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Google Maps and Waze updated with crossover features

Following Google's acquisition of Waze back in June, we're starting to see the first signs of cross-pollination between Google's Maps and the collaborative navigation app. From today, Waze-reported incidents are starting to appear in Google Maps on mobile, and Waze users can also benefit from new Google features in their app.

Accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze are appearing in Google Maps for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the U.S.

Wazers are also getting a couple of new features from Google. Google Search will be added to the Android and iOS versions of the Waze app, and the Waze map editor now includes Google Street View data.

It's likely we'll see more co-operation between the Waze and Maps teams as time goes on, however at the time of the acquisition Google made it clear that the two teams will continue to operate separately.

Source: Google LatLong Blog (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Just saw it this morning. Nice addition to maps. Posted via Android Central App
  • Very nice. I was wondering when this would happen. :)
  • Same here. In my own opinion, that was quick. I'm wondering how the Waze web app has improved. Will have to test it when I get home.
  • That's great...Looking forward to more integration Posted via Android Central App
  • Hopefully they don't completely bork up Waze like they did with Google maps. Ever since the big update last month, Gmaps crashes almost every time I try to use it.
    That, combined with the horrible new design (from a usability standpoint) and the inability to not route navigation audio through a connected bluetooth device, made me download Waze last week, and I'm really liking it so far. Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • Never had a Google Maps crash since Eclair. You're clearly doing something wrong.
  • Well, it turns out it is a very common complaint on both Google’s support forum and on Play reviews (Where there are suddenly tons of 1 star ratings). It crashes very consistently on a GS4.
  • GMaps crashes on my S3 frequently as well since the update a month or so ago.
  • It actually crashed quite often on my old galaxy S. At least 3 times in its lifetime.
  • Samsung seems to be a common trend for google maps failure, at least here.
  • May be it's time to change that phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • Most likely has nothing to do with his/her phone... I have the note 2 and it does this on my phone all the time. I agree with maps being completely unintuitive since the update.. What were they thinking?! Goes back to the old rule of thumb... If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it. Posted via Android Central App
  • I have a Note 2 also. Maps works perfectly for me. Not sure about it being unintuitive. Seems like some of you don't like change.
  • From the perspective of someone who most often launches maps from the blue navigation icon - The UX is measurably and significantly worse. This isn't just about "change". I don't like change when they took a great 4 lane highway and replaced it with a gravel road. Yes, I _can_ get from point A to point B, but it is tedious, slow, annoying and unnecessary. If you never used the old blue navigation icon, these issues don't pertain to you.
  • I don't hate change overall, but when you take features that have been commonplace for years and suddenly rip them out or make them harder to find/use? You bet your ass I'll hate change. Google has been going crazy with various interface updates, and I'm really not liking it. Particularly, I hate the updated Hangouts replacing Google Talk, specifically the loss of icons to indicate if the user is online/away/busy. I don't want to have to guess if the person I'm messaging is actually there and ready to receive messages, I want to know before I send it. Oh, they're away? Maybe I'll text them instead.
  • I will actually agree. While I like the new layout, I always had crashing errors as well. It was really annoying. Happened when going from a call back to Navigation, or sending a text during Navigation. Every time I opened up the Nav, it would crash. However, after the most recent update I haven't run into any issues. Using a GS3.
  • Also using a Gs3, and it was crashing with the same scenarios you describe. Going back to navigation / my route from another app would make it crash. Maybe I'll try again with the new update, but I really am digging the "social" features of Waze.
    Used to drive my wife nuts that I would flash my lights for incoming traffic after passing a speed trap. Now I get to do it on a larger scale. Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • Waze doesn't work with bluetooth for me (using Ford Sync).
  • I don't want it to work with bluetooth. It always irked me that if I didn't remember to change my bluetooth settings after listening to bt audio, Gmaps would keep broadcasting my directions to bt when my radio was set to fm or satellite. Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • Turn off media from sending over Bluetooth. Then you can still answer phone calls yet use FM radio.
  • I don't want to go into my bluetooth settings every time I switch audio sources on a long trip. Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • The free Bluetooth Auto Connect app has a few options I think you will find handy.
  • You hit the nail on the head as far as useability. Trying to actually get that app into navigation mode is quite the challenge while driving. What used to take two touches (plus input of directions) now takes like five. I think google has monkeys working at that company. If they didn't get lucky with the type of revenue they generate they would sink so fast.
  • I didn't realize how bad the new navigation was until this weekend. There were way too many clicks and confirmations. I was smart enough to launch navigation before I started to drive; good luck to the driver who decides to launch navigation while they are driving.
  • Is there a way to stop the screen turning off whilst driving and using maps? It is so annoying to have to reach over and touch the screen every time I see it start to dim. Also is there a way to get rid of the annoying search bar at the top of maps? It takes up too much screen realestate and should only be there when you want to search for something, and not the whole time. As you can probably tell I had not used the updated version of maps yet, but used it the other day to see what people were complaining about when compared to the older version. Posted via Android Central App
  • There is (or used to be) an option where Maps would brighten the screen when a turn was coming up. That doesn't keep it on all the time, though.
  • That's a gross exaggeration. It takes 3 touches. Touch the Directions icon, Touch the destination, Touch the Nav icon. One extra touch...OH NOES! THE APP IS NOW CRAP!
  • I just did it. I had to 1. Open maps
    2. Touch search and enter my directions,
    3. Touch the car icon in the bottom right
    4. Touch the route I want
    5. Touch start That's a lot of touches in different locations on the screen just to get navigating. The quickest route should be default. This is how a good app would be designed... 1. Open navigation
    2. Touch search and enter directions
