Your next Android phone might come with Waze pre-installed



Every time you start up a new Android device for the first time you see a bunch of pre-installed Google apps. These apps include the Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Chrome, and more. All of these services are bundled together in a package that Google offers to handset makers. It’s Google’s way of having some sort of control over a free open-source OS. If you want to use the Play Store, which all Android users expect to have, you’ll also have to include a bunch of other Google services.

Google may be adding yet another app to this bundle. Back in 2013 Google acquired the ultra-popular crowd-sourced traffic service, Waze. Since then they have been slowly adding some of Waze’s features into Google Maps, but the data from Waze is still gathered from actual people. In order to get even more users on Waze they will be adding it to the Google bundle.

This is awesome news for anyone that uses Waze. There is already a massive user base, but this is a service that only gets better with more users. Waze will also start to display Amber Alerts if you’re driving in an area that has one issued. All of this news should cement Waze’s position as one of the best apps to have in your car.

[via The Verge]

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. can you still see the battery drain as this runs like it used to?

    1. I found once I got my LG g3 the battery drain isn’t that bad, on my droid 4 it decimated quicker than the battery could charge. If you leave the screen on the whole time you are driving, then you should probably plug into a car charger. Since Google took them over it tends to use Wi-Fi location more often, which def saves battery over constantly hitting the GPS.

      1. That’s cool…..I used it like a timer on the note 2…..1 percentage =1 second

        1. Yea now I get like a solid hour usually for 10% so 300mah, and that’s with Pandora streaming too. But again minimal screen on time.

  2. I was hoping, at some point, Google would make better integration of Waze with Google Maps, after they purchased it. There are times that I prefer Waze and other times I prefer Google Nav. One element that I wish was better on Waze, is being able to switch to local streets only (excluding freeways). In LA, it’s crucial for me to be able to do that. My only solution was to use Waze for sidestreets only and Google Nav for a combination of both.

    1. When you sellext routes in Waze, some routes will use less highways than others. I usually trust Waze for the best route, though.

      1. Select…

        1. Waze definitely could give you more than 3 options, it’s just a matter of increasing complexity and data usage and processing, for decreasing returns. I’d like to see a more routes options or a what If I took this exit instead type expert menu.

  3. I hope they don’t remove features due to external pressures.

  4. This is one of those things I would benefit from, but never participate in. I have no intentions of trying to update the app with info while driving.

    1. You actually don’t need to. Even if you turn app on, and then immediately lay your phone down in the center console without touching another button, you provide useful data. The speed data you provide is more useful than the accident or other reports in calculating drive times/routes

  5. Google needs to incorporate the great features to Waze into Google Maps or buy Waze and combine both software into one Google Map app. I love Google Map but i love the warning features i get from Waze keeping me away from tickets and etc. Hopefully this will be done in the future

    1. I think combining the apps isn’t a bad idea, but Google already owns Waze, as indicated in the article – “Back in 2013 Google acquired the ultra-popular crowd-sourced traffic service, Waze.”

  6. I realize that Waze is a social network/navigation application to provide real time information, updates and traffic alerts, but I wish they would add the ability to download and install offline maps too. While I’m online, I could contribute to the real time information. While I’m offline, I could continue to navigate to my destination without interruption. I’ve bought a couple offline navigation applications from the Play Store, but none I like as much as Waze.

    1. Google has no reason to bother, Google maps handles this to some degree and none of the features unique to waze over maps would work offline. Waze does allow offline if you lose your connection while driving but it’s a temporary solution.

  7. Ugh! Are we really headed toward having TWO navigation apps pre-installed?

    1. Most of us already have both I imagine. I tend to use waze for daily driving. And Google maps more as a directory service, and If I am in an unfamiliar city

      1. For me, this is the main difference. I use Waze almost daily because traffic to and from work can be so dramatically different due to the butterfly effect, that I like to know which roads have a problem and which don’t. I love when Waze takes me off the highway and then gets me back on like 2 exits later, saving as much as 10 minutes of time.

        I use Maps for areas I am unfamiliar with.

        I do think Maps handles the TTS better, I have them both set to use the same speech engine, but Maps is always clearer than Waze (there are times I think Waze says right when she actually says left, because the speech seems off a bit – this could be trouble if I don’t know where I am).

