Over the years I’ve used many sat nav brands and in-car navigation systems. I used to get frustrated by out-of-date maps and getting stuck in dead-ends.
Things become better when I started using iMaps and Google Maps, but they still didn’t guide me around traffic jams as much as I’d like.
Then one day, my father-in-law introduced me to Waze on his phone – and as we approached a jam, it diverted us and we arrived at our destination on time. It knows every street, back alley and even potentially dodgy traffic lights.
The free app relies on users recording things like traffic, accidents and hazards in the road.
Once you have created your profile, you earn points for miles travelled and the amount of information you provide to other users, which is shown in your tool bar. You can check out other people’s shortcuts, and even find out the cheapest place to get petrol in the local area!
You can save your home, work and other favourite addresses for ease of use and there is even a function to turn the navigation sound on or off when playing through your Bluetooth.
You can also add friends who are Waze users. I got a bit of a shock on my way home last week when a car horn came through the speakers: a note on the screen told me my other half was round the corner from me and informed me exactly how long it would take him to get home in comparison to me.
This is great if you’re going on a road trip with friends in convoy; but not so great if you’re trying to avoid your ex and have forgotten to delete them!
If you do end up in a traffic jam, there’s a bar on the side of the screen which tells you the length of the traffic on that road and precisely how long you’ll be in the jam.
Since I’ve started using Waze, my journeys – especially in the city – are a lot less stressful and I actually enjoy interacting to make other people’s journeys easier.
My only cause for concern is that you could be lured into using it whilst driving, a major safety hazard.
Rachael’s rating: 4.5/5