Waze is a popular navigation app based on community interactions. It was designed mainly for drivers and gives very accurate information about traffic and road alerts. The app should not be seen as an alternative to Google Maps, but rather as a great addition.
A user interface is a place where Waze is a bit weak. The problem is not in maps, those are Ok and easy to understand, it’s more about the menu. Buttons are small and hidden in the corners. By tapping them the larger menu appears with better buttons, although to get directions driver still has to make three taps and a swipe. Also, be ready to periodically see ads, because the app is free and developers refuse to try other sources of monetization. Buying a version without ads is also not an option as it doesn’t exist.
What makes Waze stand out among other navigation apps is its database which is constantly updating. Millions of people all around the globe actively and passively add new information and improve maps quality. All of that data can then be analyzed and efficiently used while driving. Waze accurately shows any parts of the road that are under construction as well as turn restrictions or streets with one-way traffic. If you find something like that which is not there on the map you can help other drivers by introducing it with three simple taps. The app is also pretty accurate when it comes to traffic jams. If an alert says that there’s a high traffic or incident the chances are good that it’s right.
Other triggers that will cause notifications to pop-up are speed cameras and police. Therefore, even if you haven’t set a route, Waze should better be still enabled.
Waze is a great app and can be efficiently used by experienced users on a daily basis. For newcomers, however, navigating between options might be difficult, because important buttons such as the search bar are hidden. App also doesn’t guide new users through its features, so many people remain unaware of things like map view, trip planning, and gas station search. Also, sometimes you may remain confused of why Waze had chosen that particular route and unfortunately, it doesn’t explain the logic behind its decisions.
App is available for Android version 4.1 and higher. For iOS Waze requires a minimal version of 10.0 and is compatible with iPad or iPod touch. Therefore, app can be accessed from a majority of devices and is being constantly updated. Waze also supports 40 languages, which makes it possible to use by Wazers all across the globe.
Waze is a helpful assistant that undoubtedly does its job and alerts if there are traffic jams, construction works, or police ahead. However, the app could benefit from improving UI a little and making its features more visible for unexperienced users. Most of the time Waze provides pretty accurate information, although rarely route decisions are quite weird and the logic behind them is not understandable.