        Overall, I would not mind if both were preinstalled since I use both.

    2. Google Now maps with estimated times to saved locations shows Waze data when its relevant, right on a Google Maps map. I would imaging they would keep integrating the two of them even closer with each update.

  8. It is a fun application.. I don’t have a problem with this at all… I mostly use a standalone GPS when driving unless I am in some else car.

  9. Does Waze back up your searches to Google? Or is there some kind of sync? Like if I searched for something on my computer, it’ll be in my recent searches in the Waze app?

    For some odd reason when I open Google Maps on my phone my processor speeds go to like 1Ghz on all four cores and it does not change. It runs SO slow!! OMG!! But that’s only the initial opening up. Meh…

    I guess I’ll try Waze. I’m really getting tired of Google Maps being all slow. I wonder if I downloaded the map of my city? Hmm…

    1. Currently they don’t sync locations between maps and waze or even between waze on different devices. What phone do you have? That sounds like a network data issue or maybe a GPS lock issue, since maps doesn’t really take that much device side processing.

      1. When I open Maps, after it’s been closed, it has this lag time. It takes me like 10 seconds to load Maps and start typing in where I want to go. I’ve noticed my processors always change to those amounts as well.

        Right now I have the M8.

        I also just loaded it and did notice that the map refreshes upon opening. I may not have the maps saved offline. I usually have like 3 portions of Houston saved. But I change ROMs so much it may have skipped my mind. Smh…

        I feel like it’s more user error which is why I didn’t go give a bad rating to Maps. =.P

        1. I never save my maps offline and don’t have that problem on my lgg3, I will say waze has a significant startup time, especially if you are on a weak data signal or location lock, since it kind of refuses to do anything until it locks on to both, especially annoying if youstart trying to map stuff as you are pulling out of drive way and are still on Wi-Fi half way down block, and waze tries to download nav directions during the handoff tip to lte

        2. Htown!

  10. More unnecessary bloatware… what’s wrong with just having it in the Play Store and letting people download it or not download it as they please?

    1. That would be too logical.

    2. Because Google is releasing a free OS, how else are they going to make money other than having people use their apps?

      All their apps can be disabled so I don’t see why it would even be a problem?

      1. Both Google and Waze were making money long before Google bought Waze, and they’re making money now, with Waze on the Play Store, not pre-installed. Pre-installed apps can usually be disabled (not always), but they’re still there taking up space.

        1. It’s funny I never see people complain about the bloatware of the calculator app, or browser, it’s all relative to your personal needs.

  11. For whatever reason I always try Waze once a year or so just to see if it got anymore useful. Maybe I’m just so used to Google Maps/ Navigation, but Waze seems more like a toy app. I get the social aspects of it, and they’re definitely cool to a degree, but frankly Maps just seems like it’s a lot more polished. The voice directions are infinitely better in Maps, and the UI is a lot more intuitive. I’m sure the final product is going to be more like Maps with social integration which is why this isn’t scary, but at the same time I can’t wait for Google to do something with this tech.

    1. It’s definitely not a toy. what it’s for is traffic you use it when you are driving routes you already know but want to know which way is faster today. The social part isn’t really used in the u.s.a. the voice directions are identical to maps, if you use standard voices the other voices dont include detailed street names.

      1. Fair enough. Then I’ll chalk it up to what I’m used to. Maps, in my area anyway, it’s quite good at avoiding traffic. It’s cool occasionally to see other Waze users on the road from time to time so there’s potential there socially especially when it comes to sharing hazard info or cop checks. The voice thing, maybe I just don’t get it. Any way you cut it, it’s a navigation app. Clearly there’s a lot of value to offer from Waze. It was the first map app I ever downloaded on Android, but, Maps just ended up being better, for me. Then again, I also generally favor native Google apps anyway. I know, I’m strange.

  12. Waze is awesome. Sometimes those reports from regular people are old, but mostly spot on when it comes to whether theres traffic on your route. Glad it will be getting the notice it deserves. The social aspect of the app is minimal, its not another Insta-Crap thank goodness. lol

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