The year began with rumors of Waze being acquired by none other than Apple. Well, it turned out that the rumors were all wrong. But here comes something new and Waze-related whose accuracy we can all vouch for.

And that something new and Waze-related is none other than Waze’s first update for this year.

This latest update to the popular community-based traffic and navigation app is by no means a huge one — unlike, say, its major updates in June and October last year. But it’s a welcome update nonetheless.

In particular, at least a couple of improvements included in the update have to do with the app’s deeper social integration, which was introduced in the aforementioned October update.

In the latest version of Waze, there’s a new “share my drive” and “share location” interface. Also, the “pick up” option is now available from the navigate screen.

Waze

The latest Waze update also harks back to the aforementioned June update, with its relocation of “gas search” in the main menu.

In addition, the following enhancements are included in the app’s new update:

  • Recent places shown in main navigate screen
  • Preloads route when connected to WiFi
  • New call and “beep” features for Facebook friends
  • New alerts show friends online, who’s connected, and new friend driving to your destination
  • Bugs, stability and design fixes

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 4.3 or later, the newly updated Waze is available now in the App Store for free.