There was a time before Google got into the mapping business when MapQuest was the go-to site for directions and maps on the web. And it turns out that even though most Google phones ship with a pretty slick Google Maps application and free turn-by-turn navigation, AOL noticed more than 1.4 million Android users coming to MapQuest mobile web site each month. So the company did the only logical thing and released a MapQuest app for Android. It’s now available as a free download from the Android Market.

The mobile app is choc full of features, including:

  • Free turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance
  • Auto re-routing if you miss a turn (assuming you have a good internet connection)
  • Live traffic updates
  • International maps
  • Voice search capabilities
  • A toolbar which lets you search for hotels, airports, gas stations, coffee shops, grocery stores and more with a single click
  • Satellite and map views
  • Place pages with directions, web site links, user reviews, hours, and more information

The app is attractive and easy to use. But I’ve found that on my Nexus One it seems to load imagery rather slowly and searches can take a long time. I experienced a few crashes while testing the app this morning, and the app also uses around 8MB of disk space, which may be problematic if you’re running out of free space on your phone (like I am). All told, I’m not entirely convinced I want to replace Google Maps as my default mobile mapping application just yet, but for a first release, MapQuest for Android is off to a good start.

MapQuest has been offering a similar app for the iPhone for almost a year.

You can check out some more screenshots after the break.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...