Android smartphone users who rely upon Google Maps for getting around just got a free software upgrade.
The Google Maps Navigation Android app now includes a feature that will automatically re-route a journey based on prevailing traffic conditions with no user intervention. Previously, the app would offer a choice of routes that included the usual fastest and shortest options, based on the available roads and nothing else.
Post-update, Google Maps Navigation takes into account both live and historical traffic information for a route to select the fastest option — and will re-route if live traffic data suggests that there’s congestion ahead.
This new Google Maps Navigation feature is available on smartphones with at least Android 1.6 and countries that support the service — which includes the UK and most of Western Europe. Real-time traffic data is only available for major roads in England, and in small parts of Wales and Scotland.