UPDATE JAN. 2013: If you're running iOS 6 or higher, there's a new, more accurate and useful way to get driving directions. Check out this article for more.
The iPhone provides many benefits to drivers--from being able to make calls while traveling to listening to music or streaming audio--but one of the biggest benefits is helping them not get lost. By using its built-in GPS, the iPhone can provide accurate driving directions via its pre-loaded Maps app. Here's how to use the Maps app to get directions to your destination from the iPhone.
(This works best on the iPhone or iPad 3G since they both have true A-GPS. The Wi-Fi-only iPad and iPod touch don't have GPS so, while they can provide directions in some cases, they won't always work.)
- Begin by opening the Maps app by tapping it. The app will be on your home screen unless you re-arranged your apps.
- With the app open, you've got two options: search for a location or get directions. Tap the Search (go to Step 3) or Directions (go to Step 5) button at the bottom of the screen.
- If you tap Search, enter the thing you've looking for in the bar at the top of the screen. You can search for a specific address, a person in your address book, or a generic category like "Japanese restaurant" or "book store." Tap the Search button in the bottom right corner to launch the search.
- Your search results will appear on the map as a red pin or series of red pins. If more than one pin appears, tap it to pop up a label with more information. You can tap that label again to get more information about that location. When you've found that place you want to go, tap the label to get more information (if you haven't already) and tap the Directions to Here button. This will bring you to the directions screen. Make sure the Start field reads "Current Location" (or type it in, if it's not there) and then tap the Route button to get directions.
- If you know the location you're headed to, tapping the Directions button is the fastest way to get there. When you do this, the Start field should read "Current Location." This is where your iPhone is located at that moment. If the field doesn't show "Current Location," you can type it in.
- Once that's done, you can either type an address or the name of a person in your address book into the End field. When that's done, tap the Route button at the bottom right of the screen to get directions.
- Once you've gotten directions by either the Search or Directions button, tap the Start button in the top right corner of the screen to begin your trip.