I have been using google navigation almost every day since I got my first smartphone years ago. It has become such an integral part of my routine that I can’t imagine my life with out it. I never would have thought that I would find a replacement that would be so mindblowingly awesome until I was introduced to Waze.
Waze is a navigation app for your smart phone that will find you the best route possible based real time data it gathers from it’s users. This means the navigator will no longer only tell you to take main street routes. Instead your navigator can be smarter, better, faster and find side streets to help you cut through ungodly traffic. This app has become a crucial part of my daily commute especially since I moved back to LA. It has saved me countless hours by helping me find a faster route during the rush hour traffic and around unexpected accidents.
Not only does it help you navigate around traffic, it can also help you relieve some of the frustration associated with not knowing what’s causing the standstill traffic. Waze’s social feature such as comment and chat allows users to share information about what lies ahead. This feature has significantly reduced my frustration with the unknown. It’s surprising how soothing it is to know definitively that there’s an accident 3 miles ahead instead of wondering what’s causing the traffic, where is the clog, and how long do I have to wait for.
Wanna more? Not only can users report traffic jams and accidents, they can also report locations of police, hazards and traffic cameras, and gas prices. You will no longer be surprised by those pesky traffic cameras or accidentally end up at the most expensive gas station in town when there’s a cheaper option three blocks away.
As much as I love this product, I do have a growing concern with the noticeable push on monetization with location based ads since Google acquired Waze. The jury is still out on whether this can be designed in as value added feature or more of a general annoyance. It would be nice to see a dual stream monetization strategy with both ads and subscriptions to allow the users to choose how they want to use the product. It would also be interesting to see whether the self-selected ad version users are more responsive to ads than the general population.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic product and I definitely recommend it to all my friends. So download it and join the Waze community, and help others find better Waze.