Google Maps for Android is almost certainly one of the greatest applications released in the past few years. It was already a pretty decent application — then Google went and added the free turn-by-turn Navigation feature, and it entered a whole new plane. Pretty much overnight, it went from being a nice little addition on Android handsets to be a market disrupting must-have. Neither the software competitors nor the hardware GPS guys really seem to know what to do next.
Adding insult to injury, the Navigation feature is technically still in Beta, and they just keep making it better. Today’s addition? Automatic direction adjustments aimed at routing you around traffic. Google pulls down real-time and historical traffic data, compares it to your current route, and calculates whether things like backroads and side streets will get you from A to B faster than camping out on the freeway might. You don’t even have to press a button.
Android users, your maps app should automatically start taking advantage of the new routing mechanisms. iPhone users (including yours truly) get to sit around and be jealous.