BlackBerry Traffic beta now available in BlackBerry App World

By Adam Zeis on 17 Aug 2010 04:24 pm EDT
BlackBerry Traffic

While it's not the prettiest app, BlackBerry Traffic could come in handy from time to time. We first saw it pop up in the Beta Zone a few weeks back, and now it has made it's way to BlackBerry App World for download. The app has a simple premise and lets you view traffic for your determined route. It shows your ETA, road closures and more. From App World:

With lots of places to go, and people to see, planning to be where you need to be on time can be a challenge. Thanks to BlackBerry Traffic, you can easily plan to be where you need to be-on time.1 Get your estimated time of arrival (ETA), find out if a road is closed, or decide to take an alternate route, all ahead of time. Heading to a friend's place? Simply grab their address from your BlackBerry contact list, get your ETA, then email or text it along with a preset message to avoid keeping them waiting and wondering when you're going to arrive. Making - and keeping - plans just got a whole lot easier. 

The app is still in beta but is available as a free download. So if you're bored (and you can justify using it) head over and download it from the link below.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Traffic beta now available in BlackBerry App World


I hear they'll be adding the ability to modify routes within the app and do voice turn-by-turn -- but there's no telling when that'll be available.

I would say it's not ready for full release yet, but if they think they'll expand the beta to everyone through App World, ok.

The graphics are simple but trust me, this app is very useful and very accurate. I've been using this app every day and I love it.

This is a very useful app. I have a long commute and a few ways I can go and this is great for giving me heads up to problems ahead and gives me a chance to avoid them. Its also great if you get caught trying to find out "just how far do I have to go to clear this mess". ETA's are pretty spot on I have found

Does this require BB Maps to function? I D/L'd it and tried to run it but received an error.

In order to have it locate a place for you it needs to have bb maps installed.

I actually use this app pretty regularly when i have to go to work early in the morning and its pretty damn accurate as far as arrival times and keeping traffic up to date.

I'm getting really annoyed with RIM; here's another app that we can't use in the UK. Just the other day we had the podcast app and now we have this. Do RIM think we don't mind them releasing apps for North America only. We pay a lot of money for our Blackberry phones, why can't we access all the apps?

I had the beta on my Bold and used it fairly frequently. Suddenly, boom! I bought the Torch, and no more BB Traffic.

You have to wonder why RIM is developing apps that don't work on their latest OS. Hello, McFly?

Cool. I was in the beta. Used it a couple times. It worked most of the time. Remember getting errors other times. Unfortunately my berry is out for repair and Im stuck using android(its not bad, prefer bb though).
I think this app will be integrated into bbmaps. If they do that and add voice turn by turn, they got a winner, though still not as good as ovi maps from nokia.

Umm hate to be the bearer of bad news, but BB Maps and BB Traffic work just fine on 5.0... I've been in the beta and while the app has occasional routing / rerouting problems and gps lock issues, they both DO work on 5.0 ob my Storm 2.

From Blackberry's website...

View maps and receive directions on your BlackBerry® smartphone with BlackBerry® Maps1. Get step-by-step directions to your destination or look for businesses, restaurants and addresses nearby.

* BlackBerry Maps is only available on devices running device software v4.1 or v4.2

Been in on the beta and it just lacked so much for me to use it as a GPS assistant. Not having turn-by-turn, and the dependence on BB maps, it makes no sense to me except that it's free. But... I can get everything this offers plus turn by turn voice directions in a free app called Waze.

how good is waze though really? how many users? and how is the turn by turn compared to versatool?

As I stated... Waze is great! And it offers what Traffic offers in addition to turn by turn voice directions in a friendly user interface and maps, without the dependence of a secondary mapping application. Simple as that. I obviously have no idea of how many people use the app. That's like asking me if I use BB maps, I should know how many others use it. But I do recommend it. I'm not sure what you mean by a comparison to Versatool. I was comparing the lack of turn-by-turn voice directions of Traffic to the very useful inclusion of this feature within Waze.

the reason i ask how many users waze has is because it is completely user generated. and i actually loaded this yesterday and put in a destination...not pleased at all. the app told me to go way out of my way to get there. it told me to take unnecessary streets that were on the other side of the city to get to this destination. don't think i'll be using it. i don't have time for errors in a nav app.

I cannot say the same. I have had nothing but a great excperience with Waze. A few things you need to keep in mind, and be informed of.
1) It is NOT completely user generated. The directions provided are from the app/servers not users. It learns the area you are driving in as you use it. If you pay close attention, there is a splash screen that you must clear at start-up which lets you know this. So if you use it more, it will learn more about your area. This is automatic.

2) What you are probably speaking of is that users can provide real time information such as traffic conditions, and accidents, etc. you come across along your way. In some cases I find this more helpful that an actual GPS unit, as the traffic conditions have a lot of lag to the end user after the initial reporting. There have been times when my Garmin as well as my old Nuvi said there was traffic, made me get off the highway to take a service road, and I look at the main road, and there is NO traffic. I prefer that a user 5 minutes ahead of me (if there is one) can let me know what's up. And a 5 minute spread is nothing while traveling at 70mph.

