Reports that Google has entered a bidding war with Facebook over the social-mapping service Waze may be just a gambit by the company to force a better deal, but there are compelling reasons why Google should make a bid.
News reports out of Israel say Facebook is in talks to acquire traffic-information service Waze for as much as $1 billion, but Google will be making a big mistake if it doesn’t try to top that offer.
If a certain number of Waze users report the same closing, the app will automatically start re-routing all users around reported road closures.
A group of researchers from an Israeli university used data from Waze to determine the country’s most-accident-prone areas and how they correlate, or not, with a notable police presence. It’s just one of many efforts using ballooning data from drivers and devices to try and make sense of city traffic.
CEO Tim Cook recently said the company is fixing its Maps app through software updates, but also vaguely mentioned a “huge plan to make it even better.” What is that plan? Maybe a smart acquisition of a small social navigation company.
Moovit is trying to be the Waze of public transit by offering a crowd-sourced transportation app for bus and train commuters. The system hopes to provide more accurate estimated time of arrivals and better updates on upcoming travel conditions.
Crowd-sourced navigation app Waze is launching its own ad platform, allowing advertisers to insert ads that users can see on their maps and search results when they navigate to their destination. Waze believes these “location-guided” ads can succeed because they incorporate where a user is headed.
Crowd-sourced mapping and navigation app Waze is getting a lot more social by allowing people to share their location, request rides and see which friends are navigating to the same place. The service is now up to 29 million users.
Here’s our daily pick of stories about Apple from around the web that you shouldn’t miss. Today’s installment: Apple’s biggest supplier admits breaking China’s underage hiring law, profile of a maps app that’s taking advantage of Apple’s failure, and teardowns of the Lightning connector and iPod nano.
These are the companies, startups and giants alike, that are changing or could potentially change the mobile landscape in the most profound ways.