A subsidiary of Google, Waze is a GPS navigation software app. It works on smartphones and tablet computers that have GPS support. It’s essentially a user-driven platform, meaning that the more people use it, the more its functionality improves.
Waze is used for turn-by-turn navigation information, user-submitted travel times, and route details. The data is usually downloaded over a mobile network according to a user’s location.
For the most part, Waze uses data from app users to provide quicker navigation routes. Data is submitted automatically as users drive around (using speeds determined by GPS signals) but can also be manually entered on the app.
Moreover, users can even report speed traps, accidents, traffic jams, or other things that could cause a hindrance for road drivers. Since being sold to Google, many of Waze's features have been integrated into Google Maps.
What Is Waze Used for?
The great thing about Waze is that even just driving around with the app can let users share current and updated information related to traffic conditions and road structure.
When you use Waze, you also can actively "report" to the local area on traffic, mishaps, police traps, impeded streets, climate conditions, and any other issues. Waze gathers this data and promptly uses it to give "Wazers" the ideal route to their destination, 24 hours a day.
Should You Use Waze?
Drivers all around the world use Waze to help them navigate areas and get directions. One of the unique features of Waze is that drivers can connect and interact so that their individual user experiences are optimized every time their data is upgraded.
Moreover, Waze can serve as a social platform on top of being a navigation tool due to its community features. While that means that it doesn’t currently offer support navigation for bicycles, public transportation, or trucks, it’s still pretty useful for car drivers.
Waze is straightforward to use, featuring just a few on-screen buttons, so it doesn’t distract from the road. One button re-centers the app on your current location, becoming a speedometer when it locks onto you. Next to that is a button that takes you to the “Car Info” menu, a place where you set the type of vehicle you’re driving.
While Waze's maps are primarily similar to Apple Maps and Google Maps, its attractive, bright icons are what sets it apart. These icons may represent traffic jams, police, accidents, and road closures, all reported by Waze users (called “Wazers” in the app).
Let’s look at the specific pros and cons of Waze to better understand how reliable the app is.
Pros of Using Waze
The icons are bright, colorful, easy-to-see - which makes it smooth to use while driving
Crowdsourced traffic conditions mean better routes and consistent data improvement
Social connections for drivers
Lets you manually control streaming music services
Availability of a web-based version
Cons of Using Waze
Difficult to create directions from places other than your current location
Lacks terrain, satellite, or 3D map imagery
No true offline options
Waze works on many devices including smartphones and tablets (that have GPS support).
The app helps users access navigation routes more quickly and improves its data every time a user opens it. As a result, Waze offers a user-based experience and allows car drivers to interact and share data.