Lots doing over here at waze these days, and as a result, we got a jam-packed version to offer up to you guys. Here are the main elements and a bit of background around each…
Version 2.0’s main feature is a new concept we created called driving groups. Basically, the idea was this: While drivers may usually be alone in their cars, they’re actually often part of a broader group. Naturally, driving groups are useful for commuters who travel from the suburbs to the city on a regular basis and would like to share specific tips about their route, but groups can also benefit fleets of professional drivers who belong to the same company, groups of friends travelling in a caravan of separate cars to a shared destination, people seeking cheap gas in a specific metro, motorcycle clubs, those looking to carpool, or any other grouping that you guys can dream up!
These groups will allow you to discover and connect with other drivers on the road to exchange useful information with each other. You’ll actually be able to keep track of other group members via a shared group icon next to each member’s avatar on the map, and for those of you who’d like to connect beyond the waze platform, group members’ Twitter and Facebook profiles are clickable on the map to make connecting easy.
You can create or join as many groups as you like, and to continue the conversation even further, group owners are encouraged to set up a dedicated Twitter account and Facebook fan page. In this first version – available on iPhone only – groups are public and anyone can join them. In the future, it will be possible to create private groups, too.
We really hope that you enjoy this new feature! Look for the groups icon on the top navigation bar to check group events. To create or join a group, click the more arrow on the bottom right of the iPhone screen.
Here are a few group examples to give you some ideas:
· San Francisco –> Mountain View
· Topanga Canyon Residents
· Cheap Gas in Austin, TX
· NYC to The Hamptons
Royalty - We’re introducing rank symbols and a stronger gaming backend in this versio n , so if you rank high in points, now everyone will know it just by looking at you on the map – introd ucing waze royalty!
New wazers enter the game as baby wazers and after 100 miles, are then able to change the mood of their avatar. For those of you who are further along, now top scorers can now go after the waze shield, sword and crown. Visit the new ‘Me’ section in the scoreboard to see how many more points you need in order to get to unlock the next royal accoutrement.
Bonus Opportunities on Scoreboard – For those looking for ways to ramp up on points, we’ve added special bonus options listed under the ‘Me’ section of your scoreboard. As soon as you achieve an item from that list, a candy with bonus points will appear on the map for you to find nearby. This list is dynamic and will be updated from time to time, so take a peek now and then to see how you can amp up your score. At this point it’s more targeted at new users, but we’ll add items for veterans in the future, too!
More Technical Bits
The Map – You’ll notice that the base map is much more colorful and lively – plus, map browsing is way more fluid. A more realistic and much smoother 3D view was added, too. OpenGL is the backend technology used to enable this feature in a way that doesn’t impact performance.
Improved Search – The search box, and your favorite destination are one click away from the map (instead of two in previous versions). A search box was added to the main search screen and your frequent favorites are also on the main search page. Search results now show unified POI and Address results.
Editors Map (Cartouche) Color Scheme – Yes, this is the map scheme you guys created! It’s now available to you and everyone in Settings > Map color Scheme. Restore your favorites – You guys asked for it, and you got it. It’s pretty useful for those of us who install and re-install versions to help out with testing and QA.
Exit option (iPhone) – The previous version added automated background management and shut down mode, but the ability to close the app at will to preserve battery was still essential. You can check it out on the top left of the navigation bar.
iPhone Push capabilities – You’ll be notified about the things that we think might interest you when outside of waze. We promise not to be spammy about it, but if you feel that we get that way, make sure to let us know.
*Happy wazing, Friends – enjoy v2.o!*