If you are a Waze user, you should have already met ‘Adora,’ the name given to the female voice that now gives instructions when you use the app. An update to the mobile navigation application that was rolled out on Friday (July 21) paves the way for the long awaited Filipino language option.
Waze announced this option several weeks ago, which led to witty discussions across the social media about whose voice could be perfect for the purpose. This gave way to the rise of several new YouTube sensations, who impersonate some famous celebrities, assuming how such personalities’ voices would sound like if chosen to be the official voice of the app.
Logically, this additional language option is aimed at making Waze more helpful to more Filipino drivers. However, as of press time, several users express confusion at times because Adora pronounces some words and names of places unclearly. For instance, she pronounces Quezon City as [key-son si-ti] instead of [ke-son si-ti]. Numbers are also translated in Tagalog.
In an interview, Waze Asia Pacific Head Mona Weng also told the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) that the company has started the search for the first male celebrity who will provide the voice to a planned male counterpart to the Tagalog-speaking command prompt.
Users who dislike hearing instructions from Adora can opt for a custom voice, which would allow them to record and use their own voice. A voice command option has also been introduced to allow users to use Waze hands-free in compliance with the controversial Anti-Distracted Driving Act that is now in effect in Metro Manila.