unnamed (1)

After Google purchased Waze lock, stock, and barrel back in June of last year, some of the more ardent supporters of the small mapping app thought that it might disappear. But here we are seven months later, and Waze and Google Maps are still separate, though the latter is getting a few perks out of the arrangement. In fact, it looks like Waze intends to expand its functionality, starting with a new beta program.


Waze put out the call for beta testers on its company forum, asking only that applicants have a very basic Android device (Froyo or later, 320x480 screen or higher), a little technical sense, and the ability to read and write English. If you're reading this right now, you almost certainly fit the parameters. The beta program is closed, which means you can't just grab an APK and start playing, but the signup page is available for anyone. You'll have to complete a user profile and sign a participation agreement once you're accepted.

At the moment Waze isn't saying what kind of new features or functionality will be included in the next version of its app, though it's sure to build on the community-powered navigation that has made it such a hit with users. And Waze doesn't expect them to beta test for free: the signup page promises "a chance to win some awesome swag" for participating. Here's hoping for a Waze-edition Hot Wheels car.

Thanks, Anton!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • joser116

    I love Waze. It navigates around traffic even better than Maps, which is odd since Google supposedly integrated the data already.

    • IcerC

      It only integrates highly rated waze accident data to keep the information accurate.

      • Doreen Steven


        ✚✚✚ ✚𐠔✚✚ ✚✚𐠚✚✚ ✚✚✚ ✚✚✚Here's hoping for a Waze-edition Hot Wheels car.

      • joser116

        How do you know?

  • Sinistar83

    The last update of their app doesn't work with KitKat 4.4.2 well with navigaion directions. The voice nav only says the street names but doesn't say "turn left", etc. I signed up with the beta anyway, was in the last pool they had going on last year.

    • out2late

      I'm receiving voices for direction and I'm on 4.4.2

      • Sinistar83

        Oh OK, well i got the latest beta build from them and it's still only saying street names, or sometimes none at all.

        • out2late

          Very sorry my error... you are correct. I receive "turn right" but no street name.

          • out2late

            Ive joined to however haven't received any info on the latest beta release. Have you?

  • Guest

    I really hope they improve the interface to be less obstrusive. A good way to start is by improving the camera so warnings like speedcams don't cover the purple road. And we should have better configurable speedcam warnings like Radardroid.

  • Davi Caseira

    I really hope they improve the interface to be less obtrusive. A good way to start is by improving the camera so warnings like speedcams don't cover the purple road. And we should have better configurable speedcam warnings like Radardroid.

    • Android Developer

      waze has so many things to get improved. not just the UI (which I find is too similar to IOS).
      some of the issues i had with it (even with the latest version) : stops the navigation while i'm driving, stops talking while navigating, talks in english instead of hebrew (and might return to hebrew later), doesn't show the marked path, slow talking on some cases (like "after 500 meters.... turn right") as if it needs more time to think about it, crashes on startup so I can't start it without resetting it (also doesn't have ability of backup), doesn't integrate well with sharing the locations (works only for waze, can't share to other users who use other navigations apps) , uninstallation doesn't remove its junk files...

  • Ian N.

    I love Waze, and even if I'm not navigating, it's on to share traffic info.

    That said, one of the irksome things is that in landscape mode, the 'next turn' top bar covers a much larger portion of the screen than in portrait mode, and (in Melbourne Aus at least) the day/night change lags behind actual dawn/dusk by a couple of hours.

  • Haim Nafcha

    I'm on the beta program for a few months, but they didn't publish a new beta version for a few weeks. Mostly there are no big interface changes in the beta versions

  • flosserelli

    Be wary, the beta signup asks for a lot of personal info (some of which I think is unnecessary).

  • http://www.attorneymatthewsrbark.com/possession-of-valium/ Matthews Ryan Bark

    When Waze was acquired, Google had said the Israeli startup would operate separately — and both Google Maps and Waze have been sharing their respective features. In August last year the Waze app was updated with Google Search.

  • Sokudoningyou

    I just wish they'd let you double tap and add an accident or construction, even if you're not on that road. I work right off a freeway, and there's been multiple times I've seen accidents I could have reported.

  • kpjimmy

    I am back on the beta, but I see no beta to download at this time.

  • CPinSL

    I am hoping that Google can solve the high battery drain and high heat issues. I'm on my second phone with Waze installed and both (a low-end entry phone and a mid-level dual core phone) have both problems.

  • frafri

    I wonder how this could work with google glass.