Waze is an app offering reliable traffic data, recently acquired by Google.
It is a mapping and a navigation application that is community powered, offering traffic data on a real time basis along with road alerts. The app is free and accurate and offers plenty of good features, being considered among the top in its category. However, you should not consider Waze as an alternative to Google Maps, as it is designed for using while you are driving, so there are no directions for walking or other public transport. There is no data related to topography or related to buildings, as compared to Apple Maps or to Google Maps. The app can be used without creating an account, but if you create one, it will allow you to contribute towards the Waze community making it a more effective app.
Powerful and Rich Mapping Accuracy
The best aspect of Waze is that the database and information is constantly being updated. There are millions of people using the app, so they offer data to the application, either actively or passively, leading to the creation of very accurate maps. All the information provided by users is distilled into the form of usable data related to traffic, so that all viewers are able to see this on their screens. For instance, you can view accurate representations of road closures or one way streets or restrictions on certain turns and so on, on a real world basis. If a user sees anything unusual in the traffic, he or she can easily mark the map issue merely by a few taps.
If Waze says that there is traffic jam somewhere, it is most likely correct. As you drive along, the application will offer you periodic notifications through pop-ups, related to road incidents ahead. These incidents are related to a specific radius on the basis of your selected route or your destination. Notifications are related to traffic that is unusually slow, accidents or presence of police and speed cameras. All these notifications are provided even if you have not selected a destination. This provides incentive to users for keeping the app always running when they are driving on the road. This will also improve the reliability of the map and give more traffic data to the Waze community. There are also some pop up advertisements of businesses located nearby, which appear when you stop the vehicle or when you wait for a green signal.
It is easy to use the maps, but the buttons for the Menu and for Reporting are rather small and are found in the corners at the bottom of the page. When you tap these, pop up menus appear, through which you have the options and the bigger buttons. However, this makes it difficult for the driver, as he or she has to make at least two to three taps and a swipe for selecting a destination that he has set, like his home destination or work place. It is also quite tiresome to input a destination, which is not stored. The difficulty arises due to the fact that when you make an entry for a destination through the search field, you will get destinations and addresses from several search engines, such as Yellow Pages, Facebook Places, Bing, Yelp and Foursquare. In addition, Waze also has its own business database that also offers results for such a search. The address book of the mobile device is also searched offering too many choices and this makes it difficult for a person who is behind the wheel, as he needs to swipe through several destination lists.