Waze’s Newest Voice
By James Lancy
Live Wire Senior Staff Writer
Have you ever turned off that pesky voice direction option on your GPS? You may not want to after hearing this. Waze, Google’s social media GPS app, recently released a voice option to have Morgan Freeman give you directions. He doesn’t give you street names or highway numbers, but he does tell you when and where to turn and call you Mr. President. The option is a marketing ploy to advertise the release of London Has Fallen coming out on March 4, where Freeman reprises his role of Speaker of the House Trumbull.
His voice in the GPS isn’t his deep, sultry one like when he plays some of his other characters like God in the Bruce/Evan Almighty franchise, but it’s still just as cool to have the option. His voice acting is more commanding and fills one with a sense of pride knowing they have the famous actor as a sort of personal assistant, even though it’s just through a dinky little app like Waze. When I tried it out, all I could think of was, “Oh what a time to be alive.”
This isn’t the first time Waze has included a celebrity or character voice on it’s list of command options, it has also included the blips and beeps of the BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens which released December 18, 2015.
For those who don’t know what sets Waze apart from other GPS apps, it’s social and ranking features. Once connected through Facebook, drivers and signal a hello to their friends by “beeping” at them. Users can report hazards such as accidents, cars parked on the side of the road, and construction as well as police to other drivers on the road through its reporting feature. They can also edit the maps to show changes made by constructing new roads.
If there is heavy traffic, the app will automatically detect a change in speed and ask if there is traffic around you. When traffic is detected, the app will try to adjust your route to get you to your destination faster.
As far as the ranking system goes, the app will reward one point for each mile driven. Six points go to each report made as well as each piece of “road candy” that you can collect on your way to your destination. The more points earned, the higher the rank you can achieve along with all the benefits that come with it. You can customize your icon with one of their “moods” to show other drivers how you’re feeling, or to just look cool.
Freeman’s voice feature may not last very long, so try it out while it’s hot.
(Image courtesy of Hapakenya.com)