How to Use the Droid X Maps App

By Dan Gookin

When you use the amazing Droid X Maps app, you no longer have to hang your head in shame over not being able to refold a map. The Maps app on your Droid involves no folding whatsoever. Instead, it charts entire countries, including freeways, highways, roads, streets, avenues, drives, bike paths, addresses, businesses, and points of interest.

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1Touch the Launcher button on the Home screen.

The Applications Tray opens.

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2Choose Maps from the Applications Tray.

If you’re starting the app for the first time, you can read its What’s New screen; touch the OK button to continue. The Droid X communicates with global positioning system (GPS) satellites to home in on your current location. The position is accurate to within a given range, as shown by the blue circle.

3To zoom in on the map, touch the Zoom In button, double-tap the screen, or spread your fingers on the touchscreen.

To zoom out, touch the Zoom Out button, double-tap the screen, or pinch your fingers on the touchscreen.

4To see what's to the left or right or at the top or bottom of the map, drag your finger on the touchscreen.

The map scrolls in the direction you drag your finger.

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5To see Satellite view, press the Menu soft button, then choose Layers→Satellite.

The map image reloads, shown in both Street and Satellite views.

6To return to Street view, press the Menu soft button and choose Layers→Satellite.

Your Droid peels back the map layer.

7To employ the Labs feature, press the Menu soft button, choose More→Labs, and then choose a Labs item to add to the map.

The app has quite a list of options that you can add to the Map display, and descriptions are provided in the list. All features have their benefits, but some of them (Terrain Layer and Traffic, for example) slow things down.

8To locate an address, type it into the Maps app Search box and then touch the Search button.

That location appears on the map. If you omit the city name or zip code, the Droid X looks for the closest matching address near your current location.

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9To find a business entity or a point of interest, type its name in the Search box and touch the Search button.

For example, if you enter sushi restaurant, your Droid flags restaurants on the current Maps screen or nearby. You can also include a zip code or city name to specify the area in which you want to search. Otherwise, the Maps app looks for places near the area you see on the screen.

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10To see more information about a result, touch its cartoon bubble.

The screen that appears offers more information, plus perhaps even a Web site address and phone number.

11To get directions to a location, touch that location's cartoon bubble.

A list of options appears.

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12Choose the Get Directions command or touch the Get Directions button.

You may be asked whether you want to navigate or get directions. If you choose the Navigate option, your phone dictates the list of directions to you while you travel.

When you choose Get Directions, you see an input screen. The Droid X already has chosen your current location (shown as My Location in the figure) as the starting point, and the location you searched for or are viewing on the map as the destination. Touch the button for your method of transportation — car, public transportation, bicycle, or walking — and touch the Go button.