One of my biggest complaints about flat-fee GPS apps for the iPhone is the lack of real-time traffic updates. That's about to change.
Navigon AG, the developer of theapp, announced Wednesday that live traffic capability, called Traffic Live, for its GPS phone application is coming soon. This feature will be available in October for the North American version of the application.
This is going to be the third major update for the app. The first and the second updates added the capability tofrom within the app and also added a feature. When available, this third update will make the application the most complete GPS navigation app for the iPhone.
However, there's a catch. As expected, this upcoming update will not be free, rather it will cost another $25 via an in-app purchase, on top of the current $90 price tag for the app itself. (For the first four weeks after its release, however, the Traffic Live feature will be available for an introductory price of $20.) The good news is it's a one-time fee, meaning you won't have to continue to pay to use this feature.
The other GPS application that also offers real-time traffic is the, which doesn't have built-in maps (meaning you will need to have a live cellular data connection to download maps in real time, which can be unreliable) and costs a monthly fee of $10.
According to Navigon, the new Traffic Live feature will provide precise traffic information by using real-time speed data from over 1 million drivers across North America, including commercial fleets such as trucks and taxis, as well as regular drivers with GPS systems. The feature also uses information from traffic cameras, speed sensors, and conventional traffic messages coming through a radio network.
When the new feature is available, the Navigon GPS app will automatically include the traffic information when calculating a route, and provide onscreen alerts indicating new incidents and congestion along the current route.
This is going to be the most exciting update for the app so far. Make sure to check back in October, as I will do another road test of the app to see how this Traffic Live feature pans out.