App Review: Waze

Ever heard of a “Social GPS” ?  I hadnt until now.  Its called WAZE

Basically, its a gps navigation app, but with attitude.

The only difference is, its got the basic motorways from google, and the rest is up to you.

Literally.

Click on the “pave” option when you reach an area on the map with no roads, and keep driving.  You’ll notice your car changes into a bulldozer, and you start drawing red roads on the map. (This is all in the app.  Your actual car does NOT change into a bulldozer!)

In an effort to get people creating maps, the app throws around “cookies” to be picked up on certain roads for extra points.  Also, some big sweets are scattered as well for major points.  The more points, the higher your status, and the more fun stuff to unlock in-app.

If you want to properly integrate the roads you paved into the waze map for everyone to see, with names and road directions, you need to go to www.waze.com/livemaps to further detail the roads there permanently.

At home. Red roads are "paved" roads.

The app becomes great the more people join in, this is because its kinda useless when it started out in Kuwait months back, I felt like I was the only one driving creating roads etc.  Now in all honesty, im noticing people whenever I drive out.

The good thing, if you tap a user, it shows you the speed they’re travelling at.

Wazer speed. 10km on a highway!

So if someone is driving slow on a highway, you can tell that there must be something wrong there.  Traffic vs Old man

You also get points for helping other wazers out, but informing them of any cameras along the way, traffic, accidents, cops, road hazards.  If you’re stuck in traffic, just give people a shout out and have a quick chat and be on your way.

Different reports by wazers on traffic

This never helped me before, because there werent many people using waze to start off with.  But I was driving and contemplating taking the 5th ring road to head home.  Accidentally, I held my iphone to switch songs on my ipod, and noticed that the 5 wrong was colour ORANGE.  Someone reported that there was traffic going at 15 km/h, and the dude on the opposite lane said it was going at 20km/h.  Basically, 5th ring road was blocked BOTH ways.

I managed to avoid it, and as I continued on “airport road” I noticed it was true, the road was at a standstill.  I ended up taking the 6th ring road.

This will happen more frequently the more users start using waze.  Im actually noticing this on a daily basis now.

Report traffic, or socialize!

But my main use for waze remains reporting traffic, especially in Kuwait where the traffic simply ridiculous.  The more you report, the more points you get, the more other people will report stuff for you!

And the moment someone does, you can just tap the icon they reported (traffic, police, hazard, accident) and it will give you the options below.  You can also “confirm” that the police check / camera someone reported is true.  That report “sticks” the moment someone confirms it.

What you see after you tap wazer

If you’re in heavy traffic and have time to snap a photo, then report some traffic, take a quick snap, and report.  This helps some people who just dont understand that 30km/h on a motorway is just a little too slow.

Get it, its fun and sometimes addictive ;p

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