The Maps App on the iPhone is a great tool for finding locations and navigating to them. The app is fully integrated into the system allowing you to use other apps with the navigation running in the background. You can even use navigation while your iOS device’s screen is locked to save battery (see this article for more on this: How to save battery life while using Turn by Turn directions with Apple Maps App).
To help you get even more out of the Maps app on your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, here are 4 useful tips:
This feature allows you to look up a location on your device and enter navigation mode with one tap. All you need to do is search for the location. When the location name is listed above a red pin on the map, you will see a small green Car symbol to the left of the text. Tapping this Car symbol will immediately display navigation routes to that location from your Current Location. To start Turn-by-Turn directions, just tap Start.
When the Maps app used to be based on Google’s mapping services, walking directions and public transportation were clearly displayed. However, when Apple began using its own mapping services, the walking directions and public transportation directions got hidden behind the little Right Turn Arrow at the top left of the screen to the left of the address search field – it looks like this:
Tapping this will give you the option to choose between driving, walking, and public transportation directions. Your current location is always listed by default in blue text and you can choose from recent locations below it or search for a new location. To use public transit directions, you will need a third-party app installed (like this one: HopStop Transit Directions for iPhone). Once you have entered your desired route, simply tap on the bus symbol and you will be given the option to open that route in the third-party app.
When you are using the Turn-by-turn directions, you can display your estimated time of arrival (ETA) and minutes/miles left till arrival. To activate this, simply tap anywhere on the map when you are in turn-by-turn directions mode. This will give you the option to End the directions, view the overview, and in between these two buttons, you will see your ETA information.This is definitely helpful to know when you are driving but it can also be helpful before you have left your house. If you know you need to be at a meeting or a dinner party at a certain time, for example, just enter your driving directions information and tap Start. Then, tap the screen to display ETA. Now, you can continually monitor this as you are getting ready to head out for the appointment knowing exactly when you need to leave.
Using Siri is the quickest and easiest way to get directions to a particular location. This is especially helpful when you need to find directions to a nearby store or gas station. All you need to do is tell Siri, “Get me directions to the nearest Whole Foods Market.” Siri will automatically locate the nearest Whole Foods Market, launch the Maps App, plot the Turn-by-Turn directions, and if you wait for an additional 3 seconds, the app will automatically begin Turn-by-Turn directions. You can also ask Siri to get directions to a person’s house whose address you have entered in your contacts list. And, you can always tell Siri, “Take me home,” and Siri will give you driving directions from your current location to your house (as long as you have set up and personalized Siri – click here for more on this: How to set up and personalize Siri on your iPhone, iPad (Mini), and iPod Touch). Lastly, by default, when you ask Siri for directions, you will get driving directions. However, you can ask Siri to give you walking directions (or public transit directions) to a particular location and Siri will automatically calculate the best walking (or public transit) route to your destination. Always be sure to designate that you want the “nearest” location. By doing this, Siri will skip giving you the list of available locations and simply route you to the nearest one.