This week’s choice for a must-have app is “Waze,” the free map and navigation app.
On iPhones in particular, the Apple map service tends to be less-than-reliable, and many users voice complaints about its navigation tool. Waze is a great alternative to this problem—especially because it is free.
The app is a fairly unique concept and works as a social solution to traffic and other travel difficulties. Users input their destination, and Waze works exactly like a GPS would by vocally stating directions, as well as highlighting the route and giving written instructions. It can also provide points of interest around your location, such as restaurants, shopping centers, hotels, attractions, or gas stations (with prices).
Those points of interest are derived from sources like Yelp, Four Square, Yellow Pages, Bing, Facebook, and other Waze users, giving you the best variety of options out there.
On top of its reliable navigation, and plethora of places to discover, Waze provides the opportunity to report things along your route. If there is an accident, odds are another user has reported it in real time, giving you plenty of time to re-route and avoid the roadblock altogether. Users can report police sightings, traffic, and other hazards as well. This provides feedback for any map issues or closures that the active editing team may not be aware of yet.
Finally, Waze users can connect their account to Facebook to commune with friends and plan trips. You can track each other along the route to plan arrival times and ensure everyone gets to the destination successfully. It’s the best way to stay in sync with your friends when coordinating trips or carpooling, especially because we all know how confusing that can become.
Overall, Waze provides everything a user could need for navigation. The maps are reliable, and the directions are spoken clearly and in a timely fashion. It’s perfect for out-of-town college students (like me) trying to explore new places in Boston, or even locals trying to find somewhere new to have dinner or locate the cheapest gas in Quincy. It keeps everyone coordinated and is always one step ahead of traffic, accidents, and hazards to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Best of all, it is free, so there’s no risk in giving Waze a try.
Available in the App Store or on Google Play.