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Mobile Apps

Waze widgets finetune social navigation app

The crowdsourced driving directions app now lets you add widgets so you can track your ETA more easily and quickly.

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Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Waze has once again enhanced its iOS and Android navigation apps to better help you get where you're going.

Updated on Tuesday, the iOS and Android editions of Waze now support widgets that you can add to the Navigation Center in iOS 8 and to any screen on your Android device. The widgets allow you to navigate to home or work with one tap, view your estimated time of arrival for either place, and even send your current drive time and ETA to someone else (maybe your boss).

Waze , which Google acquired in 2013, has gained fame among drivers through its use of crowdsourced traffic directions. People who use the app can share traffic conditions and other issues on the road with fellow users so they can view real-time information. That gives Waze an advantage over most other navigation apps, as well as your standard GPS. It also gives a similar advantage to Google Maps. By incorporating real-time traffic reports from Waze, Google Maps has been able to tap into some of that crowdsourced data to increase its effectiveness.

Beyond the new widget feature, the latest version of Waze provides richer traffic information for both your ETA and any changes in your route. It also offers a new map setting that can jump between 2D and 3D views automatically.

Though Google owns Waze and has borrowed some of its features, the Waze app itself continues as a free, standalone program for both iOS and Android owners behind the wheel.