that version 4 of MapQuest for iPhone can keep track of the phone’s position as you drive and audibly alert you to upcoming turns as you approach them. The app will also inform you of missed turns and give you the opportunity of rerouting your course as appropriate (you do, however, need to push a button to do so).

In order to help save battery life—which comes at a premium when the iPhone’s GPS receiver is on—MapQuest 4 supports three different power settings: on low power savings, the app prevents the iPhone’s auto-lock from ever engaging, thus providing you both with continuous display and voice prompt; in medium savings mode, the app allows the screen to dim, but continues to offer voice prompts; in high savings mode the iPhone will auto-lock as normal.

The appearance of a free voice-enabled navigation iPhone doesn’t come as a surprise: in late 2009, Google announced that free voice navigation would be added to its Android platform, a move that Nokia duplicated shortly thereafter.

MapQuest 4 Mobile is available as a free download from the App Store and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch devices running iPhone OS 3.0 and above.

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