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A free and data-driven navigation app

Waze is a free navigation app that relies on user data to offer traffic alerts and information on roadblocks and the location of cops. 

Designed for Android, the application doesn’t just give you a live map but adjusts the route in real-time. You can even use the app to find cheap gas stations along your way, inform others of your ETA, and listen to your favorite songs without leaving the platform.

What is Waze?

Waze is an easy-to-use navigation application that you can download on your Android device for free. The app provides real-time route guidance and maps based on the information offered to it by its many users. That includes information on traffic congestion, construction work, accidents, and the location of the traffic police. 

Apart from this, the free app also monitors user movement to recommend route changes that get you to your destination faster. Users that provide Waze with data get points and access to additional functions and features. With a million downloads under its belt, the navigation app is considered to be one of the most popular in its category. 

Until 2013, Waze was an independent company before being bought by Google. However, that hasn’t changed the software much. The app continues to work independently and doesn’t rely on Google’s map software. That said, Waze is still quite popular and is a solid alternative to Google Maps

Is Waze better than Google Maps?

As mentioned earlier, Waze is a good alternative to Google Maps. However, the apps have stark differences. While Maps offers walking routes and transit information, along with driving directions, Waze is primarily focused on guiding drivers. It doesn’t include any topographic data or 3D buildings, both of which are available on Google Maps. 

Instead, Waze relies on user-generated reports to relay accurate information to drivers. That means, when you’re using Waze maps on your device, you’ll get instant alerts about the situation on the road, along with faster route suggestions. 

Additionally, you can use the navigation app without a Waze account. However, signing up lets you contribute to the community and gain points for future gifts

Offers various features

When you download the Waze app on your smartphone, you not only get access to its navigation system but to a range of additional features as well. The platform gives users turn-by-turn driving instructions with the help of voice commands and alerts users of any accidents or hazards on the road. You can also choose the voice that’ll help guide you to your location. 

Additionally, the app lets users play songs and listen to podcasts without leaving the platform. ETA information gets updated in real-time, so you can let other people know the tentative time of your arrival. The app also offers a carpool service that can connect you with other people going via your destination. Wazers, or users that provide Waze traffic updated, can earn rewards for their contributions. 

Is Waze accurate?

As you’re driving and using Waze maps, you’ll see several items appear on the screen. These items often feature speed cameras, accidents, roadblocks, police cars, and more.

With the help of this information, you can easily avoid getting stuck and wasting hours. Instead, you can opt for another route that Waze suggests in real-time. 

Recommends route changes

To help you circumvent traffic jams and road accidents, Waze provides accurate information as well as reroute suggestions. This information is gathered in real-time and provided by Waze users traveling via the same route. That said, there are times when you may end up on an unusual route recommended by Waze. To avoid such a scenario, it’s better to stick to main roads instead of going via the route suggested by the app. 

Supports Android Auto

If you have an infotainment system installed in your car, you’ll definitely like this feature.

The Waze download includes a recent update in its software to offer Android Auto support. That means, when traveling in your car, you can easily view the map provided by Waze, along with all its features on the infotainment display available in your car. 

Stores an offline map 

Though Waze is an online navigation app, it does store a copy of your route offline. By doing this, it makes sure that even if you lose your internet connection, you’ll be able to follow the road to your destination

If you stray from the route already planned, though, you will not get any rerouting suggestions. In this case, you would need a stable connection so Waze can give you real-time route recommendations. 

The interface could be better

While Waze gives users access to many features, the app does have a drawback. Its interface isn’t very user-friendly, with small icons tucked away on different corners of the layout. Though the map is clear for users to read, performing any action on the screen sometimes takes a while. Additionally, when the vehicle isn’t moving, Waze tends to show pop-up ads about nearby businesses, a feature that users may find distracting.

Is Waze free?

Yes. Waze is free to download and doesn’t have any paid versions. 

However, the application is supported by advertisements, which means users have to see pop-up ads when the car isn’t moving. If you dismiss an ad, you may have to see another one before you start driving. 

Are there any alternatives?

Waze download offers real-time traffic alerts, route suggestions, and other information. But, it does show ads that users may not find so appealing. So, if you’re looking for alternatives, you should check out Google Maps, Petal Maps, Citymapper, and MAPS.ME.

Should I download Waze?

If you’re looking for a navigation application that works offline, gives you real-time traffic updates, and connects with your car’s infotainment system, you should download Waze. 

The software offers voice commands, music playback, Android Auto support, a carpool option, instant route changes, among other features. 

PROS

  • Free to download and use
  • Adjusts route in real-time
  • Supports offline navigation
  • Provides instant alerts

CONS

  • Displays pop-up ads
  • The interface isn’t as refined

Older versions

Also available in other platforms



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