Most people don’t like being told what to do by others, but when it comes to driver navigation apps, where a recorded voice tells you to “turn left” or “turn right”, you don’t really have much of a choice.
Now Israel’s Waze, the world’s largest traffic based communication and navigation app, has come up with a simple solution: have your own voice tell you what to do, or your parent, or spouse! A new feature just added to Waze enables users to record their own turn-by-turn directions for audio navigation. Recording directions in your own voice serves as an alternative to Waze’s current preset options, an assortment of stock computerized Waze voices and a handful of celebrity voices, which include the likes of Morgan Freeman, Darth Vader, Mr. T, Arnold Schwarzenegger and comedian Kevin Hart.
The new feature is currently only available on the Android Waze app, but is expected to arrive on the iOS version soon. Listed under Waze’s “Sound & Voice” settings, when prompted, you must record all 39 phrases Waze uses when directing users, including the most common phrases in navigation such as “Turn right”, “Stop”, or “Let’s go”! However, there are limitation to the new feature, namely that users will not be able to hear street names spoken aloud.
Record your voice or that of a loved one
For those people who don’t like the way they sound when they hear their own voice recorded, Waze’s new feature allows you to record anyone’s voice: your spouse, your kids – even your parents.
The company has suggested that users have fun with the new feature by singing directions, or even yodeling them. Of course you could also use the new voice recorder to play various pranks on friends. You could try grabbing a friend’s phone and recording an impersonation of Donald Duck on their Waze app. This can work out great, provided your friend has a good sense of humor.
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Improving the quality of your daily commute through crowd-sourcing
Founded in Israel by Uri Levine, Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar in 2007, Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 for $1.3 billion.
Waze helps improve driving efficacy through crowd-sourcing, by helping commuters avoid traffic jams, or suggesting new routes users never even knew about. Users can passively use Waze just for directions on how to get to their destinations quickly, or they can take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other hazards along the way.
Waze is currently working with Disney to help the promotion of the upcoming Pixar film Cars 3. Waze users can now change the presence of their car inside the application to that of Lightning McQueen or Jackson Storm from the movie, as a part of their update.
Photos and video: Waze