If you’re a Waze user, and you have an iPhone, you will be happy to hear about their latest update. Waze now allows iOS users to record their voice as part of the commands within the app. This was previously only available to Android users. Which likely has iOS users rejoicing. When I first read about this feature, I was honestly confused. I actually thought that Waze was promoting the use of your cell phone while driving. But that’s not the case. This feature allows you to pre-record your voice giving specific instructions, which then you hear when you are driving. Pre-recording is what I would like to emphasize.
I typically find these kinds of app updates to be a bit much. I think that the focus should be on improving the app, and not necessarily adding features to make it more interesting. But I will admit when I am wrong, and this is one case. How it works is this – you can pre-record something into Waze. For example, if there is a speed trap reported ahead, you can record a customized message. Why I like this is because I would include something funny. Also note, that I have a really bad memory so by the time this would actually happen, it’s likely that I would have forgotten it. For example, instead of saying “a speed trap has been reported ahead”, I might say something like “slow down and watch out for the 5-0”. I might also say it in a funny voice, just to amuse myself when driving.
This feature has been available on Android for awhile now. The video above shows some Waze staff having fun with the recordings. I definitely think this is a fun way to spice up the app, but I don’t think that it’s particularly useful. Which means, I don’t think it adds value to the app. I would like to take a step back and note that I think the app itself is great. But this update doesn’t necessarily do much for me. Some might say I’m being too hard on Waze, but I look at it in practical terms. That being said, do all updates need to be practical? The short answer is no, but I do get to have my opinion after all.
The part I do find useful is the ability to share the recordings with your friends and family. I would love for my boyfriend to make voice recordings for me. How fun would that be? Again, I would likely forget that they even exist and it would be quite the surprise. I think this could be a good feature for new drivers. As a parent, you could record an audio message for your child to emphasize safety. Maybe when the app starts, reiterate the fact that they shouldn’t be using their phone while driving, and to drive carefully etc.
I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer when it comes to this update in particular. I tend to think in terms of how will this help people. Which makes me sound like I don’t like fun. (This will make sense if you read any of my Snapchat or Instagram posts about their updates). I love when technology becomes a venue to making someone’s life easier. I do recognize that these updates are fun, and that it makes someone’s life more entertaining…. but I stick by my opinion. Try the update and let me know what you think about it. What kinds of fun messages did you record for yourself or your friends?