I recently jumped in a rental that a co-worker was driving and looking through the windshield, I noticed his Garmin GPS, seriously a GPS unit, in 2016. I looked at him and asked, “Do you really pack this when you travel?” He answered “Absolutely”. I look at a GPS unit in a couple of ways, first, it’s one more thing for me to accidently leave in a rental car and secondly, I view it as wearing knee high athletic socks with shorts…..dated.
So what is Waze?
Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
Waze. Outsmarting Traffic, Together.
In addition to all that, it’s free, so no more paying to update maps every year.
Enough with the suspense, here’s the 4 steps.
- Download and install Waze
- Create a user name
- Enter a destination
- Drive and listen
There’s a bit more to Waze than that……
Waze information is always up to date because users report what they see as they drive. If you come across an accident or a police officer on the side of the road you can let others know it with the touch of a few icons, and in turn, you’ll be notified of hazards ahead as you drive.
If you need to be downtown by 10:00 AM, you can schedule a planned drive the day before and Waze will notify you when it’s time to leave based on the current traffic conditions. If you grant Waze access to your calendar it can automatically schedule all your planned drives based on your appointments.
Waze also notifies you of traffic jams and will automatically reroute you based on the traffic ahead. If Waze notices that your speed has slowed down or you have stopped for an extended period of time it will ask if you’re stuck in traffic so it can update its maps.
You can also search for the lowest gas prices as you drive and Waze will also let you know when you’re near one of their sponsored restaurants.
There is also a social aspect to Waze. You accumulate points for posting information, as your points increase you reach different ranks. The points really don’t give you anything other than the fact that it lets you know that you’re in the car a lot.
The one thing I wish was integration into an app like Yelp, that way when I’m in Middle Of Nowhere, USA I could find a decent restaurant or brewery, it’s about priorities.
Google bought Waze several years ago so if you’re afraid that “Big Brother” is watching just read their TOS and then decide for yourself. Google maps has been around for some time, so what’s with the acquisition. Well first, it kept Facebook or Apple from buying them; keep your friends close and your enemies closer. My other guess is that it’s about . Years ago it was about money, now it’s about data, which leads to money. Waze requires your phone number and e-mail address in order to create an account… data. They also know where you are when you post to the app… data and where you’re driving to… data.
I find Waze useful, and since everyone else is already selling my e-mail address, why not, you never know I just might be able to refinance my house or win a free iPad. Seriously, create what I call a “spam” account on gmail or yahoo for all those annoying sites that need your email address so they can spam you, I mean register you.
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