I recently took a trip to Las Vegas and the Waze app came a long way. Let me start off by saying that I’m usually pro-native apps (Maps app on the iPhone) so I feel skeptical when someone tries to suggest a third party app, especially when it comes to navigation because I’ve seen so many developers get this one wrong.
I learned about Waze from a friend while in action. He was driving and I saw the side streets and unlikely routes he was given and we got to our destination in a way I knew would be longer under conventional navigation apps. Since then, it’s been my default map app.
This is great when you’re a traveler driving in a city where you may not know all the tips and tricks that the locals do. Some of my favorite features include letting friends know your ETA (regardless of them having the Waze app, a huge plus!) and the fact that it syncs with my car’s built-in Bluetooth (it will pause your music or radio show to tell you where to turn) just like the native app. I am using my iPhone 6 at the moment, and it works flawlessly (it has dropped the signal to the Bluebooth audio while driving, but it has happened very rarely) and it warns you if there is a nearby cop, stopped car, or heavy traffic through attractive visuals. You will also be asked occasionally to confirm if some traffic notices are still there (like a stopped car), which adds to the Waze community, and come on, if you’re using the app, especially for free, it doesn’t hurt to give back. There is a social media aspect to it in which you can add friends and send them “beeps”, though it doesn’t add any hard value there.
The app is free, so you will see an ad once in a while that will appear during your drive, but it’s not intrusive to the graphics. The most common one I have seen has been one to voice your navigation with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator recordings through a purchase. A feature I’d like to take more advantage of is the gas price feature, which will tell you local prices and gas brands.
I have found this very helpful, especially in LA where I live and traffic is an omnipotent issue. In my Vegas trip, where we went to many things on The Strip, it was nice to take other streets that were not the always-car-and-people-heavy Las Vegas Blvd.
ETAs constantly updated as do reroutes if major traffic changes have occurred. This live feed is a really useful tool to better assess your route.
Pros: In-car Bluetooth sync, texting ETAs to friends and them not needing the app, live updates, unlikely routes to maximize time (the BEST feature)
Cons: My only con is that in some routes, it has asked me to get off a freeway, take some side streets, and then hop back on the same freeway. I’m not particularly a fan of getting on and off and on freeway, I’d rather just stay on, but that’s just me. Either way, it will reroute once it senses my mannerisms.
To download Waze on your iOS device: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waze-gps-maps-social-traffic/id323229106?mt=8
Note: I haven’t addressed this, but I’d like to make this a bi-weekly blog that I post to…here we go.