MapQuest app finds relevance again with beautiful iOS 7 redesign

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When the subject of the best iOS maps app comes up, typically you’ll only hear a few names mentioned. There’s Apple Maps, which is the most popular by default, and Google Maps, and then a mix of Waze, HopStop and other user favorites.

But today, MapQuest has thrown its name back into the conversation with its major 4.0 update. The app has been completely rebuilt from the ground up (apparently a 9-month endeavor) with an all-new look, and several handy new features…

Here are the release notes:

Beautifully redesigned for iOS7, version 4.0 incorporates the useful features you need into precise vector maps to help you get where you need to go.

Version 4.0 boasts:

• Exquisite, eye-catching map styling – Our map now offers sharper detail and is much easier to read
• Traffic conditions on route – Your route turns red (heavy) or yellow (some brake lights) to keep you informed of live traffic conditions
• Custom home/work bookmarking – Bookmark your home and work addresses so no matter where you are, you can find your way to either at the push of a button
• Road alerts – Get alerted to toll roads and seasonal road closures on your route
• Sharing – Keep friends and family in the loop by sharing your location
• Audio mute capabilities – Select the audio mute option to turn off voice-guided directions while enjoying music or making a phone call
• Advanced search capabilities – Locate your destination faster when you search

Initial feedback for the update has been very positive. The new high resolution vector maps are gorgeous, the menus are easy to navigate, and with features like ‘Layers,’ you can see nearby gas stations, restaurants, and more with just a single tap.

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I obviously haven’t had time to test out its accuracy—which is perhaps the most important feature in a maps app—but if it works half as good as it looks, it should be fine. MapQuest is free in the App Store, but you’ll need a $4 IAP to get rid of the ads.

Have you tried the new MapQuest app yet? What do you think?