RIM has updated the BlackBerry Traffic app with some new features to help you navigate to your final destination. For those who don’t know, the BlackBerry Traffic app helps you establish an ETA, and determine the conditions of your route such as whether a road is closed, or if there’s a faster way to get to your destination. You can then text or email whoever you’re visiting to let them know when you’re arriving. Updates to the app include:
- Select between two routes to a destination, and can use a new traffic view that displays predicted traffic conditions for each route.
- Pre-set destinations, such as work or home, or get an ETA to destinations from within their BlackBerry Contacts, enter an address manually, or find new places using the search feature.
- Quickly share ETAs with contacts via SMS, email, or PIN message
- BlackBerry Traffic also identifies the best time to leave and optimizes ETA, by using anonymously collected data, which is crowdsourced from users running the app as well as historical traffic data, to predict ETA with great accuracy.
When it comes to RIM’s traffic and mapping applications, it’s great to have something that’s integrated in the device, as it allows you to take advantage of some native features such as PIN messaging. On the other hand, I still find myself going to Google Maps. For example, this weekend I found myself in Quebec, Canada, and BlackBerry Maps could not find the address I was looking for. I copied and pasted the exact same details into Google Maps for BlackBerry and the app gave me crystal clear directions. While I don’t use the Traffic app much, my constant headaches with BlackBerry Maps makes me skeptical of the crowd sourced data and its ability to deliver.
What have your experiences with BlackBerry Maps and Traffic been like compared to the Google alternative?