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Is Google’s other navigation app taking a misstep towards Waze?

As noted by Autoevolution, a popular navigation app called Waze has received numerous one-star reviews on the Google Play Store. One recent issue that affected Waze users was the malfunctioning of dark mode on CarPlay in August. This led to a blinding white light emitting from the Waze app during nighttime. It took approximately a month for Waze to release a bug fix for this problem.
Owned by Google, Waze used to offer some of the best features in the navigation category. However, many of these features have already been integrated into Google Maps. Both apps allow users to share real-time information about traffic, road repairs, police activity, weather conditions, and more. The main difference is that while Google Maps focuses on providing fast and safe routes from point “A” to point “B,” it also suggests places for users to stay, dine, or find entertainment at their destination.
On the other hand, Waze primarily concentrates on navigation and has unique features such as using various voice options, including the user’s own voice, to guide them. Users have expressed several complaints about Waze on the Play Store, including frequent app crashes, missing traffic support, disappearing planned trips, lagging that impedes app usage, and more.

Furthermore, some users claim that Waze no longer suggests fast routes as it used to, and others assert that the app directs them into heavy traffic. People who have used the app suggest that Waze should prioritize bug fixes and useful features instead of offering “useless features like silly voices.”

Looking ahead, the future of Waze remains uncertain. Some believe that merging Waze with Google Maps could result in an exceptional navigation and travel app, but sources suggest that Google has no intentions to combine the two apps. The teams in Mountain View want Maps and Waze to operate independently but closely intertwined.

Although Google has merged the teams and they now share a workspace, they have also taken over ad sales for Waze from its own marketing team. However, is Waze slowly being pushed aside? Many users seem to prefer Google Maps regardless of the circumstances. For instance, ride-share drivers who solely require navigation might not be interested in knowing about accommodations or restaurants nearby.

Very few ride-share drivers I’ve seen use Waze, as most of them rely on Google Maps instead. If Google truly desires to keep Waze in the market, it should investigate why these drivers are hesitant to use Waze. Personally, I find the navigation user interface on Google Maps and Apple Maps to be much more user-friendly, but opinions may vary.

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