    3. Touch go It takes 5 touches to do what should take 3. Yes, there are times when you would like to choose your route differently or look at a pretty overview of the route but that should be an exception.
  • Well then you're doing it wrong. Tap the maps app icon, touch the directions icon on the right side of the search bar and enter address, touch start.
  • Enter an address? With the on screen keyboard? With the device in a dock at arms reach? How many fiddly extra touches is that? Yes, you should be able to start a navigation by doing that. The issue was that they took away a far far better method of starting a navigation. With absolutely no upside. From the old blue Nav icon, it was one big fat button to go Home. If you are navigating, that has to be at least 40% to 50% of your usage. There was also the freakishly smart history list below that of places that your most likely to want to go. Starred places was a swipe away. What on earth do you gain by removing that method? If you never started maps via the blue Nav icon, your use case is different and these complaints don't apply to you. And you won't understand what the big deal is. Those of us that use it numerous times a day - and depend on it - we have issues.
  • All that functionality is still there. I was merely addressing somebody else's use. In your case, it's still the same. Just one extra tap. Whoopdy doo. Touch the maps app icon, touch the directions icon, and you have all your "freakishly smart history" right there. If you're not at home, the very first option is Home (and usually already auto filled in the Destination). The only added step with the new design is that you have to open the maps app, then one tap to the Nav interface. Everything else is still there.
  • Thank you!
    that is a bit easier.
  • I've also had good results tapping the Mic icon on the "Enter Destination" line and speaking a whole street address aloud to the phone, including zip code and it's accurately filled it in for me without having to type if the phone is in a dock or you are already on the move.
  • I know it's a often used comment but THIS!!!!!!!
  • It's a lot of extra touches when you have to restart navigation every time I answer a call or text... Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • You can do it in two presses if you have a Google now icon on your home screen "Navigate to address" Where address is obviously your destination Also my car has a button to launch Google now so it's more like none on the actual device
  • I agree, the usability is so bad it's unlike anything I've ever used. It works but it makes no intuitive sense. I was worried all Google's apps would end up like it, but the new YouTube app is one of the most usable apps I've seen.
  • Navigation routes through my bluetooth just fine. Posted via Android Central App
  • I hate to say it but Google will most likely screw up Waze just like everything else it touches. I used it every day on my commute to work and back,its a shame since Waze was such a well done App. Delete!
  • then you don't understand why Google bought Waze
  • "Google will most likely screw up Waze just like everything else it touches." Wow. Soo...Windows Phone or iPhone user? Hotmail or Yahoo!? Why were you even interested in anything on this webpage?
  • I agree. Chances are Google will merge or alter some aspects that should not have been touched.
  • Same ol argument. Things change. Some for the better. Some for the worst. And all of that depends on each of our perspective. If it wasn't for change we wouldn't have these damn phones or computers for that matter.
  • Do you need to use your Google account on Waze to get the new features or will they automatically cross over on the same device? Posted via Android Central App
  • Waze integration is awesome!
  • Off subject, there is one thing i wish they would add is weather update. I do a 3-4 hour road trip to my parents every few weeks. It would be awesome if i can check the weather on the route to my destination to avoid driving through heavy rain, etc.
  • Can you report incidents? Posted via Android Central App
  • using Waze, Yes!
  • Will it do my laundry?
  • Did they bring back the "my maps" feature yet?
  • A lot more complaints using Maps than I thought there would be. I personal like a lot of the changes. Like tapping any location automatically shows the ETA, swiping between search results, and already showing up to 3 routes when selecting a destination. But I do have complaints. Zagat ratings have been dumbed down to show only places with Zagat badges. The "make map offline" is a guessing game as to how big you can make it. My Maps is still missing.
  • I thought that this was common knowledge - I've had this feature for more than a week and I'm in NZ! It helped me realise that I had no chance of getting to work with a major accident and roadworks blocking all routes into the city. Posted via Android Central App
  • So you don't need to actually have the Waze app installed, correct?
  • Correct SwiftKeyed via Android Central App
  • Awesome!
  • You don't NEED it; but if you want to report incidents, or police sightings, then yes you do. My buddy swears by GMaps, but I love Waze, esp. in urban areas. I beat him to point B more often than not during weekday commutes in the L.A. area.
  • It's prettier but not as fluid. The alternative routes is far harder to access during navigation, the touch targets are way smaller which is a bit daft Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm pretty sure you see alternate routes just by clicking the x to exit out. You'll see the 3 results again and updated to your current location. It took 2 or 3 taps with the previous way but it did keep giving your current directions while making the viewing.
  • wow a lot of people hate change in here.
  • Not really, the maps is fine. It's the navigation that's the problem. It's a lot harder to use when driving. More touches and smaller icons. I rely on navigation for work and am constantly having to back out to the top menu and start again Posted via Android Central App
  • It's one extra tap. That's it. SwiftKeyed via Android Central App
  • Tell Google what you call the places you go beforehand and all you have to do is use Google Now.
    Try "Google Take me Home" (assuming Google knows where you live) and voilà
  • It's ironic. Before the changes to the UI, the number one complaint was that there was a separate icon for Navigation in the app drawer, because everybody was under the impression that the Navigation icon was bloat. Now that it's gone, the number one complaint is that there's one extra touch to get to the Nav UI. Can't have it both ways. SwiftKeyed via Android Central App
  • Looking forward to the day i can begin a search string, and the results are within my community and not hundreds or thousands of miles away; and, yes, my home address is entered in the app and location services are enabled. Posted via Android Central App
  • Strange. If always searches for whatever is within the map view for me.
  • I'll stick to the older better version until they bring back all the features that were removed.
  • Deleted the amazing app Waze as soon as I read this article. Posted via Android Central App
  • I wish that Google nav would show distance to next point, total distance, time remaining, and eta on the main screen as Waze does, instead of having to tap the small bar at the bottom to flip through only three of these features. Posted via Android Central App