Update to Trapster lets Android users vet road hazards

Trapster adds the ability to vote on the validity of reported road hazards with a simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down system.

Trapster widget
Trapster's new Android widget lets users quickly view and vote on road hazards. Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Trapster app for Android has received a major update with a new user interface, a new widget for your home screen, and an emphasis on helping users confirm or deny reported road hazards with a turning of a digital thumb.

Trapster app for Android
Trapster's new UI now includes speed limit and current speed icons. Trapster

New to this version 3.0 update (dated July 21, according to the Android Market) is a refreshed interface that makes it easier to report road hazards while on the go. The map can now display satellite and terrain data in addition to the standard street data. New onscreen elements include icons on the left edge of the map screen that display speed limit data for the road on which you're currently traveling (if available) and your vehicle's current speed as reported by your phone's GPS antenna. If the speed limit is exceeded, the speedometer icon glows yellow.

Outside of the core app is a new Trapster widget includes a scrollable list of the nearest road hazards and traps. From the widget, you can jump to the Trapster app to view a selected trap on the map. Users can even vote on previously encountered traps from the widget, giving a thumbs-up to traps that can be confirmed and a thumbs-down to those that are known to be dubious or false alarms. Users can also rate a trap from within the app by tapping its icon and assigning the appropriate thumb.

A feature called Patrols highlights roads recently traveled by reporting Trapster users with a blue overlay. The idea is that roads that have been recently "patrolled" are more likely to have accurate and updated data, which should make drivers more confident about traveling the road ahead.

Like its previous versions, Trapster 3.0 allows users to view, report, and be notified of hazards on the road. By "hazards" we usually mean red-light cameras, fixed and mobile speed cameras, and police speed traps, but the app also notifies users of children at play, school zones, construction zones, dangerous intersections and curves, flooded or icy roads, brush fires, and roadkill. Digging through Trapster's options menus, I noticed that there is even an option to display and report EV charging stations on its map, which will come in handy for the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt drivers out there. Of course, DUI checkpoints make no appearance in this version.

Trapster 3.0 is a free download in the Android Market.

 

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