Every once in a while, we’ll discuss the ongoing battle between Google Maps and Apple’s Maps app, but there’s an alternatively that many of you probably prefer. Waze is one of the best GPS apps on the market, and on Tuesday, it added a few familiar voices to its rolling selection of celebrity guests. More →
If you use Waze to help you navigate through traffic during your commute, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of the Terminator greeting you today. Yes, Waze has recruited Arnold Schwarzenegger to be the voice of its mobile app in which he uses his Terminator persona to help you find the most efficient way to get to where you need to go. More →
Waze is a fantastic free navigation app that uses crowd-sourced data to process and deliver real-time information about the path you’re driving. It packs a wide range of nifty features into a playful interface, and it has a social element that no other widely used navigation app can match. But since Google acquired Waze and started using some of its data in its class-leading Google Maps app, the draw for Waze has been much less compelling.
Until now. More →
In recent years, Waze has established itself as one of the most useful apps that drivers can have on their phones. The crowdsourced traffic app lets users send updates to other drivers in real time, alerting them to accidents, detours and speed traps. But police officers aren’t too happy about that last particular use. More →
Unfazed by a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation, Google has started integrating Waze into Google Maps. The company announced on Tuesday that “users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real-time incident reports from Waze users,” meaning that “when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS” in several countries including the United States. Google paid just under $1 billion to acquire Waze earlier this summer with the intention of using the company’s crowd-sourced mapping information with its own Maps application. The FTC has said it may at some point stop Google from integrating Waze data into Google Maps to stop the company from having a monopoly on mobile mapping applications.
Google confirmed in June that it had acquired social navigation company Waze. Initial reports had suggested that Google may have paid up to $1.3 billion for the company, however the actual amount was revealed to be significantly less. The Associated Press reports that Google paid only $966 million for Waze and its team, which it plans to merge with its mapping division. It was also revealed that in the second quarter of 2013, Google acquired seven other smaller companies for a total of $53 million. Google previously said that it plans to integrate Waze’s traffic features and crowd-sourced data into its Google Maps service, while continuing to build and work with community of users that made Waze great.
It hasn’t taken long for Google’s $1.1 billion acquisition of crowd-sourced mapping app Waze to come under scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the FTC is conducting an antitrust review of Google’s purchase of Waze that the company announced earlier this month. The Journal’s sources say that the FTC likely won’t ask Google to unwind the deal and will instead only try to decide whether Google should be barred from fully integrating Waze with its Google Maps service. The issue, the sources say, is “whether Waze would have become a head-to-head competitor with Google, whose Google Maps software is the dominant digital mapping and navigation service around the world, or whether there is any evidence, such as emails, that showed Google wanted to acquire the company only to keep it from rivals.”
Why was Google willing to pay what several reports claim to be $1 billion or more for Waze? According to Waze CEO Noam Bardin, the answer is simple: As important is Google’s search product is to the Internet is as important as Waze is for searching the real world. “General navigation and maps, are really the ‘search’ for mobile,” Bardin told Forbes in a previously unpublished interview from January. While his comments didn’t pertain specifically to the Google deal, of course, they relate to the value Waze has to users and, ultimately, to Google. According to Bardin’s vision, people will “use a Google search bar to scour the web today, and Waze to search the real world tomorrow.” The CEO had plenty more to say in the interview, which is linked below, and Forbes’ unnamed sources claim that the Waze deal cost Google more than $1 billion.
Google on Tuesday confirmed that it has acquired social navigation company Waze. Earlier reports had suggested that Google offered to pay a whopping $1.3 billion to acquire the company, reportedly beating out both Apple and Facebook. Brian McClendon, Google’s vice president of geo-products, announced that for the time being, the Waze product development team will operate separately and will not be forced to relocate to Mountain View — which was a stumbling block during the negotiations between Waze and Facebook. The company said that it plans to integrate Waze’s traffic features into Google Maps, while continuing to work with and build the “vibrant Waze community.”
A number of companies including Apple and Facebook have reportedly been considering acquisitions of crowd-sourced mapping and navigation service Waze, but Google may have outspent them all. According to a report on Sunday from Israeli newspaper Globes, Google will announce this week that it has acquired Waze for a whopping $1.3 billion. The Israel-based startup was reportedly very close to a deal with Facebook, however a dispute over whether or not to close Waze’s research and development facilities in Ra’anana, Israel stalled the deal. It is unclear whether or not Google plans to maintain Waze’s Israeli facilities, however a subsequent report from AllThingsD states that Google intends to keep Waze’s service separate from its own mapping solutions for the time being.
It had been reported that Facebook was looking to acquire social navigation company Waze for between $800 million and $1 billion. The talks were said to have hit a major roadblock in recent weeks, however, as Facebook was reportedly interested in shutting down Waze’s research and development center in Israel and transferring employees to the United States. According to AllThingsD, the talks have dissolved in recent days and the billion-dollar deal may no longer be on the table. The latest report reiterates earlier claims that Waze was uncomfortable having its employees transferred to work at Facebook’s headquarters in the United States. A deal with Waze would help Facebook continue its push into mobile, while complementing its already popular photo and messaging applications.
Interest in social mapping and navigation provider Waze is reportedly heating up, with Google and several other “large tech companies” currently holding talks with the Israel-based company. Bloomberg on Friday reported that Google is considering a bid that exceeds Facebook’s earlier offer, which reportedly fell between $800 million and $1 billion. Earlier rumors suggested Facebook and Waze’s negotiations had stalled due to a disagreement over whether or not Waze’s Israeli research and development center would remain open. According to a follow-up from Israel-based newspaper Calcalist, which first broke the story that Facebook was in talks to acquire Waze, Google may face some trouble if it’s serious about a possible deal — Facebook and Waze have reportedly just signed an agreement that prevents Waze from negotiating with other companies for the time being.
Facebook’s bid to buy social navigation company Waze has seemingly hit a serious snag that has stalled the deal for the time being. Calcalist, the Israeli newspaper that first broke news of Facebook’s plans to acquire Waze, has followed up its original report with news that the two companies are having problems coming to terms in a few key areas. More →