GPS apps love to boss us around: keep left, turn right, watch out for traffic ahead. Why am I hitting traffic, GPS? That’s why I put you in charge! But now, crowdsourced GPS app Waze is letting drivers give the orders – orders for Dunkin’ Donuts, at least. The Google-owned app has recently partnered with the massive donut chain to allow users to “order ahead” and have their donuts and drinks ready for pickup as soon as they arrive.
This partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts is essentially an initial trial run for Waze; the company eventually hopes to offer similar ordering options with all sorts of business, integrating shopping and pickup into its GPS experience. “It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up,” posited Jordan Grossman, head of Waze's business partnerships in North America, according to the Associated Press. But for now, Waze users will have to settle for Long Johns and Iced Lattes.
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To use the clunkily-branded “Waze Order Ahead featuring Dunkin’ Donuts On-the-Go Ordering” (yes, that’s one too many “orders” in there),Waze users also have to be members of the DD Perks program and have the Dunkin’ Donuts app on their phone. However, once you’ve got all your apps and memberships in line, the Waze app should allow drivers to pick a Dunkin’ location, select “Order Ahead” with a single tap, and then get whisked seamlessly over to the DD app to finish the transaction. The brands even boast that users can “speed past the line in store when you arrive” – in some locations.
Though this new feature, and the prospect of doing shopping through GPS, is certainly cool, I am left wondering to what extent it’s practical – or even safe. Fiddling with your phone while driving is obviously highly discouraged, an issue Waze seemed to acknowledge, suggesting the feature is best used while parked. But let’s say the person in shotgun is handling things for you: Do you really want to navigate away from GPS and risk getting lost just to order donuts?
Still, I guess ordering ahead via Waze could be a timesaver – time you could then use to do other things on your smartphone.