Google is starting to merge Maps and Waze teams; two separate apps will remain

Google is starting to merge the Maps and Waze teams; two separate apps will remain
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has started to merge the people responsible for the Waze app and service with the Google Maps team. Apparently, there won't be any change to the end-user experience, and both apps will continue to exist separately, at least for the time being.

"Google plans to combine the team working on the mapping service Waze with the group overseeing the company’s Maps product," the WSJ reports. Google acquired Waze back in 2013, but the 500 employees have remained independent from Google and maintained a separate work culture.

There are no planned layoffs, but the CEO of Waze will be going. Google is one of the big companies that is trying to streamline its business in the current uncertain economic climate, and the merger has been motivated partially by that. Google "remains deeply committed to Waze’s unique brand, its beloved app, and its thriving community of volunteers and users," officials told the WSJ, reiterating that the Waze app will remain separate from Google Maps.

Waze has more than 150 million monthly active users and is much more reliant on those users to map route conditions. The app also offers an Android Auto experience, and there's a big redesign coming next year. The merge could potentially lead to better integration of other Google services into Waze, with Google Assistant and YouTube Music being among the examples.

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