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Waze driving app now supports Apple's 3D Touch

The navigation app based on driver-contributed traffic data has been updated to work with the iPhone's new pressure-sensitive technology.

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Thanks to an update, Waze now requires fewer taps to start your trip, send locations and share directions.


Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Waze, the popular crowdsourced navigation app, is getting touchy-feely in its latest update for Apple's mobile operating system.

Waze version 4.0.1, released on Sunday, now taps into Apple's 3D Touch feature. 3D Touch adds pressure sensitivity to the iPhone screen, so an app reacts differently based on how hard or soft you press its icon.

Waze is just the latest app to offer support for 3D Touch, which was introduced in September with the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. It joins the likes of Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Dropbox, Twitter and Instagram.

But Apple needs even more prominent apps to embrace 3D Touch, one of the few new and standout features in the latest iPhone lineup. The company sold 13 million of its new phones during the September 19 launch weekend and hopes to keep that momentum going through the critical holiday quarter.

Lightly tapping the Waze icon brings up the app as usual. Holding down the icon conjures up a quick action menu with options to go home, drive to work, search for a specific address or share your location with someone else.

In October, Waze got a major overhaul with version 4.0 offering a new look and features. The new map screen is cleaner and easier to read. The reporting menu, which you use to alert other Waze users to accidents and other hazards, is faster and more visual. Reports and alerts are now color-coded to view them more easily on the map.

A new ETA (estimated time of arrival) panel lists traffic reports, alternate routes, stops along the way and an option to share your ETA with others. Waze now requires fewer taps to start your trip, send locations and share directions. The new version chews up less of your battery charge. For example, you can place it in sleep mode when you don't need it and then quickly wake it up when you do.

Waze relies on information shared by its users to help fellow drivers better navigate the roads by choosing the best routes and avoiding hazards. The app is owned by Google, which has added some of Waze's traffic smarts to its own Maps app.

Waze currently has about 50 million active users per month around the world, according to a spokeswoman for the company.