Waze for Android Auto navigates into car cabins

Waze's in-car integration will yield larger views of navigation maps, routes and alerts.

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Waze is quickly becoming one of the more popular navigation apps on the market with its community-based, real-time updates that warn users of things like traffic jams, road hazards and police speed traps. Now with the debut of Waze for Android Auto, people can enjoy larger views of maps, routes and alerts on a car's infotainment display.

Similar to the regular app, you can use voice commands to quickly pull up directions to get home, to work or to your favorite destinations; sift through ETA panels to see reported hazards along the way and consider alternate routes. Of course, you can also report traffic, broken down vehicles and any cops that you come across.

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Waze can now live on in-car infotainment display through Android Auto.

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Waze features that aren't available on the Android Auto app right now are voice command reporting for traffic and hazards, the Waze Speedometer and social features like carpool and map chat. Pre- and post-driving features such as Share ETA and Planned Drive and Where Did I Park are also not included.

Waze's product lead for in-car applications, Jens Baron, says more features will be coming to the Android Auto application, but the priority for launch was to get the main interface right. A beta community of 5,000 participants has been putting Waze for Android Auto through its paces since the last week of May, with feedback being mostly positive according to Baron.

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Reporting drive route hazards is easily done.

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Following a few hours of hands-on testing of the app in a Chevrolet Cruze, I can say the interface is intuitive, response to commands is good for easy reporting of issues on the fly and the map graphics look excellent. I did encounter a hiccup when the system got hung up a couple of times while searching for a destination and not progressing to the results page.

For the Apple fans out there, you're probably wondering about Waze for Apple CarPlay. Baron says that depends on Apple opening the platform to third party navigation apps. However, Waze is looking at mirroring solutions such as SmartDeviceLink to bring the program to iPhone users.

Waze for Android Auto is free to download beginning today. 

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