Yapp Mobile Mocal for iPhone app

Mocal is an Australian developed, free iPhone search app

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Yapp Mobile Mocal for iPhone
  • Yapp Mobile Mocal for iPhone
  • Yapp Mobile Mocal for iPhone
  • Yapp Mobile Mocal for iPhone
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5


  • Free, straightforward and effective interface, comprehensive search listings, 30-day navigation trial, maps are updated as they become available


  • Poor overall navigational experience, included voice is choppy and has strange pauses, no advanced navigation features

Bottom Line

We'd give Mocal's navigation features a miss for the moment. However, as an Australian search tool it's handy and comprehensive, and it will only get better with more content. Best of all, it's free.

Would you buy this?

Mocal is a free, Australian-developed iPhone app that lets you search for business listings, restaurants, and a wealth of other points of interest based on your current location. Also offering turn-by-turn directions for when you're on foot or in your car, Mocal is an excellent Australian search tool but we'd definitely steer clear of it for GPS navigation.

As soon as you fire up the Mocal for iPhone app, you're greeted with a straightforward Find menu, with options to search for business listings, restaurants, bars or cafes, petrol prices, parking stations and a range of Navteq points of interest (POIs). At the bottom of the screen is a familiar iPhone navigation bar with Find, See, Go, Favourites and Settings menus.

As a search tool, Mocal for iPhone does an excellent job. It's one of the most comprehensive Australian apps we've seen, retrieving results from a variety of sources: TrueLocal, Eatability and Navteq. You can search for a general term such as "pizza" or "bars," or be more specific by searching for the exact name of a business or restaurant. Though it doesn't claim to cover every listed business in Australia, we didn't notice any glaring omissions during testing. The company behind Mocal, Yapp Mobile, has promised further content providers in the future.

Once you've searched and selected a result, Mocal for iPhone provides a number of options. You can call the business if a phone number is provided, view it on a map, add it to your favourites, or share it via e-mail or Facebook. Like Google Maps, the Mocal maps are downloaded over the air and you can get driving or walking directions. Though reasonably detailed, the Mocal maps lack the polished look and feel of Google Maps, so we'd stick to the latter if you're just interested in general map browsing.

Not content with just offering search and directions, Mocal for iPhone also has fully fledged turn-by-turn navigation available. It's a subscription-based service that will cost $10 for 30 days, $50 for 12 months or $60 for three years. The maps are downloaded as required, so there is no need for ongoing map updates. This makes it significantly cheaper than the likes of TomTom, Navigon and Sygic iPhone navigation apps, even if it uses a small amount of data during operation. Yapp Mobile claims the app will use just 1.3MB of data on a two hour trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. Once a map has been downloaded, it is stored on your phone until an updated map becomes available or until you clear the cached maps from the settings menu.

The Mocal navigation service is available free for 30 days when you download the app, so you can try before you buy. This is a good thing, as it's a significant downgrade from most of the other Australia turn-by-turn apps for the iPhone. Though the maps themselves are easy enough to read, the navigation component feels poorly put together. Particularly annoying is the included English voice, which is not loud enough at full volume, has problems with Australian street name pronunciation and sounds choppy, with strange and lengthy pauses between many words.

The overall navigational experience is also quite poor in comparison to other iPhone GPS apps. Like most GPS units, the Mocal app favours main roads and has many instances of missed turn restrictions, and more than once we were routed to a destination that was at least a kilometre away from our target. There are also no safety alerts (such as red light cameras, speed cameras and school zones) or any of the other advanced features that seem to be creeping into iPhone navigation apps — advanced lane guidance, terrain views, speed limit warnings and 3D junction views. There is, however, a handy petrol prices listing (supplied by Motormouth), complete with a list of service stations along your selected route. The fuel prices are collected twice daily from Monday to Saturday, and once on Sundays.

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: iphone apps
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?