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Google Adds Real Time Incident Reports From Waze Users to Google Maps

It has been only a few months since Google bought community-influenced map service Waze, but they are starting to incorporate its features into their own Google Maps service. In a new update, Google Maps will begin to feature reports of accidents, construction, road closures and more from Waze. So as the community-mapping service is filled with information from its users, the benefits will push forward onto the mapping service that most of you use, Google Maps.

The Waze integration will be available on Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US.

Also, Waze will receive an update that will introduce Google Search and Street View. So no, Google isn’t ready to kill it off just yet.

Via:  Google Lat Long

  • plistna

    I find it funny that none of the blog publishers are publishing any stories about how big a fail the latest Google Maps is. There are hundreds of negative comments on Google’s own product forums as well as the Play Store, yet no writers have the balls to write about that, and instead pass along Google’s press release about Waze integration as if it were a news article.

    The app is nearly unusable in a car, and if you look at Googles own promotion videos they only focus on using it to navigate socially among nightlife hotspots. It’s as if Google app developers are so into their hip urban lifestyle bubble that they don’t even understand how a navigation app is actually used for by the vast majority of people.

    Tragically, this version of Google Maps has a minimal display consisting of low contrast, thin IOS7ish fonts, which basically means you cant see anything at a glance while driving. On top of it, the lack of control buttons means many layers of click-through to get anything done. It’s truly a train wreck, and literally the first time I have ever reverted back to an older version of any Android application.

    • gemmax

      Thank you! … I posted similar sentiments on another blog. With the exception of a couple of articles on CNET I haven’t seen one story about the issues regarding the most recent update. The same goes for the Google Play website update as well. It’s practically impossible now to effectively manage your apps via the website.

  • erets

    Waze users work for google map users?? It’s Okay. But, I’d like to import my favorite place from google map.

  • CARPDM

    I <3 WAZE

  • efme

    i can’t stand the fact they took away the lab buttons. now I don’t know the scale or have the +/- buttons. SO annoying. what is the point of a map if you don’t have a scale?

    • CoreRooted

      Scale has been added into the most recent version and zooming can be done with pinch to zoom or double tap with a single finger. Why do you need buttons for that?

    • LionStone

      There is a scale, it’s just not persistent. It appears when you zoom in, then disappears. I want those buttons back too along with the elevation measuring tool.

    • JMonkeYJ

      i do miss the persistent scale, but the single finger double-tap zoom in and out is way better than those buttons were.

  • MacNificent

    “You’re using it wrong!”
    I don’t see the problem. Google maps is better than it has ever been. and looks and works great! Im glad they got rid of some of the unnecessary things like a separate navigation app. In the other versions, according to google, I lived in Alpine NJ. When in fact, i live in Yonkers, NY. This new version gets my location spot on every time. So I beg to differ with some of these comments.

    • Tom Z

      The biggest problem I have with the new version is the difficulty of switching between the 3D turn-by-turn to the overall traffic view. The old version was one simple tap to flip between the two modes.

      This new version is much more difficult to use in an actual driving environment.

      • MacNificent

        I do understand that. but it seems to be a work in progress. and they have been updating a lot. I just think that people are complaining a bit much when it is very functional and does what its suppose to do. and thats navigate you to where you’re going with lots of options. I’m sure they are working on getting everything exactly where it needs to be. We gotta have patience sometimes

  • Scott

    This is good news! I like Waze, but it is a little choppy on my phone. By the way, does anyone know how to turn off the voice navigation in Waze?

    • Steven Dinsdale

      When you have the Menu pop-up open, click the the speaker icon in the top left corner to toggle between, sound, alerts only, and silent. Took me awhile to find this too.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    Google Maps for iOS works extremely well. Probably better than on my Note 2.

  • MagicMike Kelley

    Whether it’s on Waze or Google Maps – they’ll lose everyone if we no longer can report and see reports of cops stealing/waiting to steal money from the public.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    Now show us where the user-reported police are!

  • Edward Smith

    Looks like the Google Maps team is preemptively nixing redundant functionality (in both Waze & GMaps) so that in time GMaps users that have never used nor had any interest in Waze will be begging for its full integration just so we can get back some of the old functionality.

  • GawkerRedesignSucks

    Hopefully that includes speed traps.

  • John

    Does anyone know if they removed the approx location blue dot? I usually have the gps and wifi improve location off. In the past when I pressed the location button in maps (looks like a gps button bottom right of screen) it would approximate my location after asking me to turn on all that stuff which I declined. Now it won’t… Does anyone know?

