Android 4.2 Brings Real Time Traffic Updates to Google Maps, conversation mechanism to Google Now

November 2, 2012

    android 4.2 With the release of the latest series of Nexus devices only a couple of weeks away, the excitement continues to go up. With leaked news and features still being discovered, Android 4.2 seems have to have a little something for everyone. It’s not over yet, either, as Google Maps and Google Voice still have some surprises for us.

    Android Police had an APK tear down party. It included checking out the newest Google Maps and Google Now to see what new features they may have.

    Google Maps got quite possibly the more functional update out of the two. It gained the ability to bring real traffic updates. Many out there may be asking what the big deal is. After all, Google Maps already had that, right?

    Wrong, Google Maps updated the traffic information when you began your navigation but brings no new info while actually navigating. Now, if you hit the navigate button and a wreck happens in your path, Google Maps will update mid journey to let you know.

    Google Now, on the other hand, gets a little humanization. Android Police found code that indicates that Google Now will start to confirm certain actions with you. In some cases, it’s hard to trigger the event, since asking it to call your mother doesn’t really need interpretation. However, this could lead the way to a more interactive experience with Google Now, which could make it a much more direct Siri competitor.

    Why aren’t these listed as official new features of Android 4.2?

    Well, when you market something, you really want to put your best foot forward. While the new updates are definitely awesome, they are just feature updates to a pre-existing feature. Google Maps already updates traffic info when you hit the navigation button. Now it does it all the time. Nothing really new, it’s just more vigilant. Also, as Android Police noted, getting the new conversation text out of Google Now can be a pain.

    Nevertheless, the fact that there are still new features coming out of Android 4.2 is great. Official release of these devices is only 11 days away, do you think anymore new features will be unmasked? Let us know.

    Comments

    • http://twitter.com/lwabbit22 Lwabbit22

      Traffic is already updating while I navigate all the time with the latest Maps/Navigation app. The only thing it does not do is give you an alternate route, unless you drive the wrong direction and it forces a reroute.

      • Matty

        You select Alternate routes on Navigation. Press the 3 lines at the bottom right and chose “Routes and Alternatives”

        • http://twitter.com/lwabbit22 Lwabbit22

          I know that, and I should be more specific, I meant “Automatic Rerouting” when there is new traffic information it automatically tells you and gives you a new route. I shouldn’t have to keep clicking and checking every 5 minutes. All other GPS apps do this.

    • man

      wasn’t it real-time before?

    • Christian Lorenzo-Acevedo

      There are some “human” responses in the iOS Google Voice Search that aren’t in Android’s. Like when you ask for its name, or what love is.

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