BlackBerry Traffic out of Beta and Now on the App World

BlackBerry Maker Research In Motion (RIM) has had its Traffic app in beta testing for months now but has finally released it for free on its newly redesigned BlackBerry App World. The idea behind BlackBerry Traffic is pretty simple. Enter in your destination and it uses GPS to figure out the quickest route, give you a reasonable estimated time of arrival (ETA) and even let you know if there are road closures or traffic congested areas you should avoid. Not only that, BlackBerry Traffic even emails or texts your ETA to whoever you are meeting via a preset message if so you so choose.

The release version of the Traffic app is 1.3.1.207 and it seems to be working fine for most. Scrolling through the comments on App World, I noticed that some users, including Bold 9700 owners are having difficulty getting the app to work. Others are complaining about the app not properly recognizing their smartphone’s GPS. Overall though, the app currently has a three and a half star rating (out of 5) after more than 200 reviews.

Those who can get the app to work seem to love it though. One reviewer wrote:

“We’re getting ready to travel 600 miles & the route came up as the one we planned to use & this app shows traffic problems that we can avoid 200 miles ahead ”

Pretty sweet huh? For those experiencing problems getting the app to work right, be assured that RIM is working to get all the bugs out of this as quickly as possible. BlackBerry Traffic is just the first of many steps that RIM will take towards one of its—mobile advertising. How so? With BlackBerry Traffic, RIM has access to your route, destination and the traffic patterns around you.

Combine the data from millions and millions of BlackBerrys all over the country and you’ve got the recipe for mobile, crowd-sourced traffic navigation that alerts others of potential problems. Then realize that RIM has a patent for a system that displays advertisements on digital billboards and changes the ads depending on how quickly you pass by them (on foot, in car, etc.) and even customizes them based on your preferences. Scary? A little. But I think we can all agree that we prefer to see advertisements that are actually relevant to our tastes.

Check out BlackBerry Traffic. It is free after all!

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