A feature that has been long-awaited by some Android users has now been added to one of the most practical (and free) apps out there. Google has just announced on their mobile blog that their Android Navigation feature (part of the Google Maps app) is now incorporating current traffic information into the routing that it predicts for you.

A "fastest route" that only lands you in a traffic jam doesn't do you much good and this update attempts to remedy that with more of what Google likes the most: data. This from Google's mobile blog regarding the update:

"Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account. It would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads. Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions."

This makes the free GPS app available on Android that much sweeter compared to the $50+ options that iOS users are faced with. The new feature apparently does not require an update to the app, and is a server-side change which is already up and running.


Source: Google Mobile Blog via Phonescoop

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • David Ruddock

    I'm so happy to see this implemented. Every time I set a destination to downtown LA, Google Nav tells me to take I-10 instead of US-101, when I always know US-101 has way less traffic and will be faster - it's irksome.

    Hopefully it actually works.

  • FtBastrd2

    will this also be available in the UK?

  • Scott

    The article says it's already available to everyone (where Navigation and traffic is available), so it's a server-side change that's already live.

    • Will Shanklin

      Thanks for the tip - post updated.

  • Dirtyfrog

    Oh goddamnit. I literally just spent around £35 on CoPilot and the traffic subscription last week.

  • SarcasticOne

    does it give us a way to change the horrible voice?

    • ChrisB

      you can download "loquendo" or "svox" voices from the market and then in map settings and phone settings change the default tts settings to the one you download.

  • Maanas
  • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

    This'll be another USA only feature then?
    Some of us live outside it you know... :)

  • http://www.bongizmo.com/blog/ Sergey Povzner

    I think the main difference is that now the fastest route is selected by default. Before this change, the shortest one was selected and to pick the fastest one based on the traffic conditions, users had to use Route Info -> Alternate routes.