As a long time Android user, it pained me a little bit to say goodbye to enter the iPhone world. I was pretty excited to add to my Apple collection (I’ve been a Mac person since my freshman year of college and who doesn’t have an iPod now-a-days?), but there was one thing that made me hold on to my droid, though… Even if it was by the last, little technological string.
My sense of direction will get me no where. Actually, it WILL get me somewhere but no where close to where I want/need to be. The navigation that I was using on my Droid II by Verizon was better than a lot of GPS devices that I’ve used. Not only do I rely on electronic navigators to get me anywhere for my personal life, my current job is 90% time spent on the road. Although I live in a pretty small state, there are little nooks and cranies that I’ve never needed to visit. As great as an iPhone may be, its stock navigation system would not cut it for me.
After trying iPhone’s “Maps” app and failing terribly on my job’s time (hint: I drove around the same rotary approximately 5 times), I desperately needed to find an application that could get me from point A to point B easily, efficiently, and effortlessly enough that I didn’t feel like I was wasting TOO much of my boss’ time. That’s when I discovered Waze. So far, it’s been nothing but a success for me. Here are some of my favorite features:
- Narrated, step-by-step navigation…Even if you mess up. Unlike Maps, and very much like a regular GPS, Waze will narrate every step of the way. This includes what’s next, when it’s getting close, and when you should be taking that turn (street names included). I’m still the queen of directional screw ups, so it’s great that this app will not only alert you by making a little sound when you take a wrong turn, but quickly re-navigate your trip. Little to no work has to be done on your part… especially since you should be paying attention to the road, anyways!
- A cute-yet-clear play-by-play map right at your fingertips. Yeah I know, just because something’s “cute” doesn’t mean that it’s going to do me any good… but it helps. If you have to look down at the map (which you probably shouldn’t do while driving), it is actually quite adorable. Think cartoon-chic. But believe me, don’t judge this app by it’s graphics… it’s actually completely spot on with neighboring streets, intersections, town boundaries, and much more.
- User interaction is crucial. What exactly do I mean? Well, Waze relies on users to obtain information about traffic flow, accidents, and any other road blocks (literally) that could mess up your trip. It tracks the speed of its users so you can see if the road you’re about to take has some bumper-to-bumper action. Users can update their own information to give a heads up to others heading their way.
(Knowing that cop is hiding up ahead is pretty helpful, too!)
- Frequently visited locations can be saved. Don’t feel like typing in your home address a million times? You can save that, along with any other destination you frequent or would like to remember. This comes in handy when you don’t necessarily need a GPS to get all the way back, but to navigate your self out of an unfamiliar area… AKA the story of my life.
- It’s a game… obviously. I’m not particularly obsessed with this portion of the app, but it’s cool that you can obtain points for the mileage you “put on” your little Waze character. The points don’t really get you anything but a more evolved virtual driver, but it’s fun to pretend you’re getting points for wasting all that gas, right?
There are plenty of other fun, little features that makes Waze unique and useful. Coming from a girl who still gets lost in her own hometown sometimes, having a GPS at my finger tips at all times is a must. The best part? It’s FREE and readily available at the App Store.
Have you guys tried Waze? Or another app worth trying? Let us know @20sTweet!