Navigation Systems - What's the Best?
Waze? Google Maps? In car system? We've come a long way from the printed maps of my childhood, and the MapQuest printouts of my college days. These days, most people don't include directions to their events, whether it's at their home or elsewhere. An address is plenty, and plugging it electronically will get you where you need to go.
But with multiple choices, what's the best way to go? You wouldn't think that Waze and Google Maps could be all that different, especially since they have the same parent company (Google bought Waze a few years ago), but they actually do operate differently. Sure, they both have good turn by turn navigation, and if that's all you need, it doesn't matter. They occasionally share data, but they are different apps with different tricks.
- Waze is a turn-by-turn navigation app that focuses on a social network where drivers can share information about accidents, police officers, road closures, and more. It is solely for navigation by car.
- Google Maps is much more akin to a traditional map, has a variety of transportation options, and is packed with additional information about businesses, monuments, and everything else you're used to seeing in a map app.
- Navigation options for driving, biking, walking, and using public transportation
- Voice navigation options for driving, biking, and walking
- Live traffic conditions, incident reports, and optional rerouting
- Business information for millions of places
- Integration with Google Street View Offline mode with turn-by-turn navigation
- Displays business hours in searches and alerts you if you'll arrive too late
- Shows you which lane to drive in
- Shows map information when looking at different routing options
- Tracks and saves location data over times
- Social network integration that includes live traffic reporting from other users
- Ability to send live, updating information with your ETA to friends
- Additional celebrity voice navigation options Learns frequent destinations, commuting hours, and preferred routes
- Easily search for the cheapest gas on a route
- Safety - if it detects the car is in motion, you can't type without being asked to confirm that you are the passenger. You don't necessarily have to be honest, but the app lets you know that typing and driving isn't safe.
- Lots of options for customizations (avoid highways, etc.)
- Traffic jam indicator counts down the time you'll be in a jam
Waze is all about shaving time off your drive, so you'll often be routed off the highway
and onto side streets, whereas Google Maps might tell you about traffic, but won't automatically reroute.
To me, Google Maps is my every day app, but Waze is what I use when I'm driving during rush hour or in a very congested area. I'll definitely make sure to keep both on my phone!