Google adds Waze traffic reporting to Google Maps; no sign of Windows Phone version

   
Google Maps now provides real time traffic reports for iOS and Android Maps users.

Google has finally started rolling out the crowd-sourced Waze traffic reports into Google Maps after acquiring the service for $966 million (£628m) in June. This means that when Waze users report accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents, the information will also appear in the Google Maps app for Android and iOS.

So far the service has been implemented in Google Maps for the following countries: The U.K., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, and the U.S.

Google Maps VP Brian McClendon announced the changes in a blog post,

No one likes getting stuck in traffic, that's why the Waze and Google Maps teams are working together to harness the power of Google technology and the passion of the Waze community to make it easier to navigate your daily life.

Google also added two new features to Waze for iOS and Android: Google Search for better results when navigating, and the Waze Map Editor now includes Google Street View and satellite imagery, which should make it easier to build out the map and correct errors reported by other users.

The Waze team also continues to work separately from their base in Israel, saying in a separate blog post that "The entire Waze family has been hard at work since joining Google, collaborating with the Google Maps team to explore best practices and make drivers' lives easier."

Additionally, the Waze team announced a beta test for Windows Phone back in April with a projected release over the summer. People were invited to join the beta test, which was then closed shortly after and disappeared altogether after the acquisition by Google. Ever since then members of the Waze community have failed to get an answer from Waze, which appear to be unwilling to comment on a release for Windows Phone.

Hardly surprising when you consider Google is involved, and their current (non) relationship with Microsoft; and if the YouTube app farce is anything to go by, it could be some time before Windows Phone users can enjoy the fruits of this service too.

Via: Google | Image via Google

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38 Comments

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@Kunal - Yes I read that but globally the marketshare is about 3%. That is a single digit and there is no way that Google cares.

It will be interesting to look into the Latin America WP marketshare figures. I expect the phones that make up the volume are very low end with users who don't use most smartphone features or spend any money on apps and services.

Waze is just a map with people putting up false police, construction, misc reports. When I used Waze all I saw was non-stop icons all over the roads because people wanted to get as many points as possible. There are not 45 police cars stopped along the side of the highway in a 1 mile stretch, really?

Works fine for me and I guess for a good portion of the world as people would stop using it if it was bad. Besides, you can help the community by clicking that 'not there' button to report non-existent alerts.

NeoPogo said,
Waze is just a map with people putting up false police, construction, misc reports. When I used Waze all I saw was non-stop icons all over the roads because people wanted to get as many points as possible. There are not 45 police cars stopped along the side of the highway in a 1 mile stretch, really?

It's probably people reporting the same police car but when they file the report they're all in slightly different positions so the icons show up all over the same area of screen

Tbh it works here in Estonia, people don't pull that crap here. When there is police marked on the map then I can be 90% sure that there actually is police.

Spicoli said,
Doesn't this pretty much require people use their phone while driving?

Yeah but if there is an accident, you are moving very slow (if you are lucky)

Spicoli said,
Doesn't this pretty much require people use their phone while driving?

Yes, but not much. The Waze UI generally puts most functions within 1-2 touches so highlighting a crash will be done by hitting a couple of UI widgets.

The idea is that you leave it running with GPS enabled in your car's phone dock, like a satnav. Then you just push a button when you come across something (traffic, accident, speed trap, etc). Other Waze (and now Google Maps) users following the same route then get a notification.

It sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Unlike navigation where it operates hands off while moving, this actually requires and encourages you to divert your attention from driving in order for it to work. It would probably fall under texting laws.

Spicoli said,
Doesn't this pretty much require people use their phone while driving?

Well you can basically turn your phone into a sat-nav and just keep an eye on the reports as they flash up...or get a "passenger" to update it for you...

So, what you're saying is someone should also sue TomTom makers and even car companies for built in GPS and so on? Okay

Deemon said,
So, what you're saying is someone should also sue TomTom makers and even car companies for built in GPS and so on? Okay

"Unlike navigation where it operates hands off"

The beta is still running. As a matter of fact the app was recently updated and they said they will continue working on a Windows Phone version.

Neobond said,
Where is this? And I'll update

Its in the beta forums which are private. I believe the beta test is currently full (I'm an active tester). It's not production ready yet, but it is mostly working fine.

riceboyler said,

Its in the beta forums which are private. I believe the beta test is currently full (I'm an active tester). It's not production ready yet, but it is mostly working fine.

Like he said. I am also an active tester. I have been using it for over a month and all the major features are there already.

You are not alone: it's also not available yet for Symbian, Tizen, Bada, FirefoxOS, Ubuntu Touch, Meego and Sailfish, among others.

ichi said,
You are not alone: it's also not available yet for Symbian, Tizen, Bada, FirefoxOS, Ubuntu Touch, Meego and Sailfish, among others.

Are you really comparing windows Phone to symbian or Bada? wow. you must have never used windows phone or you have no idea what are you talking about

There's no need to compare anything, the point is that as of now only the two top players in the smartphone market are getting it.

ichi said,
There's no need to compare anything, the point is that as of now only the two top players in the smartphone market are getting it.

so you do believe is duopoly because if any new software going to be to top 2 player there would be never a third one even though the third one has a better OS comparing to the other 2.

S3P€hR said,

so you do believe is duopoly because if any new software going to be to top 2 player there would be never a third one even though the third one has a better OS comparing to the other 2.

That's pretty much the way the desktop market works, isn't it?

ichi said,

That's pretty much the way the desktop market works, isn't it?


I never defended desktop market apple Microsoft duopoly. nevertheless, the main reason people stay away from opensource desktop OSes is because the lack of support and fragmentation. apart from linux I don't know any third OS want to compete with apple and Microsoft.

S3P€hR said,

the main reason people stay away from opensource desktop OSes is because the lack of support and fragmentation.

I think the main reason is the apps. If you could buy an Ubuntu laptop and have every single app readily available, why would you care about fragmentation (or even know that such thing exists)?.

S3P€hR said,

apart from linux I don't know any third OS want to compete with apple and Microsoft.

I'd bet BSD would love to get the attention Linux gets, it just was unfortunate enough to miss the wave.

A WP Version? Are you kidding? They dont even allow WP users to use the Youtube app...not to mention Waze..