The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 7, 2012

Review: Apple's maps app lets you follow the voice

(Continued)

Both apps gave me other questionable directions, even though they got me there, which was what mattered most. At one point, Google had me on a curvy one-lane residential street with little visibility, even though a faster, safer road ran parallel to it. Apple's directions to a roadside tourist trap had me take an exit four miles to the south, only to return four miles north on smaller roads.

Bottom line is no app is perfect. After all the complaints about Apple's app, I downloaded a 99-cent iPhone app called MotionX GPS Drive. It got good reviews and offered more features than either Apple or Google. But it tried to lead me off the wrong exit in Ohio. Plus, all the extra features diverted my eyes to the settings menu when I should've been paying attention to trucks and, ahem, police cars around me.

One of my favorite scenes from "The Office" television show is when clueless boss Michael Scott drives into Lake Scranton because he was blindly following GPS directions.

There will be mistakes, but it beats driving in a new place with nothing. You just need to use your common sense.

Apple's app is far better than the one Google had when it first came out in late 2009. In apologizing for an app he says "fell short" of Apple's own expectations, CEO Tim Cook says the company will keep working to improve it.

It's true Apple's app falls short of what Google now offers for Android, but if all you have is an iPhone or an iPad, Apple's new app will get you there just fine.

Clinging to the old, voiceless app is like hanging on to your cassette tapes while the world has moved on to CDs and digital downloads. I can't imagine driving without hearing voices.

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