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Real-time Traffic GPS for the iPhone

This article was written by in Software. 10 comments.


Soon. As in, October-soon.

It looks like the first iPhone app to bring us real-time traffic alerts, and that comes with offline maps, will be the Navigon MobileNavigator (Earlier CNET review. iTunes Store link.)

The AT&T Navigator (CNET review) also has live traffic data, but takes more time to download maps as you go, and while initially free, has a $10 monthly fee. Navigon has a steep $90 price tag, and you’ll pay $20 or $25 for the live traffic upgrade, but if you use it for more than a year, it’s already cheaper than the AT&T version.

(I’d like to take a moment to congratulate both Navigon and AT&T for sensibly choosing just one business model – monthly fee, or upfront fee – instead of both. Too many companies these days get away with a charge upfront and also making you pay monthly. I’m sure they have their reasons, but as a consumer, it just seems wrong.)

Traffic JamI’ve already recently cut at least 5 minutes off my daily commute by utilizing traffic data of other drivers. This is a win/win, since bad traffic throws me in a rage faster than anything else, and I’m not the most defensive driver. If I can have a tool with me that warns me of upcoming traffic problems, and helps me navigate around them, so much the better.

On the other hand, it seems I’m always driving to the same ten or twelve places. I’m not what marketers like to call a “road warrior” (isn’t this just a euphemism for salesperson?), so I don’t think I can justify the cost just yet.

Have you used the Navigon or AT&T apps? What do you think?

Navigon GPS iPhone app to get live traffic, Dong Ngo, CNET, Sep. 16, 2009

Photo credit: borderlys

Published or updated September 18, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar David@DINKS Finance

As someone who works in between two giant cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and lives on the other side of one of those cities and dates someone on the northern end of one of the cities, one can see why traffic pisses me off. It’s really inconsistent – one day it could be extremely slow and the next hardly any. This app is something that could literally save me hours and hours over the course of a year.

I just might have to buy an Iphone!

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avatar Robert

This would be a great idea for LA area drivers.

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avatar MichaelM

@David — Minneapolis here too. Just moved here a few months ago.

This city’s traffic patterns are a mystery to me! I live close to work, but any time I want to go across town, I don’t know if it’s going to take 20 minutes or an hour and 20…

A traffic app would be most helpful.

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avatar Darwin's Finance

I’ve been using the free Google Maps App and hit “Traffic” when I’m going on major roads. It’s saved me considerable time. I don’t know much about comparing to the paid apps, but I assume this is real-time right off the same GoogleMaps view you’d get on your desktop. Is this paid service going to deliver anything above and beyond? If not, I’d say, just go with the free one. It shows your car moving in real time on the roads, etc. It’s really neat if you haven’t tried it.

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avatar Eric

This would be perfect for LA!

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