The smartphone app I use the most is Waze, the very handy crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app from Google.

Enter your destination into Waze, and you’ll quickly be shown the quickest way to get where you’re going.

Waze uses Google traffic data combined with reports from Waze users to calculate the best route for you. As you drive, if traffic gets worse or there’s an accident along your route, Waze will automatically reroute you to miss the congestion.

In the beginning, I didn’t think I’d use Waze all that much, because I mostly know where I’m going, but after a while I realized that real-time traffic routing was the factor I was missing.

Now when I go to and from work each day, I fire up Waze to find out the best way to get to work or home.

My motto has become “just listen to the Waze lady.”

Waze is free, but you will see ads at the top of the screen when you stop during your route. Google is probably amassing a good amount of data on my travel habits.

One Waze feature I’ve been missing out on is audio integration. A while back, Waze added a Spotify button on the map screen to let users access their Spotify playlists while staying in the Waze app, which makes it much easier to start a music stream while you drive. I’m not advocating using your phone while you’re moving. Having the Spotify button on the Waze screen means you can start music with a few taps while you’re stopped at a red light.

The reason I’ve been missing out is I’m not a Spotify subscriber. I use Pandora, which meant I had to switch apps over to Pandora to start music when I was using Waze.

Well, Google announced that a Waze Audio Player will be included in a new version of the Waze app rolling out over the next few weeks.

Waze also announced that Spotify and seven new streaming services would be part of the Waze Audio Player when it launches in the next few weeks.

The new services are Pandora, iHeartRadio, NPR, Deezer, Stitcher, Scribd and TuneIn.

Those services will be a few taps away on the Waze screen.

You can read Waze’s announcement about its Audio Player here: medium.com/waze/waze-audio-player-629cd630333f.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at jrossman@dallasnews.com.

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©2018 The Dallas Morning News

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