Google Gives Waze First Major Update Since Acquisition

Google-owned Waze released a new iOS app update giving its traffic and navigation service a more modern look. With the update, users get help for better navigation and can report accidents and road issues while also sharing travel or commute tips.

A much-awaited update

The update has been made with a focus on drivers and improving their “social driving experience,” as Waze calls it. Waze version 4.0 acknowledges that its users aren’t necessarily passengers, but they are drivers themselves at times, and therefore, it will automatically send alerts instead of drivers having to tap on each alert.

Seth Klarman’s Collective Wisdom: Risk Analysis Is The Key To Investment Success

Please note this article is based on publicly available information, however ValueWalk just received Baupost's 2018 letter moments ago and will have exclusive coverage shortly. Seth Klarman is widely regarded as one of the best value investors the world has ever seen. Over the past few decades, his hedge fund, the Boston-based Baupost, has achieved Read More

Other updates include faster ways to send a notification to the community about road issues like accidents, objects in the way, road closures, etc. The update also allows users to send their ETA to friends in a faster manner. Using the smart reminder feature, users will also get reminders regarding when they have to leave for events and parties based on the current traffic conditions and drive times.

Waze aims to make its app simpler, for which it has been making updates for the past several years. Though the service is useful, some are concerned that it wasn’t conducive to use while driving. Waze last updated the app almost three years ago when it came with an improved guidance interface and text-to-speech capabilities.

More integrated with Google

The new app requires fewer taps to start a drive, send locations and get directions, thus making it much cleaner. Now drivers just need a tap for anything they want with the app. A facelift has also been given to the map interface so that users are able to find similar design qualities as they find with the maps product from Google. It seems that the update further integrates Waze into Google’s core. Waze’s real-time incident reports have already been incorporated into Google Maps, but with the new version, drivers get a much better experience when trying to get around town.

In April, users inquired about why the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus weren’t supported yet, and in reply, the company teased that a redesign was forthcoming. Now the update has only been made available to iPhone users, but soon it will be available for Android as well, said the Google-owned firm.