Google announces acquisition of Waze to bolster Google Maps offering

Tech giant Google has announced the acquisition of tech company Waze, in an aim to offer more Google Maps features (release).

Google has long been the market leader in mapping software but is seeing increasing competition from Apple, which ditched Google's maps in favour of its own last year.

The acqusition should bring new social features to encourage users to continue to use its maps and drive them to its other services such as Google+ and Google Now.

We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.

The deal can also be seen as a defensive play, protecting Google's lead in mapping against Apple and Facebook, both of whom were also rumoured to be buying Waze.