iPhone Traveler Pt. 9 – Navigate with maps

mapsontheroadApple’s iPhone ships with Maps, a home-grown mapping application that you can use to find driving directions, public bus routes and walking directions for when you’re on foot.

A quick note.

The public has not been satisfied with the performance of Apple’s Maps, and in September, 2012, the company issued a public apology for the performance of its app.

Understand that the mapping application that ships with your iPhone, Maps, may not be the best solution for you. Fortunately, there are several fine alternatives in the App Store, many of which can be found by searching for the term “navigation” or “maps.”

Today, I’ll explain how to use Apple’s Maps app as well as an alternative that I trust. Let’s begin with Maps.

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Apple expands Maps 3D flyover coverage in France

towerparis

Good news, folks. Apple has expanded 3D flyover coverage in its Maps app for France. Specifically, Paris, Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris, and to L’Hay-les-Roses have gotten the 3D treatment. Before this update, only Lyon had 3D flyover coverage.

“Flyover” means you can view a photograph-quality, interactive view of a city. Zoom in our out, pan around and explore an area in fine detail. I found the Eiffel Tower earlier on my phone, was able  to zoom in on the tower itself and trace the route I walked along the sidewalk back to my hotel.

Apple’s Maps app was dramatically revamped when iOS 6 was introduced, and the result fell flat for a huge number of users. Apparently, the folks on the Maps team are working hard to make the application a viable choice for users once again.

The iPhone Traveler Pt. 3 – Pre-load bookmarks in Maps

mapsontheroad

Note: I know that many of you dislike Apple’s Maps app. If that’s the case, consider this week’s sponsor, Rego, as an alternative when pre-loading map bookmarks. It does much the same as I’ve described here, with the added benefit of itinerary planning. For example, identify your hotel as the Active Location, and then all of  your other bookmarks are automatically sorted by proximity. Very cool. –Dave

Traveling with an iPhone is like having a hotel concierge with you at all times. Just as you can approach the concierge desk in the hotel and ask for directions, for recommendations, or even for a cab, your iPhone is happy to provide the same services. I like to add points of interest as bookmarks in Apple’s Maps before I go.

Why should you do this? There are several reasons. As you travel, you could find yourself with a poor data connection just when you need some information. Also, it saves time. You don’t want to be searching for the hotel while you’re on the airport shuttle, for example.

This goes beyond the hotel. A few years ago my family was in New York City when we suddenly needed to get to a pharmacy. If I had added one that was close to my hotel before leaving, that would have soothed a potentially stressful situation.

Be prepared and gain peace of mind by adding points of interest to your iPhone before you depart. That way, you’ll have each location’s address, phone number, website and directions (driving, walking and public transportation). Here’s how to stock your personal concierge desk with answers to go.

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