Pitchfork Press

Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012

Navigating Applications

Users look to popular navigation apps, such as Google Maps, for guidance when traveling.

From “Words with Friends” to popular social networking widgets, smartphones allow consumers to interact with those around them in the palm of their hands. Recently, the majority of smartphone users have been relying on handheld devices as a means to navigate the streets.

“All the apps make [getting around] so convenient,” Arizona State Alumni Alex Ong said. “I don’t think people have the time to ask for paper maps anymore.”

There are a variety of apps on the market for navigation. Most popular include “Google Maps”, “GPS Intelligence” and “Navigation”, an app preprogrammed in Android phones.

“I use Google Maps,” Tempe local Kale Dankenbring said. “It seems faster and has a lot of information.”

Cellphone companies, such as Verizon and AT&T, are also seeing a trend in navigation reliance among their costumers.

“You use to see people printing out directions from MapQuest, but now you really don’t see that anymore,” Assistant Manager of AT&T at the Arizona Mills location Adriel O’Dell said.

The iPhone’s Siri option also gives step-by-step directions to users. However, many prefer the already built in navigation application found in all smartphones.

“I don’t usually use Siri; she can’t pronounce my name so I get annoyed,” Accentury IT Consultant Camen Schaff said. “I use Google Maps; it’s easier than asking for directions, it’s quick and gives multiple routes.”

Popular businesses, such as Starbucks and Target, also include navigation options in their applications, informing costumers of the closest storefront and map.

-Rebecca Smouse, Photo Editor

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