Want a little Spotify in your Waze? Your wish is the companies' command.
Waze, the world’s largest crowdsourced navigation app, is joining forces with Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, to rock your ride. On Tuesday, the services announced a partnership that will see Spotify’s features integrated natively into the Waze app for smartphones.
In a forthcoming update, users will see a new Spotify option within Waze. Once they have typed their credentials and signed in, they’ll gain access to their playlists and pop-up descriptions of playing tracks. Waze’s new playback controls will skip, pause, or change the playing song without the need to launch Spotify. And a new shortcut will quickly switch between the Waze and Spotify apps.
The integration goes both ways. When users hop to the Spotify app while Waze is running in the background, they’ll get a truncated version of the next navigation instruction. The integration is rolling out to Android users worldwide over the next few weeks, and to Waze’s iOS app soon after.
The partnership comes as something of a surprise. Google, which purchased Waze for $1.1 billion in 2013, has its own Play music-streaming service that competes with Spotify, But Waze hasn’t been shy about reaching out to third-party partners in the past.
In 2016, it debuted the Waze Transport SDK, a software development kit that lets partners integrate with Waze’s routing and guidance data. Ride-sharing service Lyft became one of the first to use it last year, along with U.K. emergency dispatch company Genesis Group, JustPark Parking, Cabify, 99Taxis, and food delivery service Cornershop.
Last year also saw the launch of Waze’s Global Event Partner Program, which saw the company team up with event organizers to help with logistics planning. Partners get access to Waze Closure, a tool that lets them input scheduled delays, restrictions, lane reversals, parking locations, and road closures ahead of time.
And Waze has dipped its toe in other ventures, too. In February, Waze expanded Waze Carpool, a ride-sharing tool that matches riders with carpoolers in areas where bus and transit routes don’t normally reach. It’s active in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Israel.
But the expansions haven’t come at the cost of new in-app features. In recent years, Waze features tapped the vocal talent of high-profile names like New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, How I met Your Mother’s own Neil Patrick Harris, and comedian Steven Colbert for spoken-aloud turn-by-turn directions. In June 2016, Waze added a “difficult intersections” feature that suggests alternative routes around intersections with higher-than-average accident rates. And more recent updates added alerts about hit-and-runs and kidnappings and reminders for parents not to leave children in hot cars.