CacheCrazy.Com: iGadgets-Waze

Friday, January 18, 2013

iGadgets-Waze

iGadgets has returned.  Last year I started a series of posts about apps I downloaded for my then-new iPhone.  Some I continue to use.  Some I haven't touched in a while.  Here's another one I recently started using.



I often commute to work in a carpool, with a friend of mine from my Wilkes-Barre days.  Among the many topics which come up during the drive is that of mobile apps.  I'm an iPhone guy, and he's partial to Android devices.  Every so often, one of us brings up a new app we've been playing around with, and the other gets hooked on it.  A few weeks ago he introduced me to Waze, a free app available for both iPhone and Android phones.



Waze is a fresh take on traditional GPS navigational software.  Granted, it will show you how to get from Point A to Point B, but its niche in the app market is its use of social networking and crowdsourcing to provide the user with the best "real-time" conditions possible.  Users are able to input data directly into the app, and update the map, in real time, with information such as where police may be stationed up ahead, approaching traffic jams, accidents, and construction.  There's even an option to pinpoint roadkill.

Much like Foursquare, there are points available for certain actions performed within the app.  You can accumulate points to upgrade your ranking, avatar status, and bragging rights in the crazy world of social traffic.  Points are awarded for things such as using the app so many times in week, driving a specific number of miles, reporting map issues, as well as live-updating the map.  Not only do you get points when you report incidents on the map, you also receive points when other members "thank" you for your reporting.





The app proved its worth in my app list on about the third day.  Using the "reports-on route" menu, I was able to see an accident about 25 miles up the road, and had plenty of time to find and alternate route, saving myself about an hour's worth of sitting in traffic, and a lot of grief.  The app will give you a real-time ETA, in time as well as in miles.  This useful feature helps me plan out my morning, and helps me alert the wife when I'm going to be late for dinner.



The only downside I've found to Waze is its half-hearted attempt to prevent distracted driving.  There's a safety feature in the app, where if you are taken to a screen where you're prompted to add text, it alerts you you're driving and shouldn't be typing.  The problem?  You can select "passenger" and continue typing.  Other than that, you can't go wrong with this free app.  If' you're in to GPS apps, it's worth checking out!



4 comments:

Nighthawk700 said...

"The app will give you a real-time ETA, ... helps me alert the wife when I'm going to be late for dinner."

Not only can it help you alert the wife, but you can send her a link from within Waze, and she can track your progress on a map in real time. I used this when going to pick up a friend for a day of caching. Just as I turned on his street, he walked out his door, looking at his iPad which showed me turning on his street. :-)

BLOODHOUNDED said...

My wife just got an iphone from Santa and she was previously a Droid user like me. The first thing she noticed is the lack of a good navigational system (Like Navigator)so I sent this to her. The second thing she misses is the shortcuts and one button dialing. She'll find her way and overall, she loves her new phone.
Great post!

Lindsay said...

My husband loves Waze, and I believe it interfaces with geobucket, so he can use it to get to caches as well as work and everywhere else.

Electronics Shop said...

Quite interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.
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