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Daughter turned me onto a very good GPS app... Waze.

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Daughter turned me onto a very good GPS app... Waze.

Old 08-29-17, 12:57 AM
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Mark42
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Daughter turned me onto a very good GPS app... Waze.

I was using Verizon gps and another free app for driving. My 17 yr old daughter showed me a GPS app called Waze. I installed it on our way home from vacation while she was driving. For those of you who don't have Waze, I think it blows away all other GPS apps. And there are Android and Apple versions.

First, it does everything all other GPS apps do as far as getting you from here to there. The screens look the same as all the other apps and have the common low level view of the road. But not as nice as Garmin.

Second, entering an address is so much easier than any other gps app and especially way better than Garmin. All I did was enter the house number and street name on a non-formatted search text box and Waze pulled up 3 addresses on the east coast. One was mine in NJ. Super cool.

Now the cool part... Everyone who has Waze on their phone can be seen by everyone else who has Waze on their the screen. Waze users show up as little car icons moving along the roads in your screen view. When a driver spots a problem, say a tire in the road, the driver can post a warning on Waze, and all other Waze drivers in the area will get an alert about the tire. Same for speed traps, police actions, accidents, Liberal Protests, Confederate Monument Defacings and White Supremacist Marches. Driver can even send message to others to "get in left lane for traffic backup ahead" to help others pass through easier. This feature is fantastic. It made the 3 hour ride home from the shore so much easier, and we had to go right through the middle of NYC. Gas stations are listed. Want coffee? do a search on coffee or Duncan or Starbucks. The closest ones show up, and if you touch the coffee shop label, Waze will direct you there, then back to your route again after you get your coffee. This is too cool. I love it. And advertising is very limited so as not to distract you from driving. But when you search for coffee, the paid advertisers will be at the top of the list, and not necessarily the closest. Have to scan the whole list for the closest. That's how advertising comes into play in Waze.

My daughter has an Iphone about 2 years old, I have a Android Samsung Galaxy S5 about 4? years old. Comparing screens on our two phones during the drive they were 90% the same. But the Android version has more detail at the same settings.

The female voice that comes with it sounds so much better than the best voices I downloaded. Amazingly natural. Had me fooled a couple of times. Thought it was my daughter talking to me.

There are a few things Waze can improve on:

1) It does not have the real "through the windshield" road view with overhead highway signs, and all the other road signs that you would see in real life like Garmin has. Hard to beat Garmin for that 3D road view.
2) Could zoom in to roads a bit more for more detail in confusing situations like multiple clover leaf exit/entrance. Especially where highway lanes have barriers between them but are otherwise side by side.
3) I found changing screens and looking at options to be a little clunky, but that might be because I'm a new user and haven't got the feel of it yet.

Its well worth checking out if you are paying for a GPS app on your phone.

(I am a ridiculously compensated spokes person for Waze. In compensation for this obviously over blown positive review, Waze has supplied me with a Lamborghini, Beach house in the Hamptons, and a life time supply of Doritos and Cheese Balls. )

Last edited by Mark42; 08-29-17 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:01 AM
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Waze is owned by Google, is it not?
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Old 08-29-17, 07:28 AM
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Blah, blah, blah, MMMMM, CHEESE BALLS!
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Old 08-29-17, 07:37 AM
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I have yet to see anything surpass google maps. My phone came w Verizon Navigation... what a joke. My wifes 2016 Mazda 3 has GPS... it'slow, and tells you to turn at the last second.

We both rely on google... she on iphone, me on S5. Tells you way ahead of the turn, tells you at the turn, tells you the best lane. And turn on traffic mode, and you see delays, hazards, etc.

My sister uses waze and went in circles in Dallas until I pulled out google on my S5. Got us right to our destination.

