Today an update for Magellan’s RoadMate iPhone app became available. This, however is not a simple bug fix or minor tweak. No, this update is the largest change to the app since the initial release. Besides a completely redesigned GUI, the other feature that users of this popular navigation app will notice is the incorporation of an upgraded point of interest, or POI, search. This upgraded feature allows users to find, on the go, local points of interest using Yelp and Google Local.
Version 2.0 of RoadMate now allows users to browse all of Yelp’s business categories and sub-categories. On the GUI, users will see the star rating after the search and this, it is thought, will allow users to make more informed decisions. For instance, if you are walking around Manhattan, Los Angeles, or even Wichita, all you have to do is search for, say, Italian food, and you will quickly get turn-by-turn directions to the handful of closest Italian restaurants. Taking this idea even further, the new GUI plugs in to the wildly-popular app called OpenTable. This network is being employed by more and more restaurants globally to offer smart phone-based reservations.
The new GUI represents a long-awaited fusion between GPS and user-based reviews and is likely to be copied by Magellan’s competitors. It might just be a matter of time before the basic map app on smart phones will offer similar features.