Inrix Traffic has gone through a few iterations since I have been playing with it. I was introduced to it last summer, and it was just before I was about to head to Cornwall, and found it extremely useful. It has come a long way since then, and it has added a lot of functionality for most users. It mostly focuses on your commute between home and work, and in between it shows you different incidents, images from traffic cameras, and other interesting tidbits. It also allows you to share if you’re in a jam, meaning you get up to date information from as many sources as possible. It works perfectly in the UK, and I have just gone between Oxford and Bolton over the last weekend, and found it reporting as well as I needed it to.
This works on both Android and iPhones, and I have tested this on a Galaxy S4, running Android 4.3.
There is no setup required, apart from you entering details such as your home, work, etc. The free version only allows two places, and you have to make an in-app purchase (£6.43) to add more places, and find out fuel prices. Other than that, the free version gives you everything you want, which is quite a lot.
The app is full of features. By default it is setup to show you traffic news, the moment you log in. This means that you will know of any surprises while you are about to go on your commute, and the page shows you your map, any incidents, and images from traffic cameras. This can be seen in the image above.
The map is taken straight from Google Maps, so it is a familiar one, and it shows you the traffic in the same colour scheme as Google do.
Dig a bit deeper, and it will give you the times for different route options. This is probably where adding other places is worth it, so that if you’re travelling somewhere you have never been before, you can find the optimum path, and it will give you both the distance and time.
The best part is that you can also report incidents, meaning that not only are you relying on official data, but also data from other commuters.
You can share your arrival times via text/email or via social media.
Since you have an account, you can sync your saved places and routes, and go from device to device.
The best feature for me though, is definitely the view from traffic cameras. Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words when it comes to this feature.
One of the features which is available only in the paid for version is the updated fuel prices list.
The app is feature rich, and the best part is that most of the functionality is available to you for free, rather than the other way around.
Once bought though, this should be able to save you money in terms of saved fuel costs, so theoretically, the app will pay for itself.
Real time updates
The app can be configured to give you real time updates. However, this does mean that the app will be constantly running in the background, and will drain battery life. I have found that disabling that option, and using it as needed works well. Also, if you are not driving, you probably don’t want to be reminded of traffic incidents.
While driving, the app is most useful in the Map mode. You can set it to follow you on the GPS, and it automatically updates you with incidents during the journey. It also allows you to report incidents, both on your way, and in the opposite direction, as you’re travelling. Obviously, we must emphasize that please only use this feature if it is safe to do so.
It is not a sat nav app!
Probably the one thing where this may disappoint (though it makes no promises on the subject) is the fact that it is not a sat nav or a route planner. It will give you a few route options, but it is not there to guide you while driving, even if it may ‘follow’ you while you use it in Map mode.
All in all this is a great app, that helps cut down on your ‘being stuck in traffic’ time. Being free for most features is definitely a plus, and while we wish it integrated with a sat-nav app, or had a similar feature itself, that is not much to worry about for something that is free.