Do you have a commute to work through frustrating traffic? Would you like to have real time traffic updates, including accidents and traffic flow? Then you should start looking at how your WM phone can help you with this. Today it is a 50 / 50 chance that any given WM phone has built in GPS. We wanted to take a look at a possible Traffic solution for those who do not have built in GPS in their WM phone. To see if e-Mobile Traffic ver 1 is the smartest $19.99 you ever spent to save you hours in your daily commute or if it is a gimmicky option that is not worth the money... read on.
Layout & Features
The layout is very nice looking and easy to navigate. It is, for the most part, finger friendly, at least until you get down to actually entering in specific information. e-Mobile Traffic is feature packed. I would imagine that the two most used features would be the Traffic Now and the Traffic Report or Traffic Alert.
Traffic Now will show you Traffic Alerts or a map of where you are driving. The map is nice as it is a quick reference showing all the major freeways and highways as either Green, Yellow, or Red depending on the traffic congestion. The information is obtained through your data connection so make sure you have a data plan before using any feature on this program. You can set the program to automatically update the traffic information every 1 to 55 minute intervals or set it to only update when you manually request it to.
The Traffic Alert and the Traffic Report are similar in that they will give you text feedback on any major traffic areas or incidents in over 50 major cities. Which is a great way to know ahead of time about any accidents to avoid, without having to flip through all the radio channels simply to find out that you just missed the traffic report. But obviously, be aware that reading about an accident up ahead while driving may cause one of your own! I only wish that there was a link to take you directly to the map showing where that specific traffic report item is.
Since this version of the program is for phones that do not have GPS, you have to have someone tell the program where to look. This is where I found one of the major shortcomings. It would have been very nice to include a finger friendly drop down lists for the State and City. Then have a finger friendly keyboard for entering in the street if you want to get that specific. Instead, the program relies on the phone's default input options. If you have a built in keyboard, great. If not, chances are you are using your stylus with the software keyboard to enter in the city, state, and street. I certainly hope that this part of the interface is greatly improved in upcoming versions.
There are several other features as well, that included finding the nearest gas station (which I wish also included the cheapest gas prices), restaurant, pharmacy, grocery store, bank, or any other services that you may want. With each of these you enter in where you are and it will give you a list of nearby options. It will then show you where it is with the traffic status on the map. But it is very nice to note that it will also make a call for you to the location you want. Very handy.
You can also save your normal drive route and acceptable alternative routes in your daily commute. Then you can switch between them as needed to see what lies ahead. With the My Route option you can also select an aerial view that overlays the map's information over satellite images of the city. This was the only section that I found a little challenging to set up. But once I figured out the first one, the rest of my routes were okay to set up.
For a non GPS based virtual real time traffic alert program, e-Mobile Traffic does a decent job with quite a few extras thrown in. I will be looking forward to easier data entry options, but it certainly delivers on all its promises and is easy to navigate otherwise. Since most traffic cams are available via the internet now, it would also have been nice to have a traffic cam option added to this suite of features. The bottom line is, if you have a traffic challenging commute and your phone does not have GPS, then this maybe just the thing that could save you hours each week... or each day.
Ratings (4 out of 5)
Overall:4 stars out of 5
ProsNice graphicsVirtually real time traffic updatesWorks without the use of GPS.Configure and save regularly traveled routesWill call searched services (bank, store, restaurant, etc.) nearby you
ConsNo finger friendly keyboard or data entry optionEven though not promised, it would have been nice to have a traffic cam option
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