Avantar’s free Yellow Pages app received a significant update recently, adding free turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance. Yellow Pages has been available for iOS devices for several years now, debuting in October 2008 shortly after the App Store itself opened and it became universal with the release of the first-generation iPad in 2010.
To access the free navigation feature, you simply need to tap the purple car icon in the listing of the business you’d like to go to. Next, you’ll see an intermediate screen that contains tips, including an important one suggesting that you adjust your iPhone’s screen lock settings (Settings/General/Auto-Lock) to “Never” so that the screen doesn’t turn off while you’re driving.
After this, you’ll see a map view providing an overview of your route and tapping on Drive at the bottom of the screen will start the turn-by-turn guidance. A Switch button in the top right corner lets you change to the Google Maps, Navigon, or TomTom apps if you’d rather get your guidance from another source (you’ll have to have purchased Navigon or TomTom separately). I have Navigon installed on my iPhone and selecting this option in the Switch menu automatically inputs the address of the selected business in Navigon so it doesn’t need to be entered manually.
There are a few caveats to using Yellow Pages as your go-to navigation app. First, Yellow Pages does not store any map data on your device, so you’ll need to have an internet connection via Wi-Fi or 3G to get map data and guidance. Second, since Yellow Pages is a business directory app, you can’t use it to navigate to a friend’s house or an address that’s not already in the directory as a business. And last, though Yellow Pages is a universal app with an interface optimized for the iPad, the turn-by-turn navigation option is available only on the iPhone. However, if you already know where all of your friends live and your navigation needs are primarily to locate businesses, Yellow Pages is a fantastic free choice compared to shelling out money for a dedicated navigation app like Navigon or TomTom.