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Waze launches a fun nostalgia mode - but is that what we want?

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Get ready to jam to some oldies in your car with a clever new event provided by Google-owned Waze navigation. Starting this week, you’ll be able to activate Retro Mode in Waze to change the look of the app and discover music from bygone decades.

In a blog post, Waze cited ‘70s disco, ‘80s Jazzercise, and 90’s computer aesthetics as examples of how you’ll be able to theme your trip. The themes will also come with their own eccentric radio DJ’s to host the radio show and navigate your trip (which sounds awesome or annoying, depending on your mood).

In retro mode, you’ll also be able to change your car’s icon to a flower pot, a 90’s computer, or a Rad Racer sports car for some added fun. 

Waze also partnered with music streaming service TuneIn to provide ‘70s music to the UK, ‘90s hits to the US and Canada, and ‘80s Alive to France. 

To use this new feature, click “My Waze” in the app and tap the “Drive with the ‘80s” banner. The feature is available globally in English, French, and Portuguese. 

Analysis: Some users have other ideas

While this little event seems a fun addition on the surface, many folks who use Waze might prefer some more useful app improvements, instead. The navigation app often does point commuters to shorter routes to get them to destinations faster, but upon browsing the subreddit for the app, we found that some find it a bit buggy, and there are users who believe that development is declining.

A post by a Waze user, though it is a few months old, indicates exactly that. They lament that the app is “progressively worse at routing”, or that the app will change routes mid-drive and add more time to the trip. Users in the comments of the post seem to mostly echo those sentiments, with many others noting that they only use it to “know where the cops and other hazards are”.

This community appears concerned that Google is pushing development aside in favor of Maps, which would make sense given that it is the most popular mobile navigation app in the US. Some users are also dissatisfied with the points system that the app uses to rank reports for relevancy, legitimacy, and to prevent abuse of the system.

So, sure, we'll take a fun ride down memory lane with Waze, but let's also make sure that the old road is the best one - and that it's the shortest distance from 1970s Point A to current 2022 Point B.

Date

14 Apr 2022

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