Just Released! iPhone GPS Goes Social Gaming

If you have been paying attention to some of the major buzz words being thrown around by the online community, you have most likely heard people talking about social media, GPS turn by turn navigation, and mobile gaming in one context or another.

What seems like three totally random and independent topics just joined forces in a new mobile platform called Waze. The app is free on all the major mobile platforms, including Android, and it brings a full fledged social gaming element to your mobile phone’s turn by turn navigation.

Waze uses an advanced algorithm to provide its community with driver generated GPS and turn by turn navigation. What that means in simple terms is that instead of waiting for the maps to update with the newest changes and developments on the road, the Waze users do it both actively and passively by just having the app open.

Yesterday, Waze launched a new version of their iPhone app that adds a gaming element, which encourages its users to help update the maps, thereby helping other members of the community on their journey. Basically, in addition to the advanced GPS technology, and in addition to the user generated maps, Waze now incorporates a contest in which your vehicle is represented by a Pac Man like figure and as you drive, you eat prizes along the way, thereby collecting points and competing against other users.

If you drive on a new road that has not been updated on the Waze map, and collect the “goodies” along the way, you receive even more points than a regular road, and rank higher on the global scoreboard. By competing in the contest, you enjoy an entertaining gaming experience, but more importantly, you contribute to the Waze community by helping to build the map, which is then used by other Wazers.

What Waze has really done here with this new version of their already popular iPhone app is combined three of the hottest spaces online, social, gaming, and mobile GPS, into one fun and intuitive interface.

Forget the Droid’s Google GPS, I want to play Pacman.