Finding Your Waze

I fell in love with Waze [Android & iOS – free] long before I got my iPhone so I was delighted to find it also available for iOS. Waze is unique in that it depends on its users to provide information on traffic and road conditions, accidents and related news. Your view of Waze will show other Waze users around you and you can even make a direct connection with them. It may look too cute to be serious, but it does its job beautifully.

Waze offers both audio and visual turn-by-turn navigation and, on the iPhone 4S and 5, Siri can be used to provide limited voice controls for tasks like reporting traffic conditions or accidents while you drive. You can set set up a navigation route with multiple stops. We put that to work recently while on a junk store tour and it worked beautifully. I just plugged in the addresses of the shops we wanted to visit and arranged them in the order we wanted. Waze got us there with ease.

It can be used to find nearby gas stations (and offers crowd-sourced gas prices), banks, restaurants and more and, if you have someone else in the car, you can even chat with other Waze users nearby from within the app. But it doesn’t stop there. If you notice an error in the map, you can edit it yourself. No, not in the mobile app – you’ll make your changes from you desktop using the online map editor.

It’s the crowd-sourced content that makes Waze so special. Those of us who live away from large metropolitan areas are often left out of the whistles and bells built into location-based apps. Waze users are reporting from everywhere. I’m in no rush for the new and improved Apple Maps because Waze meets my needs beautifully. I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.