Quick Review: BlackBerry Traffic - My recent road trip

BlackBerry Traffic
By ObiGeorge on 2 Apr 2011 11:47 am EDT

Recently I made a road trip down to Virginia Beach for a wedding. Usually I know the roads I am traveling quite well, but in this case the route was very foreign to me. I have never been a fan of carrier navigation apps (mainly because of the monthly price) and have just used Google Maps if I found myself in a bind. Luckily, when I purchased my Hummer last year, they threw in a free GPS unit (refurbished of course) and I have kept it in my vehicle should the occasion arise where I would need it. Enter BlackBerry Traffic. I have heard of the app before, but never tried it or even read up on it extensively, due to the name. To me, the name made it seem like the app served one purpose, to keep you up to date with the traffic in your current region. I don't think it is such a far fetched assumption, but boy was I wrong....

Before Installing BlackBerry Traffic

BlackBerry Traffic List Mode

So my drive down was awful. My Magellan GPS took me through 3 or 4 different areas under heavy construction as well as a couple traffic jams and small towns that seemed off the beaten path. I expected that the drive would be 9 1/2 hours each way. But after all the construction and backed up traffic, I arrived at my destination in 10 1/2 hours, a full 1 hour longer than expected. So as I was getting in my vehicle for the drive back, looking at my 9800 in it's charging dock, it suddenly struck me. Download the BlackBerry Traffic, and use it in conjunction with your GPS unit, and maybe this trip home will be somewhat bearable. So I proceeded to download.

Initial Thoughts

BlackBerry Traffic Route Overview

To my surprise, BlackBerry Traffic was more than just a mere traffic application, but a full on navigation system that would guide me quickly and safely the entire way back home. I detached my Magellan from my windshield, and tossed it aside. Instantly I was given a nice visual of my route home (pictured above), including all roads I would be taking. I found by simply clicking the arrow tabs, I could change my view to a list, or even detailed motion view showing my speed, distance to next turn, elapsed/stopped time, average speed, and maximum speed (always under the speed limit of course :) ). So I was was all set and pretty confident about this new found system of navigation, and thus began my return trip home.

My 1st Journey with BlackBerry Traffic

BlackBerry Traffic Incident Details

My route showed 3 different construction zones I would be passing through on my return trip. I was easily able to program an alternative route around these hazards, with a mere push of a button. The route display was very pleasing to my eye. No moving triangle through the maps of your current area. Instead, I was given a simple step by step “list view” display of where I was going, when I was turning next, and when I would arrive at my destination. The colors within the app really makes glancing to your device quick, safe (especially when in a car dock) and easy to see with its dark blue background, white instructions, and yellow and red caution messages. BlackBerry Traffic also has a nice sharing feature. By tapping the "Share My ETA" icon, you can email your ETA to one of contacts in your address book, or manually add an email address. This seems like a very nice feature, in case you are running late, in multiple situations. On the trip home, I was able to avoid all constructions zones, and make it back in 9 1/4 hours, a full hour and 15 minutes faster than the trip down. I definitely give all the credit to this free application from RIM.

Final Thoughts

BlackBerry Traffic Motion Details

Overall, BlackBerry Traffic is a wonderful free app that you should definitely give a try. I am very happy I finally downloaded the app, and will be using it on all future trips. I know this great restaurant at the end of the universe, and am confident the app would even get me there, safely and quickly. More screenshots below.

Download BlackBerry Traffic for free at BlackBerry App World

BlackBerry Traffic Search
BlackBerry Traffic Share
BlackBerry Traffic Roadwork
BlackBerry Traffic Add a Place
BlackBerry Traffic POI

Reader comments

Quick Review: BlackBerry Traffic - My recent road trip


Just wanted to say that 2.0 currently in the BetaZone is even better. RIM is headed in the right direction (lol) with this app. The colors are pleasing especially at night. Google Maps is way to bright and often has given me bad directions.

I actually tried that after using the official version. Didn't like it so I replaced with official. I do see there is newer version out now. Maybe I will give it a whirl.

