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Tips for Using iPhone Maps

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 11/30/2009

Here are some practical tips for using the built-in iPhone Maps feature to find directions.

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    Finding the Way

    Many people are looking to use their iPhone as both a navigation device and a full GPS. There are some great iPhone applications at the iTunes' App Store to use the iPhone as a full GPS and very complete map features. Apple also includes a full Maps feature in the iPhone as one of the permanent applications.

    This iPhone Maps feature uses the GPS mechanisms in the iPhone along with a general online map feature to identify your location and help you find where you are going. Here are some tips for using the iPhone maps more effectively.

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    Entering Addresses

    If you are looking to find a location you will likely open up iPhone Maps and then enter an address or location name into your search box. It will then search for that location and then find a direct map location. If you are entering an address you are going to have to be specific in certain areas.

    For example, entering the city and state is going to be very important. The majority of street names used have hundreds of representations all over the country. If you want to find Monroe street in Dayton, Ohio you will have to enter as such otherwise you may find dozens of other locations. A zip code can be even more efficient.

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    Contact Addresses

    One of the best things about the iPhone, and the smart phone model in general, is that it allows you to create profiles for your contacts. In your Contacts List you can select a person and add several phone numbers, an email address, their home page URL, and even their address. If you enter their address into their contact you are going to have an easier time getting clear directions from your location.

    Once you have entered in a clear address for a contact you can enter their name into your iPhone maps search box and it will find the associated address. Then you can just hit the Directions button at the bottom of the iPhone Maps view and choose to set a starting point with your keyboard or just at your present location with the GPS locator. This will then give you a clear line from the start location to the address set on that contact. Make sure that the contact address is detailed enough to actually find the address you are going for.

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    Map View

    If you are only looking to use directions, the regular Map view is going to be the best. The Satellite view in iPhone Maps is nice for seeing the visual of the location, but not really as easy and clear to see if you are just trying to get from point A to point B. Some people like the Hybrid of the two, but the Map view is still going to be the clearest for getting directions.

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    iPhone Maps Pin Drop

    The Pin Drop feature in iPhone Maps can be useful if used sparingly. The Pin Drop will put a pin in the map at a given location, which is similar to what happens when you identify an address point. You can choose to use a Pin Drop in the roll up corner menu that you get when you hit the box in the lower right hand corner of the iPhone Maps view.

    The best way to use the Pin Drop is to only use them at your Current Location as is identified with the iPhone's GPS feature. This will let you have a clear start and stop point for Directions.