Google recently updated their Maps application with a couple of major (in my opinion) updates for India. Live traffic data for major cities in India and turn by turn navigation (which is in beta). The traffic data looks really good. Accurate for the areas that I frequent. I do wonder where this data is coming from so that I can feel better about the veracity of the data. I do depend on Google Maps for a lot and it would be disappointing if the traffic data source is not really reliable.
There is also an option to see the traffic patterns for an area for a particular time of day. That’s a definite plus. It is going to be really nice that I can see what I can expect from traffic at a particular time if I am going in to an unknown area for a meeting.
Traffic data is currently available for Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad.
Coming to Turn by Turn Navigation. I have used this in the past by side-loading the US app to my phone and it was also present in various ROMs that I had flashed on my phone. All I can say is that it worked. TBT Navigation was not something that I used much since I already knew where I was going and how to get there. I can definitely think of using TBT Navigation in case I am in a new city, but it isn’t something that I would depend upon.
Especially since there are dedicated navigation apps available on most platforms that work on industry standard navigation maps. These maps are much more detailed and contain validated information and locations. Yes, they are generally not free like Google maps, but they would be the one I would trust over Google Maps Navigation any day.
All in all, I am happy that the traffic data is available to help me make more informed trip decisions.