Standalone GPS receivers are fast becoming extinct as more and more people turn to their smartphones and download Map Apps instead. Even the likes of TomTom realized this as they themselves have launched a GPS Map app for iPhone’s, albeit at a cost of $59.99. However, there are free ones available and although some of them are not up to scratch, one of them is fast becoming a strong contender for one of the best free navigation apps on the market. It’s called Waze. It’s fun to use and it includes crowd-sourced route data, something that not many other GPS apps can boast about, especially not the free ones. So, whats so good about Waze ?
For starters it has a very nice, intuitive interface. Although it doesn’t support either 2D or 3D lane assistance it is colourful and displays well on most resolutions and it has animated traffic icons on it. It’s an easy app to get the hang of and basic functions like entering addresses and saving favourites has been made simple. The one thing it doesn’t do is display your current road speed limit and it does have a limited database at the moment.
However, that’s where the really exciting features of this app come in. For starters, you can build the map as ou drive. If you find yourself driving on a road that isn’t on the map, you can tell Waze to “pave” the road and you can clean up incorrect areas as well. You can pinpoint incidents and accidents on the map as you drive. If you spot the police along your route, visible or hidden you can add it to the map. What good is that though? By the time you comeback along the road they will have moved on.
Crowd sourced route data is what this feature is good for. When you switch on you Waze Maps app it will automatically connect you, anonymously, to other drivers using the app. Any event that you pinpoint on the map will appear on their Waze systems as well, and vice versa. Crowd-sourcing allows for any reported incidents to show up on your map; Waze will take all of the reports into consideration when working out your route for you, even if it s preset favorite route that you use all of the time.
Waze can work out from your speed if you have hit a traffic jam or other problem and a box will pop up screen to ask you. Simply by tapping yes the information is sent out to all the other users. Before everyone starts screaming about not typing whilst driving, in a nutshell, you can’t. Communication with Waze is by way of preset buttons that require one tap, although the keyboard can be unlocked for the passenger to input data in needs be. You can also monitor fuel prices per garage on your device and, if the prices change you can manually change them to show the correct ones. Again this information is dispersed across the whole board of users.
In short this is turning out to be one of the best free Navigation apps for the iPhone that has ever been released. It has been optimized for the iPhone 5 allowing for a better user experience and the reviews coming from the iTunes store are registering true appreciation for the product. It’s definitely worth trying, after all 30 million + users to date can’t all be wrong can they ?
Download : iTunes Link