AOTW: Navigation App Waze Acquired By Google
Maps are a big part of your phone nowadays. It is a big reason for old-schoolers to upgrade to a smartphone, and if the maps are bad (such as Apple Maps on the iPhone 5), it can greatly influence the public sales. Recently, Google acquired the start-up map company Waze for an astounding $1.1 Billion, and I can see why. I mean, 1 billion is a little much, but still, Waze brings a social feel to maps. But I’ll get to that later.
One of the big differences between Waze and regular maps is that Waze the phones of everyone who has the app open to take information and put it out to everyone in the area. For instance, if you are stuck in traffic, or there is a blockage, the phone recognizes that and tells the other users. Fortunately, Waze is always looking for a way to avoid traffic, even if it has to change the route in the middle of the ride.
Going back to the social part, Waze allows you to use maps as a way to connect with your friends or co-workers. Say, if you are picking the person up, you can send them a request to have their location. If they accept, Waze automatically sets up the best route to them, and also allows the person to see where you are and your ETA, even if they don’t have Waze. Also, if you are holding an event, you can see where everyone is and how long it will take for them to get there. The perfect party planner.
Waze brings a whole new level to maps. You can see where your friends or family are and their ETA, while efficiently avoiding traffic your self. And if you don’t feel comfortable letting everyone know where you are, you can turn invisible. All this added up makes a great app for social and practical purposes. Later on when they add more features and perfect everything, it may be better than Google Maps (which is probably hey Google bought it). Waze’s slogan really says what Waze is all about: outsmarting traffic, together.