At present, it looks like the traffic information is available for Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune. Check Google Maps on your Android mobile or your desktop and you will notice a new layer, called Traffic. Enable that and have your location specified, and you will be able to see what the road traffic is like in that city. At the bottom left of the Map, users can see a legend depicting the nature of the traffic at the time - ranging from slow to fast. Again, to view what the traffic conditions are like more keenly, users can zoom in to the location and with the Live Traffic layer on; they even get to know what the traffic is like at that location. The colour-coded legend lines depicted on the map explain the nature of the traffic at that place.
If users do not want Live Traffic updates, but want something more specific as traffic during a particular time on a particular day, then all they got to do is change their preference at the bottom left. Here users can change their preference to “Traffic at day and time” and enter their choice of day and time and click on done. Once that is done, the map depicts the details as per the options picked. Google specifies that the data provided when a user picks the "Traffic at day and time" option is based on past conditions.
The live traffic updates are available both in the desktop version and Google Maps in Android and iOS. The voice navigation is available in Android.
The voice navigation -- which is free -- is likely to affect companies like MapyMyIndia, Navigon and Sygic that sell voice navigation devices and apps.
In the desktop version, the default screen shows live traffic. If you prefer traffic on a particular date and time, it can be changed from the option provided on the bottom left of the map screen.
What has surprised many is the quiet manner in which the eagerly expected feature was rolled out. There was no announcement. It was the discovery of the video in Youtube that set the tongues rolling, and the features went live late on Tuesday night.But on Wednesday, Google’s India blog had a post about the updates. It said: “We’re excited today to announce that both of these features are now available for Google Maps users in India — one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for online map services worldwide. Google Maps Navigation (Beta) is free and accessible to any smartphone user running Android 2.2 or later, and live traffic information is visible on both the mobile and desktop versions of Google Maps.”
It said the live navigation offers directions in Indian accent. “Your phone will announce upcoming directions to you as you move along your route — and it will even use a friendly and familiar Indian accent if you’ve selected the Indian English locale on in your phone settings,” it said.
Live traffic guide
Along with Transit, which provides comprehensive public transport data, Google Maps has taken a step further in offering a complete live transport guide.
It is not known when Google will roll out live traffic updates for rest of the country.