Google does own Waze... so I wonder about the difference in calculation/processing.
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Old 08-29-17, 08:27 AM
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For navigating by car I think Waze is much better option than Google Maps. I like the turn-by-turn better on Waze, plus I add police alerts when I see them.
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Old 08-29-17, 09:04 AM
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It also alerts to traffic tie-ups. It's a community based app.
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Old 08-29-17, 10:08 AM
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Google maps will also do the traffic alert thing and offer another route. I use it in the "Alerts Only" mode on the route I drive to and from work because it's 62 miles or an hour and fifteen minutes, give or take. Before using the app, I'd check traffic and start out only to get caught in something that just happened causing an extensive delay. Now, I drive my normal route and, if anybody does something stupid thus delaying my drive, I'm warned and accept the re-route.
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Old 08-29-17, 10:17 AM
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With Maps you used to be able to pull down and have a list of turns. This was helpful to see part of my route. With new update I cannot do that anymore. I am able to do that with Waze.
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Old 08-29-17, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sal Bandini View Post
With Maps you used to be able to pull down and have a list of turns. This was helpful to see part of my route. With new update I cannot do that anymore. I am able to do that with Waze.
I can still do that but they changed how you access it. That's an annoying thing about google -- changing how an app works and making it really difficult to figure out the new way. If it ain't broke...
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Old 08-29-17, 10:46 AM
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The thing I wonder about is the map source... Google drives the streets... I've twice seen their car on my home street.

Where does Waze or any other map tool get their data?
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Old 08-29-17, 12:43 PM
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I use osmand+ for off-grid stuff. I know google maps allows you to download larger areas but osmand just does it.

Google maps will try to outsmart traffic with or without waze. Was stuck in a traffic jam last week and it was incredibly annoying; it would find a service road so I would get of a 100 mile stretch of freeway, take the service road from one exit, past the next, and get back on, and have a 50/50 chance of being far behind where I would have been if I stayed put because of all the double-tractor-trailers using the service road for service...
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Old 08-29-17, 03:18 PM
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I used Waze a bit back in 2015, but for some reason it would keep my phone's GPS running in the background even when the app was not active, really killing my phone's battery life. This may have been a problem unique to my phone (iPhone 5s at the time).

Fortunately I no longer have the job that had me navigating in/through/around Los Angeles several times a month, so I deleted the Waze app, and have not tried it on my 7.
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Old 08-29-17, 04:01 PM
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Y'all are fiddling around with that stuff while you're driving? Or is this all hands-free/voice command?

Good honk. Glad I don't drive much anymore. Sorta explains why I see so many commercial vehicles veering all over the road. They're busier with their phones than watching the road.

My cousin has become so addicted to her phone she's no longer capable of driving routes she's known for decades without using turn by turn navigation. Half the time it's either wrong or announces too late, so she'll miss an easy route and drive miles out of the way, slavishly following the voice commands, to get to a destination only a mile away that she already should know.
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Old 08-29-17, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Y'all are fiddling around with that stuff while you're driving?
No, my wife, co-pilot, does the observation and passes the data to me, or vice versa if we swap roles.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:17 PM
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All these apps have voice announcements. And Waze does it for traffic issues too, not just turn by turn. So its not really a distraction. Also many people have a dash mount for their phones so its just like having Garmin in your view. I haven't see any app do the ground level, 3D view like Garmin does. I'm surprised Waze doesn't do that seeing as Google has all that ground level 3D photographs of most metropolitan and suburban and even rural areas.... "In June 2013, Google bought Waze for a reported $1.3 billion, adding social data to its mapping business."
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Old 08-30-17, 01:27 PM
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Sounds good, if I had a smartphone I would use Waze. I had heard the real genius of Waze is that it uses live gps tracks of all its users to know what real-time traffic conditions are, so it will automatically decide on quickest routes based on current conditions.
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Old 08-30-17, 01:49 PM
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Google maps....the best!
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Old 09-02-17, 12:36 AM
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Waze is more likely to route you through city streets. Will it save you time? After trying both it's a toss up.

The problem I have with Waze is the user component. It goes beyond just marking locations, it's like game based. So another distraction for the driver.
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