Ina Fried

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Waze Unfazed by Apple’s Move Into Crowdsourced Traffic

Even as most Apple enthusiasts sit back and cheer new features coming into the operating system, there are often a handful of third-party developers cringing as their products are being usurped.

That was likely the case on Monday as Apple detailed the next version of iOS. Apple announced that its next iPhone and iPad software will add, among other features, options for offline reading, synchronized browser tabs and crowd-sourced traffic, along with new software for managing boarding passes, loyalty cards and movie tickets. All are areas currently served, at least in part, through third-party applications.

But one of those that would appear to be in Apple’s crosshairs, Waze, says it isn’t too worried about Apple’s move into its home turf of crowdsourced navigation.

“I think it is going to be okay,” Waze’s VP Community Geographer Di-Ann Eisnor said in a phone interview on Monday. “This is really an issue of Apple and Google competing over local search. This is a battle that has nothing to do with us.”

Eisnor said that her company has expected for some time that Apple would emerge as a competitor. During a controversy over the collection of location information last year, Apple said that it needed the information it was gathering for, among other things, a crowdsourced traffic database.

Still, Apple would appear to be building in a service very similar to what Waze offers. But Eisnor says Waze isn’t standing still.

The company is planning an announcement for next week that will expand the service beyond its traditional navigation and crowdsourced traffic roots.

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