Waze is designed as a Google Maps + Real time help for each other to outsmart the traffic together.
Waze is developed in Israel and acquired by Google in 2013. Additional functionality in waze in addition to Google Maps or other Navigation Apps is community support on realtime information. Adequate user base for waze will enable to use its full functionality. As per wikipedia, at preset, Waze is popularly used in 13 countries namely United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel , South Africa, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Panama.
On opening Waze for the first time, we have to select the country or enable location to configure service and seek the mobile number to connect with other known waze users. We also have to sign in using existing account or creating new account or using Facebook login to save prefered locations like Home, Work etc.
On the Homepage, in addition to the Map of existing location, icons for Menu, Report, option to add friends. On tapping anywhere on the display, five more options i.e., to locate the existing location by the map, identify the direction, zoom in or zoom out on the map, search bar to isearch address, place, contact with text or voice input.
Friends can be added to plan a meeting or see each other while heading for same destination or to locate on the map while driving nearby from contacts or facebook.
Menu have four options (3 additional options while traveling):
Navigation: On tapping on the Navigate, we are forwarded to Navigate page. In Navigate page, Home and Work can be added and opt to sync calendars from device. From the option “Categories”, near by services/ business like Car Services,Gas Stations, Parking Lot, Transportation etc. (over 120 business categories available).From “Favorites”, we can view list of our favorite places. From “Friends”, search for friends. We can also search for the address, place, contact to visit and proceed to the preview page.
In preview page, name, distance from the current location can viewed, send location to contacts, add place to favorites, set place as start point, view the place on map, report a problem. If desired, place details can be edited by editing the name, address, adding photo, categories, services, open hours, description, phone numbers, website etc or Report problem like closed or removed, Duplicate, Inappropriate, Residential place, wrong details to the developer for correction. On tapping on “Go” available at right bottom, we view the expected duration, time to reach, route and proceed to the navigation map.
Navigation map indicate the route with the names of various roads that we have to travel, voice navigation with navigation box (all turns can be viewed by tapping on box) to guide us on the route.While we are travelling, three additional options i.e., to stop navigation, to send expected time of arrival to contacts, search for alternatives routes will appear in the Menu.
While travelling, from the Report, we can share details on Traffic Jam (Moderate, Heavy, Standstill), Police (Hidden, Visible), Accident (Minor, Major), Hazard (On Road, Shoulder, Weather), Map Chat (share details), Map Issue (indicating Map error, Turn not allowed, Incorrect conjunction, Missing bridge or overpass or no road), Place (Image of the place for easy recognition by others in future), Closure (close of roads), Camera (indicating Speed camera, Red lights, Fake camera – please note waze provide information only on speed camera on exceeding the speed limits and other lights will not be notified to other users) and Check In (indicate places like coffee shop, Shopping, Restaurants etc.) on travelling side or other side. On reaching the destination, Waze may seek for the image of the destination place. If desired, we can add the Image or end the navigation. The App auto adjust the navigation on change of route, incorporating the latest updates from other users.
My Waze: It is a profile page. We can set to be visible or invisible on the Map. Please note, if profile set to be invisible, no information can be shared from Reports. We can also edit profile (Name, Username, Password, Phone, Email, Logout, Delete the account), set Home and Work address, Mood (avatar), view scoreboard, add friends, set teams, adjust settings (display, sound, navigation, notifications, social network and general settings).
Send: Enable to send Home, Workplace, Current Location or Destination places to Contacts
Inbox: To view the notifications, if any.
With the options available at bottom of the menu, we can access settings, enable or disable sound, close the Waze.
Overall, in our opinion, using Waze is much preferred than any other Navigation systems as it provides real time insights on traffic, places in addition to the navigation. We definitely recommend to use this App with note that the true benefit of this App lies in several number of users and reports from them.