Waze app update adds real-time gas prices, fuel discounts
The latest update to the Waze navigation app adds live updating fuel prices that, like its crowd-sourced traffic data, is supplied and updated by other drivers.
There's already a lot to like about the Waze, the social GPS and live traffic app for Android and iOS devices. It saves you time with its turn-by-turn directions, saves you fuel by helping to avoid jams with its crowd sourced traffic data, and (possibly, most importantly) it doesn't cost a penny. With the new 2.3 update that should be hitting the app marketplaces today, Waze now moves toward actively saving you money by helping you and other drivers to find and buy the cheapest fuel around.
Starting in version 3.2, users will be able to search for fuel prices nearby or along their chosen route, select a gas station with a tap, and navigate to their next fill up. This is Waze, so there is some crowd-sourcing at play here. Prices are supplied by you and other Waze users and can be updated using the same Report button in the app's interface, allowing users to keep Waze's reported prices accurate and up to date, helping other drivers to find the lowest fuel prices. This "pay it forward" type of voluntary reporting of anonymous data by millions of users has proven to be remarkably accurate for Waze's traffic reporting, so I'm hoping that the new fuel prices will also be on point.
Additionally, Waze has partnered with select gas stations, including with Kum & Go, Hess, BP and Exxon stations, and Shell, to provide exclusive discounts through the Waze app users at select locations. These participating stations will show up in the list of reported fuel prices and include a digital coupon that can be displayed to claim the discount.
Stopping for fuel along your chosen route would be annoying if it interrupted your previously selected trip to do so, so Waze has also added a waypoint function to the 2.3 update that allows users to add a stop a trip without losing their ultimate destination. This feature is useful for much more than just fuel pit stops. For example, you may want to pick up your dry cleaning on the way home from work. The app is able to break out estimated arrival times for both the waypoint and the final destination simultaneously, so you'll be able to tell if you'll make it to the cleaners before it closes.
Additionally, Waze has also updated its destination search function with a new Search by Category mode that should, hopefully, make finding your next point B a little bit easier. Destination search has always been my least favorite part of this otherwise great app, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how much of an improvement Waze has made here.