11
Jun
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This weekend the tech world was abuzz with rumors that Google had purchased Israeli mapping and navigation software maker Waze for a sum of over a billion dollars. Today Google has made it official, thanks to a post on the company blog from the VP of Geo, Brian McClendon. While Google declined to mention exactly how much it spent on Waze, it's a safe bet that it was a lot, since both Apple and Facebook had previously expressed interest.

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Current Waze users will be glad to know that Google doesn't plan on shutting down the Waze app, at least in the short term:

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.

Waze has grown a user base of about 50 million across Android and iOS, spurred on by international maps, live traffic reporting and rerouting, and a unique social approach. Users can dynamically report on the locations of undesirable traffic conditions like congestion, wrecks, or speed traps, or even point out the best place to find cheap gas. It's also got a function that lets you see willing Facebook friends as they're driving.

You can expect to see some of Waze's functionality added to future major revisions of Google Maps and Google Navigation. Congratulations to the Waze team on the acquisition.

Source: Google Official Blog

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Defenestratus

    Doesn't Waze supply Apple maps with data?

    I'm sure Google will be happy to renegotiate the rate at which Apple purchases that data ... hee hee he ee

    • Karlo

      Apple uses TomTom.

      • PeterIsemann

        And Apple uses data from Waze in some countries

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Apple uses a bunch of sources, including TomTom, Waze, and many others. It's right in the credits for the iOS6 maps. Here's an online list: http://screenwerk.com/2012/06/11/who-are-the-apple-maps-data-providers-here-they-are/

        Apple's new desktop OS will have built-in maps, and iOS 7 will doubtless improve iOS6. I'm sure the company that pays millions in royalties to Microsoft for patents relating to Android will work something out with Apple.

      • Rob

        I believe they announced that iOS7 will be using BING search data. I wonder if this also includes mapping data. My experiences with TomTom have been horrible (e.g. left turn where a sidewalk is, etc).

  • kobuu

    I'm hoping they integrate the two in just the right way so that we get the best of both. GMaps is pretty decent so just added Waze as another layer, that you could turn off, would be fine..

  • Adam Truelove

    Of course they will remain separate for now. Jeez, how fast do you think they can integrate the Waze workforce/system? It will take time. They will eventually, however, completely phase out Waze and take the pieces they want and put them in Google Maps/Navigation.

  • Booyabobby

    I don't want Waze to be phased out completely. Some people are gonna want alternatives if they don't like Google Maps.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      I don't think you have to worry for now. It won't be shut down for a waze down the road.

      • Elislurry

        I see what you did there!

        • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

          I also would have accepted "I hate you" as an acceptable response.

          • I_Hate_NinJustin

            I hate you

    • Elislurry

      What kind of a madman doesn't like Google Maps?

      • Booyabobby

        The Doctor?

      • Matthew Fry

        The ones that like their battery to last longer than 5 minutes.

  • D3

    Honestly, Google Maps' routing was the only reason I used it over Waze, there were some locations Waze just couldn't find a route to while Google Maps found one that kept me just outside of the Congestion Charging Zone too.

  • itai_marom
  • Rami

    I love Google for everything, except navigation, and I love Waze for navigation, now they are together, which is good.

    Beware Google: if you try to close or change how Waze works....

    • Leonardo Baez

      what do you find wrong with google navigation? by now is the best alternative where i am located

      • Rami

        You said it, "where i am located".

        Where I live in Italy Google Navigator is not very precise: doesn't show police traps, bad traffic and arrival estimation, and slow map updates for new roads. Waze "where I am located" is much better.

        Google Maps is great for offline usage, to look out new places, to prepare a trip on foot or in public transport.

        • squiddy20

          Google has never shown police traps, in any country, ever.

          • Geoff Johnson

            Maybe that will change now :)

  • Matthew Fry

    Ahh.. .Good guy google.

  • GraveUypo

    this is an app i've always had installed but was never of any use to me because well, no one else uses it. (over here at least)