Waze ‘social mapping’ GPS app review

The best GPS app you’ve likely never heard of.

Waze is a mapping and GPS app that is available for iOS and Android devices as well as Windows phones, and it may very well be the best one out there.

The app bills itself as a social GPS and mapping program because it goes beyond mapping out routes and tracking your location in the way that other GPS apps do. When you open the app you’re presented with a map view that is similar to most other apps in the genre that shows where you are on the map, and allows you to enter in a destination to get turn by turn directions. The features are similar to most apps of this type and Waze doesn’t really distinguish itself here, although it is easy to use and fairly flexible. The turn by turn directions are well presented and effective, and the standard GPS app functionality is quite well done.

What’s different about Waze.

But it does have a few spots where it goes beyond what other apps offer, starting with search. When you search for a location, you have the option to search the Waze database, but you can also search in Google, Yelp, Bing and Foursquare, among others. Once you’ve found your destination a route is mapped out for you – and this is where the great stuff starts.

The routes are done the way most GPS apps do at first, setting out the quickest route, but then Waze checks with other users. Waze claims to have the world’s largest community of users for a traffic and navigation apps, and the app tracks the progress of all of them to determine the best route. In other words, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam and you’re using Waze the app will take note of that and route people behind you around the bottleneck.

Waze users can also report construction, road closures, accidents, red light cameras, speed traps, and a host of other road conditions. The app considers those when generating routes for other users, and includes notices when you’re coming up to things like speed traps or construction. You can even use it to check gas prices along your route.

The ability for the app to reroute you around traffic slow downs is really the biggest selling feature of this app. Knowing what’s coming up ahead can shave a significant amount of time off your trip and save you massive headaches.


The best GPS app out there. User data added to standard map data presented in an easy to use interface makes this the stand alone best app of it’s kind.


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