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Waze just got a bunch of new features that you have to check out

Published Sep 15th, 2020 10:19PM EDT
Waze New Features
Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe

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  • Waze announced on Tuesday a variety of new features that should further improve the commuting experience of drivers and people using the app to carpool.
  • Waze can make trip suggestions based on your habits, and let you access recent locations with ease. The app will issue notifications if it detects worsening traffic conditions for an upcoming drive, and will support lane guidance instructions.
  • The integration with Google Assistant supports more languages, Amazon Music integration is available to Waze users, and Waze Carpool can pair drivers with riders even faster.

Apple might have dominated the news on Tuesday with the reveal of new Apple Watch and iPad models. But it just so happens that Waze hosted its own press event on Tuesday as well to introduce new features meant to improve your commute even further, whether you’re in the driver seat or looking for carpooling options.

The new Waze Trip Suggestion feature will now show you personalized recommendations that are based on previous trips or locations that you may have driven to. This can come in handy if you’re commuting to work every day, as Waze will now tell you what to expect for your next trip. Trip Suggestions will indicate the trip duration and expected traffic, allowing you to prepare better for unforeseen problems.

Waze will suggest trips based on the most recent drives. Image source: Waze

The new Recent Locations feature will show recent destinations, allowing you to start your navigation towards the same address quickly, be it your home, work, school, or some other destination that you visit often.

Even better than that is the new Traffic Notifications feature that will issue alerts about the traffic towards your favorite and recent destinations. Once Waze detects traffic issues that may alter your travel time, it will send notifications urging you to take action.

The new Traffic Notifications will pop up when Waze detects issues that can impact the next ride. Image source: Waze

Waze will also get a few useful features for the driving experience. The app now integrates Google Assistant, complete with support for French, Spanish, and Portuguese. You’ll be able to issue commands to Waze rather than touching the screen of the handset. A partnership with Amazon will let you play Amazon Music while using Waze navigation, as long as you also have access to Amazon’s music streaming app.

Following ETA improvements for Google Maps, Google has now improved the feature on Waze as well. Waze says it has adapted to the new driving conditions of the novel coronavirus pandemic to update its ETA calculations in areas where there are fewer drivers than ever.

ETA Improvements in Waze should offer better arrival estimates. Image source: Waze

The lane guidance feature that leaked a few months ago has also started rolling out to users. If you’re using Waze for carpooling purposes, you can now set the price for the next ride if the recommendation doesn’t fit your needs. Features like Instant Book and Auto Approve should speed up the whole approval experience. With Real-Time Rides on, Waze will tell drivers at the start of the drive about other riders on their route looking for a car and let drivers offer them a ride.

Waze Carpool
Waze Carpool feature Real-Time Rides will let drivers pick up riders along their route. Image source: Waze

Not all the new features will be available immediately, or in all markets. Trip Suggestions, Recent Locations, Traffic Notifications will be available next month. The new carpool price-setting feature is available in Brazil, Israel, and Mexico today. Instant Book and Auto Approve are also available today in the same markets and rolling out to US users on Tuesday. Real-Time Rides will roll out this month in Israel, followed by other Waze Carpool markets. ETA improvements are also available today, as is Google Assistant in English. Support for the other languages and Amazon Music integration will be rolling out to Waze apps in the coming months.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.