  • Daistaar

    Hmph… So that’s where Treasure Island is… Thanks Google!
    (grabs shovel)

  • MatthewSimmons

    I wonder how long they will keep the Waze app going?

  • DanSan

    now just integrate police reporting on the map and ill never have to use wazes again!

    edit. not sure if it is integrated but i can only hope!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Does anyone have the issue with the VZW GS4 where it crashes Navigation after sending it to the background and using another app?

    Whenever I take NAV off the main screen it eventually crashes the whole app

    • ToddAwesome

      Actually, I have that same issue with my VZW GNex. Which is a little frustrating when you’re trying to navigate and do other things (I wasn’t driving, mmmm hmmm) and the damn app crashes on you repeatedly. Ah, Android.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Blah! Damn it Google!

      • GawkerRedesignSucks

        I think the issue you’re having is that you’re using a 2 year old phone.

        • ToddAwesome

          Brilliant deduction, awww, good for you, coming up with that all by your onesies!

          • palomosan

            Maps has been having issues since the last update, Google know this and they’re working on it, so it not your phone.

          • GawkerRedesignSucks

            Oooohhh you’re a troll. Ok, carry on then.

          • ToddAwesome

            I love when trolls call people a troll, makes my day, thanks.

          • GawkerRedesignSucks

            So you’re a troll calling me troll after I called you a troll?

            Trollception

          • ToddAwesome

            Mind. Blown.

    • psuturtle

      I had this problem on one of the 7.x updates, but I “think” they might have fixed that with the most recent update. I spot checked it in my wife’s gnex (since I reverted my phone back to 6.14) and you could move nav to the background and back again without it dying.

      Google has to be taking notice to this. The maps comments on the play store is just a diatribe about how awful the new updates are.

    • GawkerRedesignSucks

      I had multiple crash problems when I was on Cyanogenmod. I went back to stock and haven’t had a problem since. Are you on a custom ROM?

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Nope. Haven’t even rooted this GS4

  • Shane Redman

    It’s about time…

  • ToddAwesome

    But, how will this look on my Samsung Mega?!?!?!?

    • Pedro

      Life size

  • fakekellex

    I can no longer Navigate in Google Maps. There are multiple HUGE issues.
    1. I can’t just leave it on in Nav mode – the screen goes dim and then turns off. In order to leave it on, I have to input an address. When driving to work this is a huge deal. I don’t want turn by turn directions etc. I just want to see the traffic.
    2. Fly behind doesn’t work, the orientation of the “fly behind camera” moves all over the place randomly with no way to “lock it” behind the car.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      YUP Issues with Navigation… I can’t open another APP while NAV is on or else it crashes half the time. The other half of the time I can’t get back to NAV even though it’s in the notification bar

    • Steve B

      Why don’t you let it do turn by turn directions, but just mute the voice guidance within the app. That way you get the best of both worlds: 1) you don’t have to listen to the voice; 2) You get your fly behind 3) you’ll get re-routed if traffic goes to hell.

      Seems silly to expect the app to behave in a way that’s been retired for a more streamlined experience.

      • illinipoke

        Shouldn’t have to enter an address every time. I just want it to follow where I’m going. I may not even know the address. Just give me a button to put it in fly behind and show traffic.

        • Steve B

          Fair enough. Can’t make everyone happy.

        • wtm1417

          put a navigate to home widget on one of your homescreens and only type once. Probably the easiest.

          • Illinipoke

            Wont that keep yelling at me to turn around every 5 seconds and overlay routs on the map? Dont know why the current version cant fly behind correctly, it tries to, but is always “off” a bit.

    • KleenDroid

      I have gone back to the old version and turned off auto updates.

      There are a few things that are nice in the new version but overall it ruins Google Maps for me.

      It’s too bad because Google Maps used to be awesome and a must have. Now I am uninstalling their new version from all my phones.

      I am surprised Google could screw things up so badly.

      • John

        so does this mean you won’t get the added waze functionality?

        • KleenDroid

          I would think so.

      • http://Facebook.com/jooski JooSki

        Same here. Had to uninstall and install a previous version that actually works. The new version would also freeze for up to a min while i am driving and close to a road that i needed to turn on in an area i have never been. The Waze functionality is not important if i can not find where i am going.

      • Travis Hoff

        Ooooh, I hadn’t thought of this option. But I have a couple of questions… I have numerous problems with the new google maps layout. If I were to uninstall and install older version, would the maps still update with new map based info (streets, businesses, etc.)? Would I be able to do offline mode?

    • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

      Hmm…you may want to try Waze for this. It doesn’t close on you even if you don’t have a particular destination entered.

      Another solution would be to change your screen timeout to 15 or 30 minutes. You can setup a widget on your home-screen that would allow you to toggle that pretty quickly.

    • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

      I will say this though about Google Maps and Waze, your limiting yourself to some crucial information if you don’t tell the software where your going. It can’t take into account traffic and road info up ahead to give you the shortest route if you don’t tell it where your going.

      Waze in particular becomes way more useful when it knows where your headed. It looks ahead at all of the traffic and is pretty aggressive about re-routing you when it knows that user reported traffic is up ahead and you can go another route that will be faster.

      I use it in the Los Angeles area which has to be the worst traffic in the nation, and Waze does a surprisingly good job.

      • TSY87

        I agree, the times I visit LA, I have noticed that Waze reroutes me quite often because of major slow downs etc. I have been quite pleased with it. Of course, it’s success is due in major parts to the people who use it and are actively reporting issues. Hopefully there is total integration into google maps in the future because i prefer the look of google maps, but love the real time info from waze. It’s also fun seeing other wazers nearby!

    • Illinipoke

      BTW, keepscreen can help you with the dimming issue. Agree with the fly behind issue.

    • Deborahgray325

      before I looked at the check ov $4001, I didn’t believe
      …that…my best friend was like really making money parttime from there
      labtop.. there great aunt has done this for only fifteen months and recently
      paid for the mortgage on their apartment and bought a great new Aston Martin
      DB5. we looked here, bay35.com

  • psuturtle

    The real question is whether this release has fixed all the problems caused by previous 7.x updates. 7.x was so bad that I had to go back to 6.14 just to have a functional map/nav app.

    • BigWormBigPerm

      I went back to 6.14 for the traffic view…I use it everyday for my work commute and it sucks in the new maps

      • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

        You should really try Waze. Waze is an order of magnitude better for the daily commuter that wants traffic info. Waze gives you mph on the roads ahead that are slowing down, color codes the road ahead in a way that’s even easier to understand than Google Maps, you get specific user reported info like Police ahead, vehicles on side of road, accidents, debris on road, road closures, user reported traffic jams. Waze is also smart enough to reroute you if things go all to hell.

        I can’t tell you how many times Waze has pre-emptively tried to take me “the long way” around traffic, and I did not listen and thought I know better let me keep going my way, only to find out that Waze knew there was really bad traffic ahead and was pre-preemptively re-routing me around it well ahead of time before it was too late.

        I honestly have been floored by Waze in Los Angeles area and it’s ability to re-route you around stuff up ahead that you have no clue is coming, but Waze knows better. I learned to just trust Waze and go where it sends me, even if it may seem like it’s taking the long way.

        Now it depends on your area. If the Waze community is substantial, it will save you time and aggrivation, and just give you solid information as to what’s on the road ahead. If there aren’t a lot of Wazers, then it may not be as impactful.

        • TechByPc

          I’ve had just the opposite experience. Waze is okay when there is traffic, but when there isn’t traffic it tends to favor routes that take longer. Get off the highway here and take this 30mph road for 5 miles and then get back on the highway kind of logic. No, I haven’t messed with the default quickest route settings. It loves to tell me to break the law too – turn left where there is no left turn, etc. Fixing it in the maps just gets overridden by people who are willing to ignore that no left turn sign.

          I still use it daily, but it has a lot of faults.

          • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

            Being sent the wrong way, and being told illegal moves, is a deal breaker for me with map apps. I can honestly say I have never had that problem with Waze in Los Angeles area…and I get around!

        • BigWormBigPerm

          I have, I don’t like the layout on that either. I mainly use the traffic view so if it looks bad up ahead I can plan my route differently myself without having to keep staring at the screen while I’m driving and it gives the nice ETA time on the bottom

        • John

          Hopefully all this stuff you mentioned comes to google maps! sounds sweet. and like you said more users (which google mos def has) the more reports

      • Billyt

        Amen! The new Nav is terrible – cannot view the traffic and choosing an alternate route is next to impossible while driving. Terrible update if you ask me.

  • Humberto

    what Waze needs to do is fix the 1080p resolution… my speedometer and GPS icon are off…the font is extremely small needs to be fixed….

    • nina

      i am using a modified display on per-app dpi, and i fixed the display that way. also no annoying status bar on the top, just a fullscreen waze

      • Humberto

        thanks for the info what’s the app call?

        • nina

          you have to be rooted and have xposed framework installed. and then per-app dpi is a module to adjust dpi/size layout of an individual app-

  • Bassdj

    Anyone else’s “navigation” app non-existent now?

