Waze beefs up its crowdsourced traffic app

The latest update for iOS and Android simplifies the main menu and throws in other helpful tweaks.

Waze's crowdsourced navigation app for iOS.
Waze's crowdsourced navigation app for iOS. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Waze's popular traffic app isn't standing still following its takeover by Google.

An update released Wednesday for the iOS and Android editions revs up a few handy new features.

The app's main menu has been streamlined to display just the four core features -- Navigate, My Waze, Send ETA, and Inbox. Navigate lets you search for and plot your destination. My Waze offers access to your personal settings. Send ETA allows you to e-mail or share a link displaying your drive and estimated time of arrival, and Inbox naturally shows any incoming e-mails.

The Reports menu now offers an All Reports option, where you can get the scoop on all types of incidents along your journey, including traffic jams, accidents, road closures, highway hazards, and police eager to give you a speeding ticket.

You can also more easily add a stop as part of your route. After you enter a new destination, Waze now asks if you want to set it up a new drive or just incorporate it as a stop along the way.

Finally, an auto complete feature tries to shave a few steps off your typing. Entering an address, contact name, business, or category will prompt Waze to suggest the full name of the item. In my testing, the auto complete did not work. However, Waze noted in a blog post that the feature may take a few weeks to roll out in the US and longer in other countries.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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