UPDATE JAN. 2013: If you're running iOS 6 or higher, there's a new, more accurate and useful way to get driving directions. Check out this article for more.
When you've gotten driving directions on your iPhone, there's more information available to you than just what turns to take. You can also learn about the traffic you're likely to encounter along the way and see the directions on a few different kinds of maps.
One of the most helpful features of the iPhone's Maps app is the ability to learn about traffic conditions on the route you're driving. This can help you anticipate traffic delays or find an alternate route around bottlenecks. Here's how to use this option of the Maps app.
- Turning on the traffic conditions feature is simple. Go to the Maps app and get directions to a location or simply locate yourself on a map by tapping the arrow button in the bottom left corner.
- Once you've done this, tap the icon in the bottom right corner that looks like a page turning up. This is where you access the Maps app options, including the traffic conditions option.
- The page will peel up to reveal another set of options. One of them is Show Traffic (or Hide Traffic if traffic conditions are already showing). Tap it and you'll be returned to the Map view you were just on, but now you'll see colored lines overlaid on top of streets, roads, and highways.
There are three kinds of colored lines:
- Green - Smooth driving with little traffic
- Yellow/Orange - Some congestion
- Red - Heavy, slow traffic
Driving Directions Options
To change the directions format/style, start by getting directions. Then tap the up-turning page icon in the lower-right corner. When the page peels back, you'll have four options on the bottom: Map, Satellite, Hybrid, and List.
Map - The standard version and looks like a driving map with your route and location laid onto it. It also includes cities, town, and highways.
Satellite - Your route laid over a satellite view of the world. You can zoom in and out of the view, just like with Google Earth. This is very cool and a neat trick, but slower to load new pages than the map, since it requires more images be downloaded. It also does not include cities or highways.
Hybrid - Combines Map and Satellite. It gives you the Google Earth-style view of your route, and adds the city/highway information from the Map view. This version is also a little slower than Map due to downloads.
List - Do away with all the fancy graphics and just be told where to go. It offers step-by-step text directions, with mileage and route info. This is fast, but not pretty and doesn't include traffic conditions.
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