    • Robert Willis

      It happened on my Dad’s Droid Razr and my brother’s S3. Had to uninstall the latest update and it showed up again. No problems on my stock GNex. Weird, I know.

      • KleenDroid

        You have to disable auto updates in the play store if you don’t want it to keep updating itself.

    • chris kilps

      Yes, it seems to be if you have reloaded your phone since the realest of the new maps there is only one icon. Since the new maps, navigation and maps are one and the same

    • Steve B

      It’s supposed to go away because Maps and Nav is unified now.

      • Adam Truelove

        They’ve always been unified (for the most part), but why remove the shortcut to the navigation feature of maps? It was convenient when in the car to be able to jump right to navigation.

        • ToddAwesome

          Bring back the blue arrowhead!

        • Stnkycheezman

          they probably want you to look at the pretty ads that are being integrated into google maps rather than skip it and go straight to Navi

          gotta remember how we support and help this company make its money

          just my guess haha

        • Steve B

          I know it was unified, I’m just trying to be clear for the noobs.

          Why do you need this redundant feature anyway? You’re already in nav mode once you open maps. It’s seamlessly integrated together now so you don’t have that ugly Gingerbread transition. Everything you had before is still there, it’s just much prettier and much smoother.

          • KleenDroid

            You say everything we had is still there that we had before?

            Then it was nice of them to hide things so deeply that we can’t find them. And to make it so it requires more button presses.

          • jeesung

            i can’t traffic view while navigating. let me know the secret key combo

          • Steve B

            Tap menu > Route preview

          • jeesung

            i tried that. i didn’t think it adjusted while you drove.

            will re-install and give it another go.

    • Christian

      As everyone else has said, the extra Maps shortcuts (Local and Navigation) are getting nixed since they’re pretty well integrated into the app itself now. I personally don’t mind it since I initialize most of my navigation from Google Now or a Google search anyways, but to each his own I guess…

      • Justin W

        That surprised me though. I was actually looking for the Nav icon earlier this week (I didn’t catch that it had been nixed in the 7.x update) and thought it was odd that it wasn’t there.

    • T4rd

      Yeah, I noticed this when Maps was updated to the new UI. I hate it and it adds a lot of unneeded steps when you’re just trying to navigate to a contact or previous destination.

      • Bassdj

        Exactly

      • Steve B

        Wow, 5 taps now, you’re so inconvenienced.

        • T4rd

          You’re supposed to make your software easier to use, not harder. You’re retarded for defending that, lol.
          Plus, you know people are using this in their car while driving; adding steps to navigate like this can be very frustrating and distracting for the driver, adding more risk to the situation.

          • Steve B

            It’s just as easy for me as it was before. Don’t know why it’s so hard for you.

            And in the car, I use Google Now to launch straight into Google maps for navigation.

          • T4rd

            I didn’t say it was hard. I said it was harder and added a lot of addtional steps. Before, I could launch it with the dedicated Navigation icon, then tap a contact or previous destination and it started navigating. That’s a lot faster than talking to my phone (esp. if you don’t have a good data connection or it doesn’t translate you correctly) or navigating the new UI with 5 taps and confirmations on opposite sides of the display.

          • Steve B

            True, can’t argue with that.

          • CoreRooted

            With Google Now, I have voice data downloaded so even on a crap connection, I can say “Navigate to ” or “Directions to //” and it automatically starts navigating or shows me directions. Try installing voice data and setting up personalized recognition.

        • KleenDroid

          Yes genius… extra key presses is an inconvenience.

          And when you need to navigate to many places a day it adds up.

          • Steve B

            Wow, you guys are really pissy about this. Time to chill, it’s only adding a couple seconds to your day.

          • KleenDroid

            Yes I edited my post because it did sound pissy.

            But we get pissy when they change something we like and are used to. Especially when some things go away or are made more difficult.

            There are a few things I liked about the new update. But not enough.

          • Steve B

            No I get it. I’m still mixed. I like everything visually and I especially like that Maps appears as a single app now. I do think traffic view needs work, it’s a pain to see this clearly.

      • Silver Veloz

        “Google, directions to……” Done!

        • T4rd

          That’s still not as fast (esp. if you have a slow data connection) and it doesn’t work for my contacts a lot of times. Google Now is nice for POIs though.

          • Silver Veloz

            True! I noticed recently that when I have my WiFi on, I get a more accurate pin-point of where I am on Google Maps. I tried different ways to get the best accuracy and that seems to have worked the best.