Binary Review – iPhone App: Waze3 min read
I usually try and app out for a while before I write a review, but I was put on an app today, used it once and was sold instantly. That app is called Waze, a GPS driving application but with a heavy social aspect built into it. Now it’s not a social app where you dangerously share social uselessness to other drivers but social aspects about the traffic you are in and in a way that it’s no different on an interaction than changing the radio station. We don’t want drivers to be getting into accidents while reporting other accidents. Waze is not just information from DMV methods, you are getting it from drivers actually in traffic. The more people use it, the more accurate it gets.
Waze allows you to get instant reports and make your own reports about road conditions, traffic levels, accidents, and police traps. You can even report map problems, pave your own roads if it doesn’t exist, and it seems Waze corrects them real time. There is a brand new roundabout that was built that Google and Garmin haven’t updated yet, Waze had it in their maps.
Only after one trip I was hooked. I don’t see how I won’t have Waze running every time I drive now. I already have a vent holder facing my direction because I use Pandora all the time so it’s no different having the GPS up. Because I use Pandora and other Internet Radio for my primary music in the car there was one critical, make-it-or-break-it feature Waze had to have…background speech. With Pandora running in the background, pumping through my stereo, Waze had to have background as well and have the GPS voice break in when a turn was coming up. Sure enough it does and it’s great. You can have your music playing and Waze will break in so you don’t miss the turns.
So here is a GPS app on the iPhone that has interactive features, the one aspect that should come to your mind, distracted driving. I can attest that using Waze’s feature for reporting is about the same as playing around with the radio. You have a nice interface with big easy to see buttons.
You hit the report button and get the menu pictured here. Click on the traffic, police, accident or any one of the others and you get another simple screen to post it. Waze then sticks your update to your actual location. One safe feature is that with two clicks you can have a report and Waze will queue it up for you so when you stop safely you can post it later. Waze will even not allow you to type text while you are driving. The only way to type in something is you have to go through additional clicks saying you are a passenger in a car. If you do that while you are driving, you are on your own.
The reports page is as sleek and simple as the rest of the app. Click on the items you want to see and it will show you updates for each one. To get more detailed you can view reports in your immediate area or along your planned route. People do use this app and rely on it. I posted a police update on my route home and I got a thank you message from another driver for the heads up. Waze is the first social application that is actually taking the social aspect and doing something beneficial with the information outside a niche.
All in all for a GPS navigation application thats FREE, Waze is a must have. I recommend this application to anyone that has an iPhone and suffers the pain of rush hour traffic. As I sit here writing this, Mrs. Binary and I are talking about how the Garmin devices are in serious trouble. How can a Garmin device that cannot keep up with map accuracy and charge for traffic features compete with real time driver information?
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.
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