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Waze

The gold standard of traffic avoidance apps for iOS and Android phones also carries no price tag for end users. You’ve probably heard of Waze by now, and it’s critical that you add it to your arsenal of congestion avoidance technology. In essence, Waze relies on data gathered from its network of users—in addition to live traffic data—to inform which roads are flowing smoothly. Peer-to-peer infrastructure allows you to report traffic disruptions in real time and advise the best possible routes. Best of all, thanks to Google’s purchase of the Israeli app company, Waze now utilizes the software giant’s knowhow to keep you moving. If you only download one of these apps, it ought to be this one.

nrix

Before there was Waze, there was INRIX Traffic Maps, an app that upped the ante in real-time traffic avoidance. Now updated, from a clunky user interface to one that integrates Apple Maps, Inrix (let’s stick to lowercase letters) is a true contender to Waze. The major benefit to Inrix is an easy-to-use interface and regularly updated travel times. Like Waze, Inrix learns from its users’ data to help smooth out traffic. Need to arrive at a destination at a particular time, and want to know when to set out? Set it in Inrix and drive assuredly.

Genesis Intelligence Assistant App

So, you want to outmaneuver traffic, but you don’t want to rely on a bite-sized screen for the most up-to-date information? Turn to Genesis Intelligence Assistant App, a personal assistant for your car that’s always at the ready, presented in gleaming color and graphics on a 12.3″ widescreen display. Standard on all Genesis models, Genesis Intelligence Assistant App goes far beyond what an app can offer. Whether you’re looking for a coffee shop or a quick getaway, integrated Google search offers up answers instantaneously. And with a standard subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Data Services, you never again have a reason to be lost or late.

MapQuest

Brands come and go in the world of navigation software, and MapQuest has been around since the days of searching online and printing directions ahead of setting out for a journey. Today, the MapQuest app is relatively easy to use, and delivers options for travel by car, public transit, private ride share, or walking—closer to what Google and Apple provide. Admittedly, the map’s contrasting shades of gray aren’t the easiest to follow from a quick glance down to the cupholder where the phone is stored, but ETAs are relatively accurate and the readability of the display—while in motion—is clear.

Sygic

Sygic counts 150 million drivers among those using its map software for 200 countries, but it’s not the most prolific app in the United States. Sygic uses a proprietary interface to guide you through traffic, as opposed to Google or Apple’s maps, and the experience is more like that of an in-dash navigation system. Sygic’s party trick is the ability to mirror the screen at night, or general darkness, onto your windshield, in case your car is without a built-in head-up display. (Harder is keeping the phone still while you carve through corners on your favorite backroad.) You’ll have to shell out $24.99 for Sygic Premium, or a fiver more for “lifetime” traffic updates, but the HUD trick alone could be worth it.

TomTom (Apple)

According to TomTom, on average 15% of roads change every year. The iPad and iPhone app promises to provide the most up-to-date information to help you navigate these roads. It collects speed data to give you accurate measures of how long it takes to get there, even accounting for shopping crowds and more typical things, like rush hour. Plus, the app offers speed camera notifications to save you money on traffic tickets.

Some features on TomTom we haven’t seen elsewhere include the eco-route function, which will send you down roads where you’re more likely to be fuel efficient to minimize the environmental impact of driving. Also, lane guidance is an important differentiator for driving in a new city where you might miss a freeway exit if you don’t know whether it’ll be on the right or the left.

Google

Like everything Google produces, you can expect a superior experience. If you ask Tim Stenovec of Business Insider, Google Maps is the only best traffic app. With more than a billion monthly users worldwide, Google Maps sits on a mound of data, and can also quickly reroute people based on traffic delays. Google Maps can also help you navigate bus routes and walking directions.

Google Maps is sleek. It features intuitive navigation through the app and makes routing simple. Plus, Google Maps has a host of other features to make your travel plans easier. You can book reservations at your favorite restaurant, compare options from foodies in the area and even order food straight through the app. Business owners can also upload their floor plans, 360 views around their building and give virtual tours.

 

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