Yeah I was going to comment on that as well. He didn't appear to use the most updated version in the BZ, which has a way better UI and also an additional view which is very useful. I've started to use this app exclusively for navigation, it's really that good... it does need to be integrated with the Maps app but even as a standalone it gets the job done very well.

Yes their is a new version in BetaZone and the UI has been updated and looks nice. But be cautious with the beta version, currently the refresh route ( when you deviate from the established route, i.e., miss a turn) it takes from 20-30 seconds to refresh and redirect. According to how fast your driving, you can get a long way off course in 30 seconds.

Other than that, it works great. The beta testers are reporting this issue and hopefully they will get this fixed.

Travel On.....BB Users

Magellan is the worst, and my Tomtom it's on the fritz. Will definitely dowload this when I get my Torch!

I have been using this app since the v1 beta. Very Very handy. The new beta is a nice jump forward. There are a couple neat new features (rhymes with muture baffic). There are a few issues... the reroute delay, some random quitting but heck that's why its a beta right? Really hope they add an audio/voice guided option. Beta mods are very responsive as well. Not sure if they are still taking signups for itIn the BetaZone but worth a download!

This app is amazing for what it manages to pack into a nicely engineered small footprint GPS app.

This app is awesome! I was stuck in traffic yesterday and was thinking it would be nice if my tomtom gsp could tell me how to get around it. I dont pay for the Plus services so it cant. then i thought bb Traffic I saw it in the forums wonder what its all about. Downloaded it and installed set my destination and away i went around the traffic and problems so easy and fast.

Its more than traffic and if it wasnt for the traffic issue i would have never tried it.
Im glad I did.

the beta 2.0 version works great on my bold 9700. ck the help screen for keyboard shortcuts i.e. spacebar toggles thru the screens;very helpful on a non-touch phone when trying to drive.

Wow! Thanks for this. I never knew this had this level of functionality. I will have to try it out on my next road trip!

I have a nav system in my car, so I never need apps like this, but this is great! My nav system is about 3 years old now and I'm too cheap to spend $150 to update the software. I don't drive to too many places where I would require a navigation system, though it has come in handy. However, sometimes it'll tell me the destination is on the left when it's really on the right.

I'd definitely give BB Traffic a try! At least for potential traffic jams and delays.

I've been using BBTraffic and have been a beta-tester since v1.0 and it is a really nice app. I am using it on my Torch 9800 without any problems.

I love BBTraffic. It is so accurate it is scary. No, really, scary, when I see how LATE I am going to be LOL.

Truly a wonderful app.

nice app(will try it out) but i love my moving triangle!!! lol... "9+ hour drive" to long for me,i never even drove for two hours

I love BB Traffic (works great on my 9650 Bold) and my friends think it's cool when it sends them a text that I'll be there by 8:12 p.m. -- and I am. Haven't decided yet if it's hard on battery life, but it's so much better than that old Magellan GPS I have that I use BB Traffic almost every time. Thanks RIM. A great app.

Got to figure out how to waterproof my torch so I can use this app on my Goldwing.. bought a $30,000 motorcycle with a GPS that isn't worth $1.49!

I've been using it since the early beta as well and the new version is a great improvement on an already solid app. The Arrive time is scary accurate and I can rarely shave more than a few minutes off the initial estimate. It doesn't always pick the best route in my area where I know what the usual pitfalls are but its usually pretty close and accurate if you are somewhere unknown and need to get somewhere.

I use it in conjunction with Google Maps. It's sometimes helpful to get that full map view, but the timeline-like bar is cool too.

If they could incorporate something like the voice search in GMaps and had free turn-by-turn, this could really become a SuperApp

How funny is this? I looked at the construction alert, and realized.....hey! That's in a Cleveland suburb (Euclid) !! I used to live on Babbitt Rd. and took those exits all the time coming home from work!! LOL

Would be nice if they commented in the article that the app is currently only for US and another country. So Europe users or others can't get or use the app!

You mention that "I was easily able to program an alternative route around these hazards, with a mere push of a button."

How did you do this, I can't figure out how to avoid a hazard or a specific street.

Guys and Gals I recently updated my OS on my Torch 9800 and my BB Traffic Places is gone. How do I get them back? I cant remember all the places that was saved.