We've been using Google's voice-guided driving directions on an Android phone since October, but we didn't have too many equivalent apps to compare it with until Microsoft released its own voice navigation service for Bing last week for Windows phones.
We took Bing on a few test drives against Google's map navigation, all in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both apps will likely eventually get you where you want to go, but both exhibited overly creative directions and produced their own frustrating errors.
What we liked We immediately noticed Bing's less tinny-sounding directions bot. Sure, "she" still sounds robotic, but less so than Google's navigatrix. We also appreciated how the Bing app "bings" before sounding off the next direction. The chime was a natural and unintrusive interruption to signal that voice guidance is imminent. It would have been nice if Bing also chimed to indicate that it's time to make a left or right turn, as Magellan's GPS units do, but that's a more minor quibble.
What we didn't like Bing was the more navigationally flawed app in our tests compared with Google's navigation. Google's maps also have more features and options; for example, a street-level and bird's eye perspective of the map.
Within our first two test runs, Bing thrice dispensed misdirections that didn't correlate to the real world, including directing us to circle around a neighborhood even when we were on the same street as the destination address. There were also more trivial directional errors that turned up in subsequent testing. … Read more