The Waze App

Waze navigation offers even more useful features than the most popular among drivers, Google Maps. How does the Waze app perform in practice?

In today’s world, standard car navigation systems are being replaced by free applications installed on smartphones. This is not only a more convenient and cheaper solution, but most online navigation systems also offer excellent accuracy and effectively plan routes, taking into account current road conditions.

The leader among free navigation apps remains Google Maps. It is difficult to fault its ability to avoid traffic jams, but users miss features such as speed camera warnings or a database of POIs (Points of Interest), such as gas stations, parking lots, etc. Many drivers have turned to the Waze app for this reason. While it may not be as good at navigation, it almost flawlessly serves as a speed camera detector.

Waze Navigation App - an alternative worth considering.

However, not everyone knows that there is still something called Waze. It is owned by Google, and it is from the Waze database that Google Maps obtains information about current traffic density, allowing it to calculate the fastest route and avoid traffic jams. Waze navigation can be installed on smartphones with the three most popular operating systems, namely Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The app is free.

waze app google maps

Key features of Waze navigation:

  1. Navigation. The fact that the Waze maps are downloaded from the server over the internet every time is an indication of their currency. On the one hand, the situation presented in the app usually reflects reality, but on the other hand, using it requires continuous internet access, i.e., data transfer and coverage.
  2. Traffic jam information. Thanks to user communication, the Waze app displays congested roads in red and tries to avoid them while leading to the destination.

  3. Speed camera warnings. The locations of stationary speed cameras are added by the system operator, but app users can also do this.

  4. Information on accidents/closed road sections. Drivers mark the location of collisions or roads closed to traffic in real-time, allowing the app to choose an alternative route for other users.

  5. Control warnings. App members inform each other about places where they have encountered a police patrol or an unmarked police car with a speed gun.

  6. Fuel station price information. Data comes from users, and they can be used to find the cheapest station on the route we will be traveling.

  7. Points of Interest (POI) database. Waze allows you to set a route not only to the entered address but also to one of the POI points, such as a gas station, parking lot, museum, restaurant, or service.

  8. Speed limit. The app shows the current speed limit and warns the driver if it is exceeded.

  9. Music player. Waze cooperates with music services such as Spotify or Deezer, but they can only be used while the car is stationary (unless we are passengers).

  10. Voice commands. The desired address can be spoken conveniently to avoid distracting typing on the keyboard. Waze works with voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri.

  11. Map editing. Users make corrections to the current map, constantly improving the Waze app’s operation.

  12. Chat. For example, you can send a picture of an unusual situation on the road, which will be visible to other Waze app members.

How does the Waze app work in practice?

The Waze app proved to be a flawless speed camera detector during my practical test. The navigation system provided correct information about traffic jams and roadblocks in most situations, and also worked well as a detector for mobile speed checks. Occasionally, it had difficulty determining the current speed limit, but for the most part, it performed the task correctly.

Accurate readingsRating
Mobile speed checks8/10****
Traffic jams and roadblocks8/10****
Speed cameras and radars10/10*****
Speed limits6/10***

Plan in the browser and send it to the phone.

Route planning on a computer or tablet and then sending it to a phone is a very convenient and practical solution. It turns out that Google has introduced this option to its Waze app.

To plan a route in Waze, you need to log in to the Waze Live Map website by selecting Log in, scanning the QR code with your phone, and confirming this action in the app (this action needs to be repeated each time you log out of your account in the browser). In the final step, you need to select the destination, choose one of the proposed routes, press Save to app, and then confirm this direction.

waze app to phone

It is worth noting that the Apple Maps app also has this feature. In the case of the macOS system, you need to choose the Maps application.

Is the Waze app better than Google Maps?

The Waze app offers some advantages over Google Maps, including real-time traffic information based on user reports, warnings about speed checks, gas price information, and nearby points of interest. These features make Waze a better choice for some drivers who want to avoid traffic and speed traps.

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