3) It's like BBM, there can be a million users, but that doesn't mean that they are in your area, or willing to accept an invitation (report conditions). If every adopter tried it one day then dropped it, it would go no where.

4) I also don't think you considered that it is also a Beta application for BlackBerry devices, so you cannot expect things to be perfect at this point in time.

I wish you had a better initial experience, or would at least use it more than one day. Maybe you will have a better experience.

This could be a nice app for showing traffic, but you need BB Maps and the two of them just take up too much of the already limited application memory. Time to delete.

is this any different than the traffic delay readout that comes built-in to google maps? i.e., the program shows you traffic, and your eta, when driving to a destination *within* the mapping app, not separately.

there's not much to it graphics-wise (at the moment), but once you get used to this app & its features it is quite useful...and once they fully integrate it with BB maps it will be even better.

also, in the beta zone they indicated that it WILL be available for the Torch and 6.0 sometime within the next couple weeks.

I beta tested this, and it's as good as it looks. I input an adress and it made me drive past my destination, then turn down this street, that street, then eventually get there. In reality it added time to my drive. There is no change route option, there is no turn-by-turn directions. That picture is basically all it is. You can change it from: distance to go, speed, and street name directions. Thats it, plain and simple. Literally.

that's not completely accurate - you don't have the ability to choose alternate routes but it does automatically redirect your route for you when you go off-track.

This app works pretty good comparing to waze. Anyone complaining about small amount of rerouting and recalculating should try waze. U will be loving traffic in no time. It's pretty accurate and don't keep taking me in circles. I can only talk for Toronto area, but ETA and traffic info is surprisingly very accurate. BTW, what's wrong with bb maps. I use it all the time when stupid google maps can't find it.

actually agree. I have both installed and use both, and must say BB maps work better than Google maps. (and it is smapper app than google maps)

I installed and tried it out. It was really good. At one glance, you have all your needed information right there, nice and big.

For sole driving purpose, it's better than g**gle maps.

What is happening here? People advertising shoes and clothing? Is it time to go somewhere else? BGR maybe?
I thought we were discussing Blackberry Traffic beta,
well it works on my Sprint 9650.
Thank you for the info. (BB Traffic..)

We would like them to go somewhere else. Should all be removed again now... until the next batch. Despamming just takes a little time, we have to find them and even forum staff need sleep sometimes

a world wide device but nothing worth mentioning ever works for other countries e.g UK, other than the US and Canada.

March 2011, hurry up and get here so I can ditch RIM and this phone once and for all.

Looks like I better re-load BB Maps on my unit and download this app. I usually use Google Maps to get my directions to certain places, but maybe this'll be worth a try. How is it on battery life?

I have becoming in the habit to make sure I close/exit all apps when done - just not backing out. And secondly, when using maps/directions, etc in the car, get a permanent car charger. No worries on battery life then.

Works well, simple (very simple) & straight forward. It would have been a great app 1-2 years ago, in 2010 it seems dated. But it works and I found it to be very accurate. RIM aquired DASH GPS and correct me if wrong, but wasnt DASH unique because it allowed users to report traffic issues as they happened in real time and then relaying that to other DASH users. One would think having an app like this, constantly connected and data being updated in real time (like BBM always connected) would be an unique in the current gps app market place. But I would still would like the ability to shut the app down.

GPS navigation, accurate traffic data, POI - aside from that rather over simplified UI, I don't see how this is different from any other GPS system?

I've been playing with it a bit and kind of like it - narrow purpose well done apps are a GOOD thing on a phone in my mind. Two thoughts come to mind...

1.) a bit of flexibility in the screens would be nice so I can set one up that has the combination of pieces of information that I like without changing screens

2.) emailing a trip detail CSV to myself (not a GPS track, but the info gathered/processed/logged by the app during the trip) when I've arrived would be really nice so I can build up my own library of alternate routes and see how long _I_ take (not just the 'average of all traffic). What mind then be nice and/or scary is for the app to watch where I travel and when it looks like I'm taking the same turns to go to a particular destination pop up and suggest that as a possible/default route... something like "It looks like you are headed to X, if you are, your eta is 15min" (yes, shades of clippy, and certainly should be an OPTION).

ps. sorry to hear that folks outside of the US aren't happy that this exists. Of course, I'm annoyed that the GSM carriers here in the US suck and the US phone carrier situation in general is heavily anticompetitive (thanks FCC) and I can't just buy all the neat GSM phone gear that I read about online constantly, so maybe I'm not all THAT sad that other people get to share a bit of pain. Just kidding! Don't flame!

Completely couldn't find my home or work address. It suggested a different street in a town 30 minutes away.

I used it a lot while in beta testing very accurate.

More then likely it is an error not on your part but on location wise using bb maps. I noticed it tells me I'm hope about a quarter mile from my house.

But either way it is a great app. A Few bugs but what ever it works great.

. . . it eats battery power like crazy, I used it last night from work to home, about 32 miles and the batter drain was from 60% down to 23%, to me that is horrendous.

I can't get it to make nice with the "server". So for now it is just a vertual paperweight. I know it is in Beta, but nowhere to leave any feedback.

Looking forward to real live working release!