This month we begin a regular new feature called App of the Month. We will look at the popular apps that seek to help make our lives a little better in some way, shape, or form. So many apps come out every day that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. It’s difficult to determine the best of the best but if you’re getting bored with what you’ve got and want to try something new, check out this regular app feature. This month, the blue ribbon goes to a maps & navigation app called Waze.
Waze, is a GPS navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets with GPS support and provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details, while downloading location-dependent information over a mobile telephone network. Waze describes its app as a community-driven GPS navigation app, which is free to download and use. The app was first developed and popularized by Waze Mobile, an Israeli company founded by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar and Uri Levine, funded by two Israeli venture capital firms, Magma and Vertex, and an early-stage American venture capital firm Bluerun Ventures. Waze Mobile was acquired in 2013 by Google.
- Wazers share real-time road information to bypass traffic and saves precious time off their daily commutes.
- Waze analyzes traffic in real-time to find you the quickest detours and shortcuts.
- Simply driving with Waze helps other drivers. You can also actively report on incidents like crashes, hazards, police and more.
- Customized voice navigation is fun! I like the “boy band” voice. He sings navigation to you as you drive…hilarious!
- Gas prices – in honor of my father who will drive 5 extra miles to save $.03/gallon this feature is awesome. It will show you the current prices at all the gas stations on or near your route.
Waze vs. Google Maps
When evaluating Google Maps vs Waze, there are a few key differences:
Waze is community-based, Google Maps is more data-based
Waze is pretty much just for cars, Google Maps offers walking, driving, and biking options.
Waze requires a data connection, Google Maps is available offline.
Google Maps includes business data such as menus, hours, and phone numbers, while Waze does not.
Google Maps is fairly basic, Waze offers a high level of customization (including celebrity voiceovers!)
If it is any indication of usefulness, Uber or Lyft drivers overwhelmingly use Waze. My personal take is that Waze is more useful, given the sheer amount of data that the app collects through it’s massive user base. The collaborators are the the key to real-time data. Whenever possible, I don’t want to stop for traffic, hit potholes, or get a speeding ticket.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Google Maps, and I use it when I am driving. I don’t always need to avoid traffic, or don’t necessarily care about avoiding traffic when I have nothing to do.
In summary, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to just get to your destination, Google Maps is probably good enough. But if you’re looking to supercharge your navigation, give Waze a try.
Download the free app by clicking on either of these two platforms: