Google has completed the billion dollar acquisition of the popular community-sourced navigation app Waze, it was announced on Tuesday.
The purchase follows weeks of speculation over the future of the app, which relies on real-time data uploads from users to advise fellow drivers about traffic, accidents, petrol prices, the presence of speed cops and more.
Israel-based Waze, which has built a community of 49 million users around the globe, will remain an active app in the App Store and Google Play Store “for years to come,” the company assured, following news of the buyout.
It would make sense that the apps real-time functionality will be built into forthcoming versions of Google Maps on the web and on mobile devices, as it seeks to expend its lead as the world-leader in navigation apps thanks to a little social infusion.
In a blog post, Waze CEO Noam Bardim said Google’s influence will also improve the search quality of the app for current users.
He wrote: “We are excited about the prospect of working with the Google Maps team to enhance our search capabilities and to join them in their ongoing efforts to build the best map of the world.
“Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same. The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come.”
For Google its reported $1.1 billion (around £0.7bn) expenditure, will not only assist its own apps in a number of ways, but will also prevent the likes of Facebook and Apple from getting to Waze first.
The social network was thought to have a deal in the works with Waze last month until talks broke down, while Apple reportedly had a take-over bid to assist its developing Maps app rejected.
Waze first came to real notoriety following the fallout from Apple’s disastrous Maps launch late last year. The app was one of many third-party solutions Apple CEO Tim Cook recommendation for users disappointed by the new home-brewed offering.