Besides a new design and layout, perhaps the most intriguing new feature of version 4.0 is reminders — by integrating with your Google calendar, Waze will automatically let you know when you should leave for an event based on both current and anticipated traffic conditions. This will require you to put the full address for the event into your calendar, however.
Elsewhere, the Google-owned company has decluttered the browsing experience, meaning fewer taps are required to access commonly used features — for example, hitting the left-hand button surfaces the navigation menu and favorite destinations. Similarly, the reporting menu has been given an overhaul and can now be found on the map, represented by a giant orange button.
Founded out of Israel in 2007, Waze has built a solid reputation on its mobile apps that let users share traffic data. It was the popularity of these apps, the associated community of users, and the data they generated that persuaded Google to pay more than $1 billion to acquire Waze back in 2013.
What’s perhaps most surprising here is that Waze first introduced this overhaul way back in October for its iOS app. The lag time suggests there may be a level of autonomy within the Waze team that gives it a degree of control over which platforms receive which updates and in what order.