The new iOS4 for iPhone will be a great boost for location and navigations applications. It allows apps to run in the background while giving users the ability to simultaneously conduct other important tasks such as sending and receiving calls, all while still hearing turn-by-turn voice instructions. This new iPhone functionality is especially important for crowdsourced apps, such as waze, that rely on our users to passively provide their GPS and traffic data, so for us, it is key that users can now speak on the phone while remaining connected to our app.
This great functionality comes with a price, though. Navigations apps, known for their heavy data consumption, can be forgotten in the background and significantly drain battery. While some simpler implementations require the user to manually disconnect the app, waze has a different approach to background processing and shut down. When waze goes into the background, algorithms are applied to detect whether or not the device is in motion. Following a long standstill, waze will automatically close itself when it determines that you are no longer using the app, avoiding needless data and battery consumption.
Not only is waze cute, but it’s smart, too!