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Google Maps introduces traffic alerts feature

Google Maps app

Google has added traffic alerts feature to Google Maps. Following this update, users will be able to check the traffic status while searching for directions on particular routes and view in which routes traffic is busiest at any given time. They’ll also be informed about blockades or construction zones on the selected route. The traffic updates are available for inter-city routes as well. What’s really interesting is that one will also be able to check what the traffic condition is likely to be over the next few days. Users can check this by changing the departure time and date.

It needs to be pointed out that it’s not clear if this feature has been extended to India or not. We’ve written to Google to find that out, and will update once we hear back. However, when we searched for the best route to travel from Indiranagar, Bangalore to Koramangala, Bangalore, and were informed that there are 2 construction zones on Indiranagar 100 ft road.

Google Maps traffic alert

Google said that its Google Maps app has also been updated to provide users an explanation of upcoming traffic conditions and help them find the quickest route, once they enter a destination. It’s not clear if the app has been updated with Indian destinations as well, at present. Google Maps will also provide alerts regarding traffic congestion up ahead on the route users are travelling, plus an estimated time they’ll be stuck in traffic. It’ll also suggest alternative routes.

Google Maps had first introduced live traffic coverage for Indian cities in September 2012, starting with 6 cities and later added 6 more cities in December 2012.

Google Maps transit data: Earlier this month, Google Maps had added local transit data for bus and metro information in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, in addition to railway schedules for over 12,000 trains, to its app. Users can simply request directions on Google Maps like before. In the results, users need to select the ‘Public Transit’ option which then displays which metros, trains and buses are available on the given route.

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Google Maps Hindi: The Hindi version of the Google Maps app was launched in July last year. It allowed users to read name labels of historical monuments, localities, important roads, public parks, schools, etc in both Hindi and English. At the time Hindi labels visible on Google Maps were generated by transliterating the English names into Hindi, but the company had claimed that efforts were being made to ensure the text resonates with local dialects.

Recent Google developments

– Earlier this month, Google started integrating tweets into its search results on smartphones. The tweets in the mobile search results are grouped into a carousel which users can swipe through to display more tweets. Google had reportedly signed a deal with Twitter in February this year, which would give Google access to Twitter’s tweets. They also apparently had a similar deal four years ago, which ended in 2011.

– In April, Google began displaying info on Google Now cards from third party apps like RunKeeper, Jawbone, Feedly and 67 other apps. After Google started adding third party Android apps to Google Now cards in January, it has expanded the number of apps, which now totals to 110. It is unclear how much personal information is being accessed by Google through the new feature, since Google Now can access and analyse users’ third party info too.

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