We told you that earlier this month Google had started combining the Google Maps and Waze teams. Google bought Waze in 2013 and continues to offer both Google Maps and Waze, each with a different user experience. Google Maps has spread its wings and no longer just gives you turn-by-turn directions showing you how to get from point “A” to point “B” safely. Maps now tell you where to go when you get to “B”, where to dine, where to stay, and what to see.
Google Maps also helps people walk between places, ride a bike, take a bus or train, and more.
Waze still focuses on the whole crowdsourced navigation part and users are part of a huge community that reports accidents, police activity, diversions and everything else drivers need to know about. Sure, Google Maps also allows users to report certain issues, but Waze makes it easier for drivers by using the crowdsourced information to suggest alternate routes so that the user can reach their destination in a timely and safe manner.
Waze subscribers were recently caught by one of the voices giving users verbal directions
But recently, Waze users have become scared by the voice option known as Jane. According to reports on Reddit
, Jane’s mood changes on the iPhone and CarPlay about halfway through a Waze user’s journey. A Reddit subscriber with the handle bgj48
wrote: “Suddenly the navigation voice will switch (for example) ‘left on’ will be a very creepy voice and then go back to the preset voice. Anyone else?! So weird!!”
Update prevents Jane from getting creepy halfway through your journey
A Waze user on Reddit responded by writing, “Yeah, I noticed this a few days ago too. She sounds like she went three days without sleeping.” Another Waze user said, “It’s bad and very random. Scared my wife a bit,” and yet another Waze user posted on Reddit, “This! I was on a long drive back from Montreal to Ohio last weekend when we noticed it as well.”
Note that the voice named Jane seems to be the only one that scares Waze users while they are driving. If you’re curious to see Jane in action or want to switch to a different voice, open the Waze app and tap the speaker icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. Tap Waze voice and select the voice you want to use. You can even choose to hear the directions in your own voice!
Google’s update to Waze puts Jane on a more even, stable keel
There is good news to report about this bizarre Waze bug. Google has released an update to Waze 4.90 for the iPhone that improves Jane’s mood so she doesn’t sound so strange anymore. To see if you have the update, open the Waze app on your iPhone and go to Settings. Scroll down to About, tap it and you’ll see the release number at the top of the page.
To see if the update has arrived, open the App Store and tap the round icon with your initials at the top right. Scroll down and you will see all the apps that are queued for an update. The quickest way to take care of multiple updates is to click the blue “Update All” link. But before you do, you might want to scroll through the list to see if you’ve received an update for Waze.
If you’ve always wanted to give Waze a shot, you can install it for your iPhone from the App Store
or for your Android handset from the Google Play Store
. And as long as you use version 4.90 or later of Waze on your iPhone, Jane will never scare you again.