Google has added turn-by-turn navigation and live traffic updates for Indian users of its Maps application on Android smartphones. Users accessing Maps via the iOS app or Web will also be able to see traffic information in select Indian cities (list below).
While basic driving directions have been available in Maps forever, the new feature adds navigation features typically available in "pro" apps or GPS units.
Now you can simply type or speak your destination address and voice-enabled directions will guide you to your destination. India is the latest addition to the list of countries where Google offers these features.
Google has also launched live traffic updates within maps for Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune but, surprisingly, not Kolkata. Red is the colour indicating heavy traffic, while green indicates free flow, and yellow is somewhere in between.
(See: Government agencies, other sources powering Google Maps traffic data in India)
Users running Android 2.2 or later can access Google Maps Navigation and traffic information by downloading the Google Maps app from the Google Play store, if it isn't pre-installed. the The traffic information is also available via the Google Maps website and the Google Maps iOS app (see screenshots below).
Navigation and traffic information of course make the Google Now service infinitely more useful, and almost at par with the international users in terms of the functionality it offers. (See: Google Now becomes more useful in India with live traffic cards)
Speaking at the launch of these services, Mr. Darren Baker, Product Manager for Google Maps, said: "We're extremely excited to bring Google Maps Navigation and live traffic information to Google Maps users in one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for online maps, and we're confident that these features will help Indian users find their way around town with greater ease and convenience than ever before."