Some time ago, many heavily rely on a GPS system called Garmin. Before Garmin, there was a beautifully detailed portolan chart. And way before that, one way to navigate was through the clues from the sky and sea. Now that nobody heavily relies on all the above mentioned, Google Maps and Waze has become the favourite co-pilots everyone requires to outsmart traffic and get the best route to anywhere and everywhere, every day.
Google Maps has long been a top navigation app on both iOS and Android. Despite that fact, however, many claims that Waze is a better app compared to the former. To some extent, perhaps it is, considering Google bought it back in 2013 for $1 billion, plus $100 million in employee retention and incentives. There were reports that Facebook and Apple were also trying to acquire the company.
We believe, however, that it is more of a personal preference. So what makes one better than the other?
Google Maps – the best overall map
Google Maps is very straightforward. It is much more akin to a traditional map. It has a variety of transportation options and is packed with additional information about businesses and other points of interest in the given area. In addition to driving directions, the app also provides routes and estimates for walking, biking, and public transportation.
The maps can also be saved ahead of time for offline use. They are generally more relevant and current than the typical stand-alone GPS unit. And if you are driving at night, the navigation background change based on ambient light. This is great even when going through tunnels as the map will be more visible for low light situations.
Google Maps is excellent for travelling to unknown destinations with no distractions and also tends to keep you on major roads instead of pushing you over to alternative roads that may confuse you. One of the downsides – the maps does sometimes take too long to load.
Waze – the quirky crowdsourced map
Waze is used primarily for driving. What makes it so compelling is its social layer and the real-time traffic data that pops up along your route, based on both active and passive feedback from other Waze users. It also allows users to earn points for reporting highway conditions and search for the cheapest petrol prices nearby.
If you need alternatives routes during a long drive, Waze is best suited for you as it shaves off a minute or two to reach your destination. But because Waze’s strength is traffic data, it does not provide routes and estimates for walking, biking, and public transportation. It is however annoying when random advertisements pop up and cover the entire screen. And since it is a free ad supported app, you cannot get rid of the ads.
Our team at MUV are torn between both apps as they claim to be very essential. One may be better than the other depending on the situations but both do have its pros and cons. It is best, however, to have both on your smartphone.
We have agreed that Waze is especially very helpful if you are racing to the hospital hoping to avoid police speed traps and accident scenes. And Google Maps is a go-to app if you are not in the mood to deal with a cluttered interface.
So which one is your favourite co-pilot? Let us know in the comment box!
*Photos are courtesy of Google Image Search