Google Assistant lets you cut down on distraction while driving because its voice recognition takes care of certain tasks. As we speak, Google Assistant is already available in Google Maps, making it easier to get to your destination without much distraction.
At I/O 2018, Google released a navigation-optimized Assistant for Google Maps that has a compact bar that pops up from the bottom of the screen, allowing commands to run in the background without interfering with directions. And things are getting even better.
Waze Gets Google Assistant Integration
Google, at I/O 2019, announced that Assistant will roll out to Waze for Android, meaning that users can now use the smart voice companion within the app. The rollout will begin in the US on Android devices for English speakers.
If you are not familiar with Waze, it’s like a social version of Google Maps. It allows anyone who uses the navigation app to report traffic, cops, slowdowns, traffic accidents, alternative routes, and many more. In fact, Waze pioneered the idea of adding a lightweight social layer to reporting of traffic-related updates.
On the ads front, Waze has been more creative and experimental than Google Maps. It has managed to roll out ads for enterprises and SMBs into the app without distracting users. On top of this, Waze has launched some innovative initiatives, such as coordinating with out-of-home campaigns.
The only drawback of using Waze, before the addition of the Assistant support into the navigation app, was that it forced users to take their attention off the road when alerting other drivers. But that is now past.
Voice commands were already available in Waze for Android, but with the addition of Google Assistant, Wazers can now perform a number of tasks without having to leave the Waze app. Commands, such as playing specific songs, making calls, sending messages, and more, can be easily done using your voice. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the new addition is that users will do the reporting and send requests without touching the screen.
Now that Google Assistant offers navigation help in Waze, you will probably touch your screen less frequently as you navigate with Waze. In other words, the feature allows you to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. For instance, users can report potholes and traffic with just their voice. Once the app recognizes a request, it will generate a free incident report accompanied by visual confirmation.
The interface in Waze is quite similar to Google’s four dots appearing and responding to your voice. With the addition of Google Assistant, Waze’s interface will be slightly darkened. Other than this, the Assistant will cover some controls at the bottom of the screen, such as the time and distance bar.
Waze-Specific Google Assistant Commands
To stay connected and minimize distractions, just say, ‘Hey Google, avoid tolls’ or something similar when using this app, then let Google Assistant do the rest. Here is a list of some popular Waze-specific Google Assistant commands:
- Hey Google, report traffic
- Hey Google, allow/avoid tools/highways
- Hey Google, report police
- Hey Google, report a crash
- Hey Google, show me alternative routes
The Benefits of Google Assistant Coming to Waze
The benefits of having Assistant working natively within Waze are immense, but there are a few that stand out. Its potential to minimize distractions while at the wheel is a relief to most drivers. Waze is already a top choice navigation app for most Lyft and Uber drivers. Most of them will swear by its supremacy over other navigation apps, including Google Maps.
Likelihood of Assistant Coming to iPhone
Even as Google Assistant comes to Waze, it appears Google chose to carry out a very specific rollout. The targets for this rollout are English-speaking Android users. So, Waze users who run iOS, are based in another country, or have a different language set will have to wait a bit. But we expect availability to expand in the long run.
We are still unsure if Google Assistant will roll out to the iPhone version of Waze, but we are hopeful Google will make it happen. Likewise, we also expect the rollout to cover Android devices set to languages other than English. Greater availability will make Waze’s crowdsourcing features more useful.
So, as we wait for Google to revamp Waze, make sure that your Android device is free of junk and bugs that can affect its performance. Make use of a free one-tap tool like Outbyte AndroidCare to free up memory, save battery life, secure your data, and speed up your smartphone.
Ever since Google bought Waze back in 2013, the tech giant has managed to integrate different features of this app and Google Maps. But the company needs to be cautious not to distort Waze’s unique character as it implements these reciprocal integrations. Nonetheless, the addition of Google Assistant to Waze will be a huge benefit for those who use the app while driving.
Some industry experts believe that Google will continue using Waze as an ad-testing platform before importing ads into its flagship products.