Securing its dominance in real-time navigation information, Google has acquired traffic app Waze. After weeks of speculation the search engine giant has finally gobbled up a much fought-over Israeli social mapping company. The financial details of the deal were not confirmed by either companies, though The New York Times pegged the figure at $1.03 billion.
“To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Geo, wrote in a blog post.
Founded in 2009, Waze provides map routes and constantly updated traffic conditions that it sources from app users. The app tracks your car location and speed to tell others what the road situation looks like. Available as a free app on iOS and Android the 50 million user app also lets users edit maps with details like petrol prices, speed traps, road construction and traffic accidents.
As GPS-equipped smartphones have become increasingly ubiquitous, map apps have soared in popularity. Google and Apple have been fighting an increasingly intense battle for user loyalty in the mobile-map space for more than a year thereby urging them to buy Waze. Because map apps are so widely used, they have become a key priority for software companies in the mobile wars.
The acquisition could help Google improve its own mapping services- Google Maps as they face a competition from Apple’s Maps which will receive major updates in iOS 7. After the Waze deal what will be Google’s next move. As location based services and maps go hand in hand can we expect a Foursquare acquisition soon? But again Google has Google Now for this service. What do you think?
Image Courtesy | mashable