wazeAfter being an early adopter of Waze and getting a bit bored with it long ago, I returned to the app a few months ago to give it a second chance. In the time, they added millions of users and became THE killer app for navigation.  Simply put,  not using Waze now is akin to still using your typewriter for communication.  When I left the first time, it was like leaving before the end a sports game. I should have given it more time.

Here are the Top 5 reasons why Waze rules the navigation world:

1) It is the most accurate traffic reporting system your money can’t by (because it’s FREE just in case you didn’t get it.) The real time input on traffic speeds from millions of drivers is up to the minute. That’s really two of the top 5 reasons.

2) Automatic routing to the fastest way to reach your destination. I was at a conference in Nashville. While driving from my hotel to the conference location, Waze took me around an accident that occurred a short time earlier and saved me a 20 minute delay in an unfamiliar area. The bus full of my fellow conference attendees arrived 10 minutes before I did, but left 30 minutes before me.

3) Real time input from Waze users for hazards which includes accidents, debris, police cars, weather and more.

4) Pulls destination options in from Waze, Yelp, Facebook, Google, Bing and Yellow Pages all within the app.

5) Remember, I said this earlier. It’s free!

Waze has been so successful that Google recently acquired it. It’s free, accurate, and feature-packed.

As you drive, Waze will notify you via pop-ups if there are incidents on the road ahead of you. Slow traffic, incidents and accidents, police presence, and speed cameras are triggers for notifications. Waze provides these notifications all the time regardless of whether you have plugged in a specific destination or not.  It’s valuable while driving in even the most familiar areas.

With my Samsung Galaxy Note II phone, I’ve completely eliminated 3 pieces from my travel bag. I no longer take my old Garmin unit with it’s often outdated maps and strange pathways to some locations, no extra charging cord and no odd shaped window cling to hold the nave in place in my rental car.  I just stick my phone on the dash, plug it into the charger, and come away with better navigation and a charged phone.

You can find Waze in the Google Play Store, and I’m pretty sure they have it for that other phone maker who is losing market share to Samsung. 😉