Google Maps Navigation for Android gets real-time traffic smarts

Google finally begins offering one navigation feature this CNET editor's been dying for.

Google Maps for Android gets real-time traffic
No more second-guessing Google? (Credit: Google)

Once again, Google delivers a new feature for its Android Maps Navigation app that gives the mobile mogul an edge over other navigation solutions.

Today Google Maps Navigation for Android acquires some real-time traffic smarts in its navigation feature, a boon to any rush-hour driver who would too often second-guess Google's route as the most efficient for current conditions (I speak from experience here.)

Now, Google claims, it's finally taking road congestion into account, using both real-time and historical traffic patterns for the time of day. The new feature is automatic. A real-time traffic layer has been available in Maps for some time, but this move integrates it into Google's verbal and text-based turn-by-turn directions with Navigation, which Google treats as a separate app.

The real-time traffic data will begin rolling out in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, where available.

Since the functionality will be inserted into the existing map, I'm guessing it may take time to notice an appreciable difference. I'll be testing this myself around Arizona this week and in the San Francisco Bay Area after that. If you've got any commuting insights of your own in the meantime, lay 'em on me.

Article updated with more details at 12:44 p.m. PT.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

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