AT&T Using Carmageddon To Boost Smartphone Use

Los Angeles residents and visitors facing "Carmageddon"--the weekend long shutdown of the 405 freeway between the 10 and the 101--not only have to look forward to grinding traffic and near-impossible ability to get between the Valley and the Westside, but might also be bombarded with text messages pointing them at navigation apps. AT&T said it is planning to send out text messages to "thousands of AT&T customers" within 25 miles of the Carmageddon area, to point users at smartphone apps like its AT&T Navigator application. The firm said that smartphone navigation aps will be "more popular than Angry Birds" this weekend. The push, and the use of any navigation app out there might not help much--at least not without a helicopter on call--as local roads are expected to be at a standstill, and alternative freeway routes saturated beyond capacity. AT&T said it would be sending out the messages Friday.