One of the more whimsical aspects of Waze is the ability to see your car represented on the map with a 3D model. It seems Waze is getting ready to celebrate the upcoming release of Halo Infinite by including two of the game series’ classic vehicles.
Update: Almost two weeks after being spotted by our team, Waze has made Halo vehicles officially available in the app.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Ghost and Warthog
In the Waze app’s settings, under “Map display,” you can find an option called “Car icon” that lets you swap to one of over a dozen different cars, trucks, bikes, and even pets to use on the map. From time to time, Waze will partner with another company to offer a limited-time promotional vehicle, like the “Postmates Sushi Car” currently available in the app.
With the latest Waze beta, version 220.127.116.11, rolling out now, we find new 3D models named after two famous vehicles from the Halo series, hidden amongst the files for currently available cars. The first is the Warthog, the humvee-inspired all-terrain vehicle, albeit without the usual rear-mounted turret. While we were unable to get a good look at the model with its 3D textures correctly in place, it’s easy enough to picture the placement of things like the UNSC logo and details like the extra gas cans.
Next, we find the Ghost, a single-rider hovercraft favored by the Covenant, the on-again, off-again enemies of humanity in Halo. This model almost speaks for itself, with fantastic details like the side pedals, a futuristic dashboard, and front-mounted weaponry.
Both the Warthog and the Ghost should make fantastic temporary additions to Waze’s catalog of car icons, though it’s not currently clear whether they’re being prepared to promote the launch of Halo Infinite later this year or to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Halo: Combat Evolved this November.
Update 8/3: Waze has formally announced the addition of Halo’s Ghost and Warthog to the app to help promote the release of Halo Infinite. Alongside it, they’ve also added avatars styled after the Master Chief and Escharum, the main villain of Halo Infinite. Each character can also lend their voice to Waze’s navigation directions, making for a very fun experience.
To get to the new options, tap “My Waze” in the app and look for the new “Drive with Master Chief” option in the menu. Otherwise, all of the same Halo options can be found and individually changed (or changed back) in the normal settings of the Waze app.
The voice directions from Master Chief are exactly as fun as you’d expect, even offering fun quotes instead of the usual pre-drive information.
I’ve confirmed with command that Waze has the coordinates. That means all we have to do is focus on getting out of this trip alive. Ready?
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
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- Google shutting down My Maps Android app in October in favor of web
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