Android Central

The Waze navigation app has recently been updated with a whole bunch of new social features, ranging from seeing the ETA of your friends, location sharing, pick-up requests, and lots more. Here's the full changelog for Waze 3.5.

  • See friends driving to your destination & everyone's ETA
  • Send a pick up request to grab anyone's location & navigate to them
  • Share your drive by sending a live map of your route & ETA to anyone
  • New design and UI throughout
  • Sign in with Facebook
  • Nearing destination bar
  • Toll road usage indication
  • Private messages
  • Parking location pin

As always, Waze continues to offer croudsourced mapping data, live traffic alerts, points of interest searching, finding the best gas prices, and the usual voice-based turn-by-turn navigation.

The new features are pretty sweet, especially being able to request a pick-up, even if you don't use Waze. Still, it seems like the majority of Waze's new features depend on other friends using the same app, which can be hard to count on for less regular meet-ups. 

Any active Waze users out there? How often do you think you'll use the friends ETA feature? Anything else new that's really leaping out? 


Reader comments

Waze updated with pick-up request and social features


I can see using the ETA feature to send it to my girlfriend if we didn't drive somewhere together and so she knows when I will arrive. I have used Waze now since it was first released in 2009 on Android and it only keeps getting better.

I might use the shared destination/ETA function with my wife or family. But what I would really like Waze to incorporate is less intrusive notifications! Instead of pop-ups, shrink the map and show the notifications on the side or bottom, ticker style.

Oh, whoopie doodle. They have some bugs that I've been pleading to have fixed. Difficulty hitting the little buttons on higher resolution phones, for one. Caching and offline maps, which some of us with spotty reception & network coverage need.

It's a fun app for the city, but head out into the boonies, and it lets you down. Beyond my daily commute (seeing what daily catastrophe awaits me on the interstate), I can't rely on Waze. Google Maps now does much better for long distance jaunts.

YES, those popups have to go. When you stop and want to navigate, it keeps dragging the map to some place you're NOT, and showing you some incident you don't care about. Pretty stupid.

It's very easy to turn off those pop-up messages. Just go into settings and turn off the groups, or just disable the messages you don't want. Mine is set to only show messages when I'm sitting at a light, or if it impacts my travel path, otherwise they stay out of the way.

Exactly. Its routing is so bad in rural areas it's almost humorous. I was making a drive down to a nearby larger city (from 6,000ish to 80,000ish) and instead of trying to take me on the four-lane expressway, it wanted to go on these minor two-lane roads (even trying to go on gravel roads at times!) There were no reported incidents on the four-lane, and I encountered no delays of note (there was some construction with lane merging, but no delays.)

I haven't used Waze in a while due to it's difficulty with multitasking. I'm not really sure I would use the new social features, namely because I don't know anyone else who uses Waze, and the only person I really hang out with goes with me if ever we go somewhere. So maybe a few times a year would it actually be semi-useful to me to have ETA for people I was planning on meeting somewhere.

But for "normal" people with social lives (or even professional lives), these features look like they could be pretty handy.

Honestly, it looks childish to me. Why they would make the interface seem like a Playskool product is beyond me.

I believe it originated on iPhones, and new features land there first. That's probably all you need to know.

(Their current version has a ton of iOS UI conventions, which violate Android design standards in more ways than I can count.)

And as soon as you get away from the beaten path, any advantage over Google maps disappears because nobody uses this app except in s few larger cities. This is great for college kids in a new town, for navigation to social events, but don't try it away from city streets.

I use Waze whenever I'm driving for at least several Km, and I really like the notifications other users post about traffic and hazards.

i've used it on longer trips in to minor areas, and it doesn't make any difference (i.e. doesn't aid) much at all, but on the other hand, I believe that by using Waze in these areas it helps to improve their database.

What bothers me (or just drives me crazy):

- In Waze, the keyboard (Slide-IT) just takes ages to react. Touch a letter and it'll be seconds before anything happens. Forget about typing details of a warning that I want to post. It could be because Waze demands so much from the system, but that is just too much.

- Why does Waze sometimes say that there is no data connection and can't send my info, although the 3G signal is there.

- If data connection is lost when posting a message, Waze will just hang there, and later on tell you it couldn't post it. But then all is lost. It's not saved as a draft. Forget about entering it again, as position has now changed. So, they should add a function to save messages as draft and auto-send when data connection is available.

Still, I love Waze, and more and more people are using it here. It could be my device's fault: Galaxy Ace, GT-S5830B almost no internal RAM, saved by Link2SD.

Non-US residents can also track live maps on their browsers, but the address is: Took me ages to find out that! It's a good tool to use at home before going out and actually turning Waze on.

Sharing my route is a vanity feature. I don't care even a little bit.

Flip that functionality around so that somebody else can SEND me a route, and then I'll be impressed. It's 5:15pm, my wife calls (handsfree) and says she's stuck in traffic going 10 to 20mph rather than 60mph, can I please check Google traffic to see if there's a faster/easier way to get home? I quickly find an alternate route that avoids three miles worth of nearly stopped traffic, but I have no easy way to get that route to her. She's in a moving vehicle in bumper to bumper traffic, so there's no way for her to enter the new route into her phone.

I would happily pay $60/year if I could log in to a web interface or launch the same app on my phone to create the new route and then send it to her phone and allow her to accept the route with a single tap on a BIG button on the screen. Add the ability to embed multiple waypoints into that route and you would also have an awesome tool for dispatchers for vehicle fleets that perform on-demand pickups.

I really like everything about Waze -except for the routing. I'm in the middle of Los Angeles and the routing it gives me makes NO sense - making multiple left and right hand turns on non-major streets, etc when google gets it right. Such a shame as it has so much promise.