Waze 3.0 has finally arrived for Android phones and with it comes a few new features and an overhauled interface.
The interface is cleaner and much less cluttered. Just before starting a trip, Waze presents users with a dialog box with an arrival time estimate. Many options, such as the GO button, have countdowns that cause them to automatically trigger after a period of time without user interaction.
When it thinks the vehicle is stationary, Waze's interface can get rather cluttered with icons, traffic data, and other Waze users. Fortunately, most of this can be turned off. Also visible here is the new main menu, which features fewer buttons for easier navigation while driving.
Social networking features
One of the biggest new features in Waze's bag of tricks is Foursquare integration. Users can check-in to nearby locations from within Waze's interface.
As in previous generations of Waze, users are able to get reports about traffic, construction, and speed traps.
Additionally, users can also report issues that they meet on the road with the touch of one of these very large buttons.
Search: In-n-out burger
Searching for destinations from within Waze's interface returns results from Google, Bing, Waze's database, Foursquare locations, and--also new in version 3.0--Yelp reviews.
The different search engines return different results for the same terms. Which is best depends on what you're looking for. For example, Waze's search results for 'Bourbon' are rather literal, Foursquare returns results with 'Bourbon' in the name, and Yelp returns reviews that mention 'Bourbon' in the body.
Search: Maker's Mark
Just for kicks, I did a search on a particular brand of bourbon. Waze's results are pretty useless, and Foursquare's slightly less so. However, Yelp's results are quite handy, returning the names of a handful of bars that are known to serve this particular libation.
Widget and Commute-o-meter
Although they're not new features, Waze's widget and Commute-o-meter are unique to the Android version. After inputting a home and work address, Waze will continuously estimate the time it will take you to get to the location you're not.