Inrix Traffic for Android review:

Inrix app points you home, won't go all the way

The Map screen shows streets and highways with color-coded traffic overlays: green roads are clear and free-flowing, yellow are congested, and red are heavily congested or stopped. I'm most impressed by Inrix's ability to display traffic flows even on surface streets here in San Francisco, where many free traffic services only have major arteries and highways represented.

The map also features incident icons for construction, accidents, hazards, and police presence. Clicking any of these incident icons displays a pop-up that displays more information about the incident and two buttons that allow the user to confirm, clear, or share the incident via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or text message. On the right edge of the Map screen is a red Report icon that can be clicked to bring up a pop-up menu with large buttons for reporting police, accidents, hazards, construction, or the wrong traffic color to Inrix's system.

Users can report inaccurate traffic data or incidents from within the app. Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

With other icons on the edge of the Map screen, you can lock the map in a north-up orientation or with the direction of travel up. You can freely pan the map by swiping and pinching or lock the center on your current position with the Follow Me mode. Additionally, tapping a clock reveals a timeline similar to the one on the Places screen, where you can slide forward in time to update the color-coded street overlay with future traffic estimates.

Users who opt to make a $24.99 in-app purchase can unlock Inrix's Premium features. Premium users can add an unlimited number of places to the standard Home and Work addresses, access live traffic camera feeds for visual confirmation of traffic flow, and add gas stations to the map, which can be clicked to view fuel prices.

What's missing?
For starters, Inrix's lack of turn-by-turn directions limits its usefulness. This is the sort of app that you'd check when planning your commute, but its usefulness is rapidly reduced once you're on the road. I'd at least like the ability to click a button to send my destination to another app, such as Google Maps or CoPilot Live, for actual turn-by-turn directions when it's time to hit the road.

The addition of a live-updating home-screen widget, like Waze's, or a lock-screen widget for Android 4.2.1 devices would give users an at-a-glance trip estimate without opening the app and would help keep the app top-of-mind, making people more likely to fire up the Inrix app at the start of their trip and contribute their traffic and incident data to the system.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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