BlackBerry Gets Traffic Data, Android Suffers Voice Nav Problems
The GPS navigator, a common sight in cars just a few years ago, is already on its way out, due in no small part to having its role swallowed-up by more and more powerful smartphones. Besides just the convenience of reducing the number of gadgets you rely on, using a smartphone as your GPS brings new levels of connectedness to the navigation experience, taking advantage of cellular data to its fullest. Today we’ve got GPS nav news on two fronts, with RIM announcing a deal to get its systems the latest traffic data, and Google Maps running into some odd issues with voice prompts.
BlackBerry devices will now be getting real-time traffic data from GPS maker TomTom. The company’s info will be used by BlackBerry Traffic, hopefully letting it more accurately compute estimated travel times and advise you of alternate routes when desirable. RIM’s also putting that same data into its Locate Services and Maps offerings, which means third-party apps should be able access it, as well.
On the Android front, it looks like the Google Maps update that come down two weeks ago might have broken some functionality on certain devices, but exactly what’s causing the issue and how widespread the impact is aren’t quite clear. Instead of the navigation voice prompt telling you just which street to turn onto, voice prompts have been simplified to only indicate “turn left” or “turn right”. There’s some indication that the change may be dependent on the Android build, with 4.0.4 working just fine while 4.0.2 has the simplified prompts.
Users have reported the problem to Google, which says it’s investigating the issue. If you’ve run into it, give Google some feedback through the source link below, as it’s gathering data from users to get a better sense of the extent of these problems.