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While it’s best not to use a mobile device when physically driving, traffic apps are a great way to figure out what’s ahead on the road. They can be an excellent source of information, and they can even be used to plan a course before leaving the house. Simply take a cellular phone, do a quick search and figure out what roads to take. Certain drivers even give their phone to someone sitting in the passenger seat to act like they’re a navigator by using installed traffic apps.
There are a few tips out there for anyone who wants to work with road traffic apps. It’s often best to install more than one, since they get information from different places. It’s also nice to use them in conjunction with local radio broadcasts. Radio stations often give traffic reports at a certain interval of time, and these are sometimes updated even before the traffic jam apps are. Users without radios can even download an app provided by a local AM station to listen in.
Most people don’t think of Google Maps when they think of traffic jam apps, but they should. It has the benefit of being installed on the vast majority of phones. Those with no interest in downloading additional software should have a look at it.
There are filters available that show real-time traffic conditions for all major highways. Simply launch the app, tap the arrow icon, tap the curled-papered and tap show traffic. This gives color-coded maps. Green indicates speeds of greater than 50 mph while orange indicates traffic around 25-50 mph and red indicates major jams.
Sure it’s not the most advanced piece of software available, but it doesn’t take up any more space on the phone like other road traffic apps would. It naturally doesn’t cost anything because it came with the operating system more than likely.
This piece of software was developed by Let There Be Light Innovations and is currently being offered free on the apps store. It allows users to search by highway and region and lets them then view information about the existing road conditions in those areas.
There’s a number of other features like a rest area search that could be useful on long road trips as well as a road cams search that might be useful for those trying to avoid accidents. It works with all iOS devices 4.0 or later, which means that those getting extra mileage out of an older device may want to give it a try.
The mountain roads search is particularly useful for those who are driving in rural areas. Sadly this app only allows people to search for roads in the state of California, but the developer promises people will be able to search for other states in the future. Still, it’s a major drawback at the moment.
Beat the Traffic
This app has the benefit of being connected to a regular media outlet. Lots of people rely on the types of traffic updates that this regular web page provides. What makes it particularly interesting is that it can actually provide information on why a particular traffic jam occurred. That can be important when trying to avoid problems.
Trip report functions work quite well. It can offer a time saving smart route to those who elect to turn this function on, though that’s not the only thing the app can do. Those who want to set it up to receive alerts can do that just fine as well. Best of all it’s free.
Having said that there is still one major caveat that will turn some people over to other traffic jam apps. This navigation app has an installation size of around 17.4 MB. That’s relatively huge in the grand scheme of things.
This is another one of those road traffic apps that’s actually based on an existing website. Some people might just park their mobile Web browser over to the site itself, but it might not work very well on some units. As a result, this app is gaining in popularity.
The app is quite small when it comes to installed footprint. Being that it works alongside Clear Channel, it receives the same traffic updates that most local carriers do. This means that it’s rather useful for those who really want up to the minute advice about traffic. Naturally it’s always being updated directly from the source due to the organization who operates it.
On the other hand those who find that the regular website works might not want to go through the trouble of installing yet another app. They might already have too many, and bookmarking a site works just as well.
Waze Social GPS
Out of all of the traffic apps available to users, Waze Social GPS, Maps & Traffic is by the far the most unusual. At 26.3 MB it is probably one of the largest as well. Buddy system development and social content is becoming extremely popular, and this is an attempt to combine with the need for traffic information.
In a manner of speaking, this works out to a sort of game, but because other users upload a good portion of the information it actually adapts to driving and surrounding traffic. Whereas other apps simple attempt to provide information, Waze can actually start to understand to a degree where users are trying to drive. This makes it particularly useful for those who are really serious about planning a drive and using their social networking skills.
At the moment, Waze is still somewhat in the development stage but it will become a lot more useful in the coming months. As more people sign up for the service it will adapt to far more conditions. After all the software is actually learning about driving habits from the individuals that use it, as well as more about traffic from the information that gets uploaded to it.