Spotify and Waze partner to bring music to your ride on iOS

waze
Shutterstock / eskay
Waze, one of the world’s most popular turn-by-turn navigation apps, is joining forces with Spotify to rock your ride. On Monday, September 18, the two announced a partnership that has their respective apps working better together on the iPhone.

In a forthcoming update, iOS users will get a new Spotify option in the Waze app. Once users type in their credentials and sign in, they gain access to their playlists and pop-up descriptions of playing tracks. 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. Users will get an option to switch between apps when their car is at a complete stop and when they hop to the Spotify app while Waze is running in the background, they will get a truncated version of the next instruction.

When Waze brought Spotify integration to Android devices earlier this year, the collaboration came as something of a surprise. Google, which purchased Waze for $1.1 billion in 2013, has its own Play Music 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 had 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.

Update: Added information about Waze and Spotify integration on iOS. 

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