Waze, the socially-sourced free navigation app that hit the ground running since launching into the mobile realm six years ago, has struck a major deal with Google.
According to Bloomberg, Google agreed to pay a cool $1.1 billion for the navigation software, an effort to thwart Facebook – which had proposed a deal to purchase the software for $1 billion last month – from increasing its foothold in the mapping world, where Google is undisputedly the leader. Not only was the purchase beneficial in maintaining the lead in navigation, the purchase is a testament to the increased need to cater to users that are constantly on-the-go, turning to tablets and smartphones rather than PCs.
While Google Maps is inarguably the most up-to-date and accurate mapping service on the market, Waze has mastered the wrangling of users – to the tune of 40 million – that help to keep travel conditions current in real time. Combine the two, and we’re expecting to see a stellar app that will certainly be hard to beat. Not to mention, Google’s efforts to get its virtual foot in the social door has been unsuccessful thus far; taking Waze under its wing guarantees it a big leap forward, since the community is already so well-established.
The app is currently available on both iOS and Android devices. Aside from showing current traffic conditions, it also alerts drivers of ongoing road work, speed traps, and other hazards that could prove risky. Income is generated by ads that are location-based; while ads are typically annoying, they can occasionally prove to be useful if you’re, say, driving around an unfamiliar city.
Google is expected to make the announcement very soon, but as of now, there’s no word as to when (or if) full integration is expected to take place, or whether the availability will expand onto other platforms.