Exclusive: First Look at Waze 3.0 for Android (Video)

Waze is one of my favorite navigation apps. It’s available for both Android and iOS, and unlike other GPS Navigation apps, it learns. Based on your driving habits and patterns Waze figures out not only where you are, but where you’re going — and automatically routes you there! When you get get in your car and open the app in the morning, Waze asks you if you’re going to work. At the end of the day Waze figures you’re heading home and routes you accordingly. That’s cool and all, but it’s not where Waze really stands out.

Waze not only learns from you, it learns from others who use the app: “Wazers”. The more people that drive the roads (with the app open, of course), the more information about those roads is collected. If there’s a slow-down, Waze knows from the Wazers stuck in the middle of it and can route other Wazers around the problem — automatically. All that happens behind the scenes.

Wazers who want to be pro-active and “social” can take a more hands-on approach: they can report things they see as they’re driving. If there is a wreck, a police trap, a vehicle on the side of the road, a construction zone, or even inclement weather, you can report it and let other Wazers know. Honestly, as amazing as all of that is, it’s nothing new: Waze has been able to do all that for quite some time.

What is new (for Android users) is a HUGE redesign and an overhaul of the entire app: Waze 3.0.

– Complete graphic overhaul and redesign

– Social Search integration: search and navigate to locations on Foursquare and Yelp

Waze 3.0’s new “minimalist” UI takes advantage of the phone (or tablet’s) screen size by reducing the interface to just two large, finger-friendly buttons — the map is full-screen, for maximum mapping! A new display of traffic and events on your route helps you make smarter travel choices — before you start driving. To help make things easier to see (always a good thing when you’re in the car) the guidance system has been enhanced with large fonts and complete text-to-speech.

Waze has always had “Social Integration” (letting Wazers know about traffic conditions before they find themselves neck-deep in them) but Waze 3.0 takes that even further, bringing real-time information about new businesses, pop-up shops, and even live local events to your navigation screen. Leveraging “community-curated data” from Waze, Foursquare, and Yelp, drivers can now search for real-time events as easily as they would find their local grocery store.

Download Waze from the Android Market

Thanks: Michal @ Waze

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.