Waze is a popular GPS based app for smartphones that provides users with real time traffic information, road alerts and gas prices based on live data submitted by its large community of users.
Developed in Israel, Waze won the Best Overall Mobile App award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, beating out popular apps like Dropbox and Flipboard.
This dynamic navigation app ticks all the boxes — great user interface, community/crowd-sourcing base, saves time, saves money, saves fuel — a masterclass in how to exploit the potential of mobile devices, – Comments from Judges at Mobile World Congress, 2013.
Waze became so popular that it was acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported $1.2 Billion. The deal set a record for the largest payout to employees in the history of Israeli high tech, with 100 Waze employees receiving US $1.2 million each.
Waze app: Features
Waze is free to download and use. The app allows users to report accidents, traffic jams, fuel prices, police presence and it also allows users to update information about roads and landmarks using an online map editor.
Real Time Traffic Information
Based on live feedback from its growing community of users (100 million!), Waze is able to provide real time traffic information, location of traffic jams, road blocks and location of fuel stations with cheapest fuel prices at a given point.
Waze picks out the most efficient route for its users, helping them get to their destination faster, saving time and money spent on gas.
Just like a GPS, Waze provides turn by turn voice guided navigation. What makes it more fun to use compared to a traditional GPS is its community of users and entertainment value.
In addition to guided navigation and other uses, Waze entertains drivers with pop ups featuring celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone and others mouthing their most popular movie lines.
Waze automatically re-routes your daily route whenever there is an accident, road closures or a traffic jam.
If your destination involves a route with a heavily clogged street, the Waze application will automatically take you to your destination via another street.
Listed below are features that differentiate Waze from traditional GPS and other GPS based applications.
• Community Reported Alerts: Along with real time traffic and road information other Waze users frequently also report accidents, hazards, road closures, police traps and much more.
• Live Maps: Waze’s maps are constantly edited and updated by the Waze map editors. It is likely with Waze that you will never get an old outdated map.
• ETA Sharing: As Waze is a social GPS it lets its users share their estimated time of arrival (ETA) with their friends or let their family know when they will be reaching home. As a Waze user you can also see your friend’s ETA when you are travelling to the same destination.
• Adaptation: Waze adapts to your requirements by learning about commuting hours, preferred destinations and routes.
• Gas Stations: Waze users also get updates to gas prices letting them know the cheapest gas available on route to their destination.
• Friends: The app lets users add their Facebook friends and contacts and features one tap navigation to Facebook and Calendar events.
Availability & Pricing
Waze is available for free on the Google Play Store, iTunes app store, Windows store and also on BlackBerry App World.
Just like other free apps Waze also displays ads. It serves ads to users based on their travel history, showing them businesses and places that might be of interest to them.