Waze, is a GPS navigation software that works on both smartphones and tables with GPS support and provides turn-by-turn navigation, travel times, and route details, all submitted by the users of the app themselves. Waze is free to download and was first developed by Waze Mobile, an Isreali company. The app was later acquired by Google in 2013. Waze stands out for its user-reported upcoming accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps. The app can also identify the closest and cheapest fuel stations near you, along with any pot holes ahead or vehicles reported on the shoulder of the highway. Because Waze gets most of its information like traffic and police reports from the Waze-users themselves, they encourage their users to report such hazards by offering points for each time they submit a report. Like most apps, there are optional add-ons. These include connecting your Facebook friends to Waze and have the option to notify them when driving through high-crime areas, or let them know that you are in heavy traffic.
Users of this app are capable of displaying the map on their phone using various different color schemes. Waze 3.x offers thirteen different daytime color schemes, users can also create custom color schemes. The aesthetics of this app are personal to each user which makes this app more appealing to customers. Waze is very easy to navigate. Once you open the app it is set at its home page with an address search at the top, your home address (if you chose to set one), along with a work address, favorites and recent travel destinations. There are different ways to use the app, some people prefer to have no voice at all and only view the map, while others want to hear the directions while also being able to view the map. Something that I found appealing was the option to only hear the important traffic reports such as; police reported ahead, estimated time in traffic, and red light camera reported ahead. Waze has a feature that I personally use that allows you to hear the reports without having to put in a destination, for example, if you are driving to work and know exactly how to get there but want to know about the upcoming police reports, you can be notified of this without hearing the step-by-step route directions. This app is very user friendly and easy to navigate. I think the app could improve in ways, I think there should be an easier way to resort back to the app after closing it. If the app had a tab that popped up on the top of the screen, like google maps does, it would be easier for the driver to quickly go back to the map without looking at their phone for a longer period of time. Something that people always complain about, and is only getting worse is traffic, especially for people driving to and from work during rush hour. Waze has created a way to get around traffic faster then any other navigation app that I have tried. Waze will re-route you during your travels if it find that there is an accident reported ahead, it will direct you in a way to get around that accident without the driver even spending a minute in traffic, if possible. This app is a way to improve the social/cultural issues of traveling during rush hour, or getting around traffic during long car rides.
Like I said earlier, Waze stands out because of its user-based reports. It is a different approach then most navigation systems or applications that are popular today. Once you download the app, you become a “reporter” for Waze. Waze will announce a report such as “Vehicle stopped on shoulder ahead”, when you reach the destination where that vehicles was reported to be, a thumbs up or thumbs down will pop up, if there is a vehicle stopped you are directed to report it, if there isn’t you are directed to report that there isn’t. The app makes it extremely easy for the users to help each other get around traffic, police, and anything that might cause your travels to be delayed. This app is definitely growing and has room for improvement, but I think overall it is a well developed app and is doing very well.