Waze ends the wait as navigation app arrives at last on Android Auto

waze arrives on android auto 1
After weeks of beta testing, Waze is finally releasing its long-awaited Android Auto app to the public. The Google-owned company made the announcement today, and all users need to do to get started is download the latest update.

Waze has been one of Android Auto’s most highly requested apps practically since the platform launched, as it offers a number of features not found in Google Maps. You can report road conditions, and occasionally the app may ask you to confirm what others users have reported. It’s a simple but powerful system built on a loyal community of users, now made even better through the use of your car’s own infotainment screen.

Though the presence of a larger display in your car’s dash always makes navigation easier, Waze is hoping you’ll keep your hands on the wheel and use your voice as much as possible. The app supports “OK Google” commands, so you can start your journey without fiddling with the on-screen map. It also works with your car’s full range of built-in controls, including steering wheel buttons, and features customization visual and audio alerts.

Waze does not yet support Android Auto on your phone’s display, but the company says it’s coming in an upcoming update. Furthermore, some additional features, like speed limit indicators, will also arrive later on, according to The Verge. At this stage, there are no plans to bring the app to Apple’s CarPlay, due to restrictions against third-party navigation apps.

While Android Auto and CarPlay offer a much more convenient and safer way to interact with your phone on the road, the experience is still a bit awkward for drivers. Standard controls for the climate system and stereo are still housed in the manufacturer’s own interface, so users frequently need to leave their phone apps to adjust other settings.

For this reason, Google and Volvo recently worked together on developing a deeply integrated, cohesive experience for upcoming vehicles that operates more like a traditional infotainment system — encapsulating all controls, rather than those that simply concern Android. It has been styled to blend in with Volvo’s existing user interface, but still contains all the benefits you’d expect from Google’s apps, like location ratings and hours of operation in Maps, for example. Volvo will release its first cars in this partnership later this year.

Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Mobile

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.
Mobile

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Mobile

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Deals

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.