Android App - Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic
Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic. A truly innovative navigation app, Waze goes towards social traffic outsmarting, i.e. beating traffic together. Its work principle is pretty simple. Waze anonymously tracks its users when they use Waze to navigate and it processes these myriad reports to find out congested vs. free roads. Then, Waze displays the congested roads and recommends drivers take other, less contested roads to their destinations.
Of course, users can also update road hazards, speed cams and police locations right into the Waze servers where they will be disseminated to the entire driving community.
Of course, Waze has a ton of other features, from group driving (every driver's location is visible to the others on the map), to automatic Facebook updating , to saved locations (work, home etc) for fast navigation destination setting to special protection from driver updating during driving to continuing the previous course if the app went down or was closed and now it's app again and it determined we haven't reached our destination.
Naturally, Waze also has a few small things that need to be repaired or changed. There are crashes, rare but still, it's very irritating to open the app again during driving. Course determination is done through the Waze servers so if you've got no cellular coverage at the moment you're busted ... The adds that pop up when the car is at rest are not much of a annoyance but Waze still has no good way to preview a course before you start taking it.
All in all, a very innovative app, very useful and very popular - rightfully so.
- Score: A very strong 4.5 out 5. Very few features needed to make it really perfect.
- Description: A navigation app with a social twist. The app anonymously reports back to the Waze servers the speed and location of the smartphone where it is running and the aggregation of the automatic reports enables the Waze app to update traffic congestion in real time. This means the app enables the user to select the best and least congested traffic lane leading to the specific locale. Another neat feature is the fact the app downloads the maps needed in real time. This means there's no need to store Gigabytes of maps on the smartphone in advance. In addition, the app allows you to configure your home and work locations for automatic navigation, select display features and even automatically update location on social network, if the user so elects.
- Good Points: Social navigation. Millions of drivers all sharing information automatically to detect and avoid traffic congestion. Drivers can report road problems and blocks, police blocks and speed traps to warn the wary drivers. Maps are downloaded automatically and do not take a lot of place on your smartphone's memory cards.
- Bad Points: Several few but nevertheless irritating crashes. The fact that when a car with Waze app stops for more than a few seconds, commercials start popping up. The fact there is a constant drain on the smartphone's data plan. Last but not least is the way the app calculates a new course which unfortunately involves Waze servers. This means that even with today's cellular networks, since there are holes in coverage and rare cellular blackouts, the app won't be able to calculate a new course till connection is renewed to the Waze servers. Of course, using Waze abroad without a local sim is virtually impossible because of prohibiting data plan costs.
- Experience: We started testing this app more than a year ago, a little skeptically, after working with IGO navigation a year before. And we fell in love with Waze. You don't have to download maps periodically to keep update with infrastructure changes, you learn of traffic congestion before starting your trip and you can even share your course and positions with a predetermined group, for when you travel together. The minor problems are just that, minor.
- Longevity: Excellent. Waze has remained on our smartphones for more than a year and will likely remain installed for the foreseeable future.
- Google Play Score: 4.6
- Google Play Link: Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic