Wednesday, July 12, 2006

App Review: MapQuest Mobile (T-Mobile To Go)

First off, this program is $3.99 for 30 days, a far cry from $1.50 per route or $5 for 4 routes, which TeleNav for Boost Mobile charges. Then again, Google Local Mobile\Google Maps Mobile is free. You just have to pay for internet access. Which is 19 cents a day on STi...a little more expensie per month but in my opinion better...

The other disclaimer I have is that I tested this on a Nokia 6010, which doesn't have a very large screen and isn't a top-of-the-line phone. Those disclaimers aside...

MapQuest Mobile is a good choice for people who use MapQuest a lot. I don't. The driving directions are not relative to where you are (GSM phones don't have GPS capability), though Vindigo (which powers MapQuest Mobile) has its own hole in T-Mobile's To Go firewall in order to get whatever information or maps you want. But as far as maps go, they're slow to navigate on the 6010, slower even than navigating maps on an LG 225 with Google Local mobile, and the maps aren't as pretty. No sattelite\hybrid views either.

But then again, if T-Mobile To Go is your only phone, this is your only choice as far as I can tell.I'd give it a 2.5\5.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, wouldn't it be faster to look at a paper road map? I'm all for new innovative electronic conveniences, but it seems many of these "time-consumers" are the equivalent of using an electronic post-it note for a 3 item grocery list.

Ian said...

Hey, I'm with you on that point, at least when it comes to MapQUest Mobile. There are some things (sattelite maps on demand, lookup on the go, GPS-aided directions) that electronics do much better than maps on paper, and having a PDA-size screen on the piece of electronics helps as well. Mobile on a 6010 has none of these. Thus, 2.5 stars.

One critique on the groceries thing: PDAs are for that sort of thing. But it has to be simple, otherwise plain ole paper makes the better choice again. It has to be tap, enter the stuff, tap, and you're done. But I can see where you're coming from, definately.

Some things are like USB toothbrushes...too much tech for its own good...

Anonymous said...

M:Metrics, found that pricing, choice and lack of interest were the top reasons cited by players of downloaded cell games in the U.S. as the reasons they did not buy another game.... only 2.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers downloaded a game in March and that was mostly first-time users.

This makes my point. People are busy.....unless you have the time/money to fart around with navigation, games, or even texting, I don't see any cell add-ons becoming a success. Experts are even poo-pooing TV on cell phones before the technology has even spread.

When I first got my PDA I discovered it can play movie and music files... WOOHOO I said. After fighting the time to download content, poor playback quality, getting the right software to play and dealing with Activesync (which is buggy)... I gave up. My PDA now sits in the bedroom where my wife plays freeware games at night.

The all-in-one device does and will not exist because of the nature of the tasks needed, not wanted.

Ian said...

Interesting comment. And I agree with you that unless, and only unless, whatever says it will be an aid to "your lifestyle" actually is an aid indeed, making things faster\easier, then off with its head until at least version 1.1!

Some people have the time to play games, otherwise Gameboys wouldn't sell. Bingo! A target audience for cell phone games, as prepaids reach out into the teen\tween market.

Some people think calling someone for something relatively trivial is impolite or whatever. Hence, text. And for that tech-savvy teen market out there (I would be included in that I suppose) which has grown up on IM anyway, you can take your IMing to more places. THus things are fast and easy with text as opposed to without.

For some, or even most, or even 99% of the people out there, anything beyond voice calling and things that revolve around voice calling is too time-consuming to learn\use and\or\thus poses too little\expensive of a benefeit to use. Hey, my parents use Tracfones (courtesy me) because they use a cell phone the same way you'd use a landline: to talk. I respect people who do that. And when I reccommended Amp'd Mobile it wasn't because they have live TV events, music downloads, or video clips (though they have all of these). They have 10 cents per minute voice.

So if a convergence device does something as well as its dedcated or analog equivalent, I'm all for it. But MapQUest doesn't cut I said before...

Anonymous said...

"99% of the people out there, anything beyond voice calling and things that revolve around voice calling is too time-consuming to learn\use and\or\thus poses too little\expensive of a benefeit to use."

Exactly, so why invent, prototype, market and sell a feature that makes you no money? Let me yell.... MAKE THE DAMN VOICE SERVICE BETTER AND LEAVE THE TOYS ALONE FOR NOW.

I'm by no means anti-technology. Complicating a system doesn't help focus the efforts toward 99% of the needs.

Why not put broadband internet into every home for $10-15 per month instead of spending $15 million advertising how your service is faster and has more features "for a limited time only".

It reminds me of the slumlord that raises his rents year after year and ends up with 70% capacity instead of lowering rents to get 100% capacity.

The idea is to get more people to buy a cell phone. If 99% use it for voice then why are you trying to sell me MapQuest Mobile?