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Google Should Just Merge Google Maps and Waze, Create an Almighty Navigation App
Google Maps and Waze are currently two of the most, if not really the most, popular navigation apps out there. Many people don’t know this, but Waze is owned by Google as well, after being acquired by the search company back in June 2013 for $966 million.

Google Should Just Merge Google Maps and Waze, Create an Almighty Navigation App

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In other words, Google has two separate navigation apps, and both are available on Android, iPhone, Android Auto, and CarPlay.

Without a doubt, investing in two similar navigation solutions at the same time doesn’t make much sense, but on the other hand, Google doesn’t seem to be willing to change this. Not now and certainly not too soon, as both Google Maps and Waze are being updated with big improvements regularly.

First of all, it’s important to know the biggest differences between the two.

Waze is clearly an application that’s aimed at drivers who are trying to beat the nightmare traffic in their cities. Based on a crowdsourcing engine, Waze is exclusively aimed at drivers, allowing them to know the location of speed traps, potholes, roadkill, accidents, and other hazards on the road when approaching the place where they’ve been reported.

Google Maps, on the other hand, is a more advanced platform that’s more than just a navigation app. It’s the world’s leading mapping service that packs so much more than just navigation capabilities, allowing users to access business information, determine how crowded a certain place is, and even explore certain locations from the comfort of their own sofa.

But when it comes to navigation capabilities, Google Maps and Waze have already copied each other’s features. Google Maps, for example, now shows accident locations imported from Waze, all in an attempt to make the ETAs more accurate for its users. Waze has recently been updated with the location of EV charging stations across the States, a feature that’s been around in Google Maps for several years already.

Google Maps and Waze being offered as separate apps is something that just makes sense for a wide variety of reasons, especially as the two have their own user bases. But on the other hand, there’s one thing that can be substantially improved if Google Maps and Waze end up being offered as one: the user experience.

For many people out there, the essential navigation features that are bundled with Google Maps are exactly what they needed anyway, as they’re not necessarily interested in the social component of Waze and therefore don’t want to send reports. Google Maps can also help them avoid traffic jams and accidents, and what’s more, users are even allowed to submit reports for basic things like speed traps anyway.

There’s almost nothing that Waze does, and Google Maps can’t do, aside from the crowdsourcing part, and there’s no doubt Google would be able to easily integrate it into an all-in-one application that’s capable of pretty much everything.

In many ways, Google Maps is already the almighty navigation solution that we all need, so by just integrating Waze’s crowdsourcing engine for an improved driving experience, it can make a separate app almost useless overnight.

In fact, many people out there already consider Waze a redundant product, especially because it’s believed Google Maps is always prioritized when it comes to new-gen features. So except for the crowdsourcing engine that’s apparently making such a big difference, there’s almost no reason to stick with Waze.

Whether or not Google will merge Google Maps and Waze at some point in the coming years is something we’ll all find out, but right now, offering two separate navigation apps while clearly favoring one of them doesn’t make much sense. The good thing is Apple finally seems to be ready to take on Google Maps, so maybe Google will at one point reconsider its long-term plans over its navigation software.


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