While everything is getting social, from movie watching to jogging, it’s hard to imagine how come navigation avoided that for too long. Maybe that process was inhibited by hardware navigation systems being developed apart from mainstream phones and PDA’s. But as soon as these were replaced by smartphones and tablets, the situation got better for navigational socializing. Waze is a misspelled “ways,” a server/client system made for social navigation. No emergency service cRead full review
Waze - GPS, Maps & Traffic
While everything is getting social, from movie watching to jogging, it’s hard to imagine how come navigation avoided that for too long. Maybe that process was inhibited by hardware navigation systems being developed apart from mainstream phones and PDA’s.
But as soon as these were replaced by smartphones and tablets, the situation got better for navigational socializing. Waze is a misspelled “ways,” a server/client system made for social navigation. No emergency service can share the news on traffic jams, accidents or weather conditions as swiftly as a hive mind does.
Community-based systems are doomed if they lose their popularity. But Waze is not the case. For late 2016, Waze app for Android has been downloaded over 100 million times, plus iOS and Windows Phone users. So there’s much space for the social potential to realize.
It’s enough to say that in 2013 Waze won the Best Overall Mobile App award at the 2013 MWC. And then the company was acquired by – who do you think? - Google.
Today’s navigation suite has to satisfy a set of sine qua nonconditions. It should provide perfect street view both in 2D and 3D mode, be clear for reading at a glance while you’re driving. As Waze is driver-oriented first of all, the clear view is a must. And the app has it. It’s easy to scale the map with two-finger gestures, turn it around, use the search system and type the names in.
What the developers promote first about Waze is knowing the road situation in real time, getting urgent alerts about police posts, hazardous conditions and situations, and building your routes considering traffic situation right now, and rebuilding it if necessary. That’s the passive part of it, but there’s also the active one: if you have run into an accident, notices a traffic jam or a police post where it wasn’t before, you can add this information to the interactive map. This contribution is what makes Waze.
When the app gets your location, it also displays the number of Wazers around you. That makes the app more social, and you may make location-based connections to make more use of the community, and contribute more. Contributing helps you earn points and up your ranking, so you can consider Waze a social game for drivers. Not a racing one, of course, but rather an RPG.
There is its own messaging system. It’s meant for non-urgent system messages and intercommunication between Waze users. You can connect to Waze with your Facebook profile and see which of your friends are also in. Facebook integration also helps you builds routes to the places Facebook events are located. The same is with events from your calendar if you have defined their location.
While building a route, you can select your own car or a taxi. The latter option builds your route using lanes reserved for taxis if this option is available in your town. Yes, there is voice turn-by-turn navigation as a must for navigation suites. In Settings, you can exclude from your routing auto routes, ferries or ground roads.
As you have planned a meeting, you can share your location info, so your friends or colleagues can watch you progressing to the spot in real time. Of course, you need to be online with decent connection speed to benefit from this feature, as well as from other Waze innovations.
It’s good both on phones with a 5-inch screen and on large tablets, let alone phablets. Smaller ones are not that good for navigation at all, and they have become an endangered species lately.
It only takes one tap on a message bubble in the lower right corner to report an accident, jam, police post or camera, any danger or hazardous condition, as well as share fuel prices or a POI. While selecting an icon, you can make your info more precise by choosing a sub-option: for example, when you know a camera is a dummy, you can select this option after tapping on Camera icon.
The crucial elements like a speedometer are clearly visible and readable at a glance if they’re on.
Language is the first problem you may run into. It's defined by your system language, but not always. So when you select your country, the app downloads its language pack and applies it. Of course, it doesn’t go out to all the countries, but certainly for most.
The names on your map are displayed in the original language, but as you do the searching, you can type in your own different one. The names will be transliterated or translated.
Navigation apps are known for their appetites; Waze drains the battery just like other apps do, and it seems inevitable with its GPS and Internet constant usage. The only measure the developers have made is automatic closing Waze Android app if you have closed it and not changed your location for some time.
Cross-platform use 4,5/5
The developers have made the app for Android and iOS major forces.
As Waze app is promoted as “free,” there’s no commercial “pro” version or paid features. The app is monetized in other ways; the developers use the community data as a source for TV station weather reports or so. And as it’s Google app now, the data it collects also contributes in the developers’ pocket, so they can keep the app free.
A good app and a good service if you’re lucky to be a driver. Pedestrians or bicycle riders will hardly find a reason to download Waze GPS navigation; there’s nothing about Waze Google Maps can’t provide.Collapse
The Waze app is an excellent community-based service for drivers, with social functions mostly oriented for those who uses a car.
Pros : Powerful social element;
Quick informing on road events;
Localization into many languages;
Facebook and system calendar integration.
Cons : No advantages for pedestrians or bicyclists;
Like other navigation apps, it drains your battery;
Constant Internet connection required.
Cross-platform use 4.5
Average : 4.8