Crowdsourced driving and traffic navigation app Waze is very popular in Israel and the world, particularly since its acquisition by Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) in 2013 for $1.1 billion, which put the company in the international spotlight. The Israeli app is ranked number one among free navigation and travel apps in the iTunes App Store, and Google Play.
Now, good news from Google could make Waze and its users happier still: the Internet giant announced that the app is now part of its official Google Mobile Services suite, which will make it possible for smartphone manufacturers and mobile operators to pre-install the app on the devices they offer, should they so desire.
Many mobile manufacturers already install Google Mobile Services on their devices, including Samsung, HTC, and Motorola, and these companies will now be able to add Waze to this package. This comes alongside other Google services that are built into Android devices, such as YouTube, Gmail, and Hangouts.
This means that millions of Android users will be exposed to the app the moment they pick up their new devices, a possibility that bodes well not only for the potential for significant growth in new users, but for the improvement of service as well, thanks to more reliable reports of traffic, police, speed cameras, and arrival times (which are calculated based on crowdsourced data that is transmitted by users in real time).
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2015
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