Google Maps has been the king of road navigation for ages now. In fact, to this date, it still remains by far the most popular, compared to its competitors. Its mission is simple: it shows you the internet-accessible, offline-downloadable map of the entire world.
Most people use Google Maps for local navigation. This is why there is an integrated driver’s assistant feature that acts as any other car GPS device. So, what is it that Waze has to offer that Google Maps doesn’t? What makes this app viable on the market?
Setting It Up
First of all, it is very easy to set up with every device out there. To comprehend how compatible with other apps it is let’s set it as the default navigation app. Instead of your iOS  or Android  device, let’s hook it up with your Echo Auto.
Echo Auto is a relatively new driver support app that works pretty much like any other Amazon Echo device in your home, except it has been adjusted for in-car use. Echo Auto’s default GPS feature isn’t that impressive, so setting up an app like Waze is a good idea.
You’d think that this wouldn’t be an easy feat but all you really need to do is run the Alexa app, go to Settings, navigate to Traffic, and tap Default navigation app. Here, you can select and set Waze as the default navigation app.
This means that every time you ask Alexa to plot out your course, it will be done through the Waze app. It goes the same for any other device or app. But this doesn’t answer the burning question of why you would choose Waze over Google Maps.
The Unique Feature
In order to challenge an immensely popular app such as Google Maps, you have to offer something that the competitor doesn’t offer, but it has to be something that people really need and would want to use. Waze, like Google Maps, is completely free, but unlike the latter, is ad-supported. No one likes ads, so why do people use Waze?
First of all, its GPS feature is truly great, much better than that of the majority of its competitors. However, what it packs is something that no other similar app can offer – crowdsourcing.
What does crowdsourcing mean for a GPS-based map app? Well, it uses resources such as the social media to provide alerts as to what is going on near you or on your route. Essentially, the drivers who use Waze are the app’s eyes and ears, working together to provide alerts about traffic jams, accidents, dangers, speed traps, detours, construction sites, police, etc.
The more people join in on supplying Waze with useful road info, the more accurate the app naturally becomes, because all events are verified and constantly updated. To make things even better, Waze will automatically change your route where possible in order to get you from point A to point B as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
The best part here is that the app works perfectly in most areas right now and it’s only going to get better as more drivers adopt it.
How It Works
In the world of technological complications, peripheral devices, and technology, simplicity is exactly what an average user is looking for. Waze truly shines here, as all it requires is for you to punch the address into the search box or tell Alexa to do it. The app will automatically calculate the best possible route and change it accordingly if the situation requires so.
Of course, you can set frequently used addresses, so that you can refer to words like “Home”, “Work”, or “School”, for ease of use.
Plotting the Route
When you start the app, you can tap the Search button to get the view of your saved places. Once you’ve selected your destination, Waze quickly and automatically analyzes info that the other drivers in the area have shared and suggests the best possible route. This decision is based on actual geographical distance but also on current driving conditions. The latter is frequently updated by the drivers who are using Waze.
There is also an option to calculate the best time to set off somewhere in order to bypass traffic jams. Of course, if you tap Routes, you’ll be able to see all the alternative routes, as well as their estimated times. Preplanning drives and linking them to your calendar and even Facebook events is also entirely possible.
Waze will actively change your route in the case the road gets clogged while you’re still driving. It may be a map app but make no mistake it has been specifically designed to help you avoid clogs, traffic jams, and everything else that might slow you down. Waze largely owes its accuracy and info relevancy to crowdsourcing.
Owned by Google
Finally, if you aren’t certain whether you should use Waze instead of Google Maps, this may push you in the right direction. Waze is owned by Google and offers everything that Google Maps offers, providing the same amount of traffic information that its parent app does, while adding the crowdsourcing aspect to the equation. When it comes to driving and navigation, Waze is surely one of the best choices.
You’ll quickly fall in love with Waze. Google Maps might be the king of maps but when it comes to driving, Waze rules supreme. The fact that Google decided to buy an app instead of adding another feature to Google Maps should tell you how great it is.
Have you tried Waze? How was your experience? What do you think about its crowdsourcing aspect? Join in on the discussion in the comments section below.