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Waze announces first major update since Google acquisition two years ago

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Waze, the largest community-based traffic app on Monday received what's arguably it's the biggest update since Google purchased the app in 2013, bringing it to version 4.0.

The update features a redesigned interface to offer an advanced navigation solution right on the user’s mobile devices with an emphasis on visibility, leading to easier navigation, reporting, and sharing. As Google has acquired the app, the company said it will soon roll out on Android devices too.

Waze continues to operate independently, even though it uses some of Google’s infrastructure and supplies data to Google Maps. The update is an encouraging sign for Waze users that the app will continue to be developed.

One of the changes that Google has made to Waze is an all-new navigation menu that pops up on the screen by a tap on the bottom-left button. The menu has all of the user’s frequent places and favourite destinations and comes with a voice command-enabled search bar. A contact button is available on the bottom-right side to let them quickly send directions, the current location or ETA to their contacts.

Other than the new buttons on the bottom left and right sides, the interface has a centre button on the bottom to let users view the ETA time. This helps calculate the time needed to reach a destination. Additionally, there is an option to add a stop to the destination right from the ETA screen.

The updated Waze app comes with a newly designed reporting menu that enables reporting traffic jams, police barricading, accidents, obstacles or gas places. The app has a large orange button on the right that pulls up the reporting menu with bolder, colour-coded categories. Besides that, there is a quick report action by tapping and holding down the report menu to allow the user to alert the community about any new happenings on the route.

The updated Waze app also works in case the user wants somebody to remind about an important appointment. The app syncs the Calendar to deliver real-time alerts on the appointment. Additionally, the app will also look out for traffic to let users know when they should begin the journey and alerts on the basis of traffic conditions and drive times.

Waze said battery life has been reportedly improved in this new version. This would help especially on a long-distance journey, and not having carried a charger.

Read more articles on Google at Industry Leaders Magazine: Federal Appeals Court Rules That Google Books Is Not Infringement

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