Thursday, April 11, 2013

App Review: Waze

Cool GPS navigation that takes traffic into consideration? There's an app for that!

The slogan rings true.
Having read about this very useful app from a friend's Facebook post, we tried it out and upon seeing its sleek interface, it immediately struck my fancy. The look and feel was beautifully simple, almost like that of the usual mini-map in video games. I am very interested in anything remotely related to augmented reality, so I really appreciated this. I also have a horrible sense of direction so having this handy gives me confidence that I now know how to get anywhere. Anywhere I can search, at least.

Here's a peek at the awesome UI. 3D Map!!!
Here are some of the cool features I enjoy apart from the basic navigation:
- It gives an accurate ETA based on traffic conditions from other Waze users. I have been thoroughly impressed because apart from more extreme traffic conditions, my arrival time is usually correctly predicted give and take ten minutes.
- Automatically reroutes as needed depending on traffic conditions.
- It allows you to choose from several routes (or several "waze" hehe) to your destination. Do you prefer a faster route? a shorter one? one with or without a tollway? You get to choose that.
- Sharing your drive. Tired of constantly having to give updates on where you are? Just share your drive to anyone by sending them a link (or posting the link to Twitter or Facebook if you feel like attracting stalkers) and they will be able to view your exact path, location and estimated time of arrival.
- It does not always need data. If your path and map is properly saved, this app can still guide you. It will not, however, be able to have up-to-date traffic data nor ETA, and it will not be able to provide you with multiple routes.
- User-shared alerts. You will see alerts on the map for road obstructions, or strangely, police officer sightings. Might be useful if you're planning a heist. (Just kidding! Do not rob banks.)
- Points! Being a social app, it has a nifty points system which ranks your score against Facebook friends or strangers.

This is what route selection looks like. Neat, huh?
Verdict: 5/5 - Unless you always know the way to get to where you are going, this is an infinitely useful app!

Give it a try if you think it might be useful, or simply fun to use. You'll be effectively helping the Waze community as well because traffic is based on user data and the more the users are, the more accurate Waze gets. Waze isn't just useful, it also makes driving much more enjoyable!

Ask away if you have any questions by commenting below, or you can always just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Google Play:
BlackBerry: (This is a beta version and is quite buggy. I hope it gets much better.)


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