The navigation products available for cell phones aren’t perfect, but there are a lot of us out there that depend on their directions to get from Point A to Point B. However, up until now the app had no way of knowing whether a road was closed or a traffic jam or accident would slow your trip down–thus, knowing traffic before you left or during your trip was a necessity.
Not any more. Google on Monday rolled out functionality in its Android app which will use both current and historical traffic data to plan routes, as well as give alternates. The Maps function could do this previously, however it was only for set conditions — i.e. the shortest route in distance or to navigate around toll roads.
Accessing the new functionality is as simple as loading the app itself — no update is required. This seems to be due to the fact that the change is not on the phone itself, but rather on Google’s servers, which the app pings to return directions to you.
The functionality will be available in both the North American and European markets where Google has access to real time traffic data. No word if this will make it to the iPhone version of Google Maps, if ever.
Have an Android phone and live in a congested area? Please let us know how the new version is working for you.