Like any burgeoning market in the tech sector, there is now stiff competition among the real-time traffic and navigation apps. While Google Maps and Apple maps have some of the best name recognition on the market, some newcomers offer features and options the big names don’t. This week, live traffic app and Google Maps competitor Waze has received an update which has added several new and unique features. Will these updates help Waze stand out in the navigation app market?
First among the Waze updates is a major overhaul to Waze Carpool, a ride-sharing/carpooling app which works similar to Uber Pool. The Waze Carpool update will now allow users to filter the other riders or drivers they want to share a car with based on gender, workplace, star ratings, and even mutual friends. The workplace filter sounds nice for saving wait and walk times, while filtering drivers by gender will allow all riders to feel safe sharing cars alongside whomever they feel most comfortable. Many ride sharing apps are also adding gender filters so that users in countries with less public interaction between genders like Saudi Arabia can feel comfortable hopping into a car with a stranger.
In the Waze traffic app, the new version 4.35 has brought a host of updates and changes to the app’s interface. The biggest change is to the “ETA” window which updates users about the time they’ll need to leave in order to make it to a destination on a given time. Now, the ETA feature offers a wheel of arrival times users can scroll through which update the needed departure time based on real-time traffic updates.
As with most updates, Waze version 4.35 also includes a number of minor bug fixes and tweaks aimed at making the app run as smoothly as possible. Can new features and a more user-friendly interface lure users away from other navigation and traffic apps and onto Waze and Waze Carpool?