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Sunday, January 9, 2011


Waze is a crowdsourcing mobile application for drivers. I'm using it on HTC Desire (Android 2.2) for several weeks already and it is a kind of application which deserves a short review.

What it does :
It is a free GPS navigation, but the main power of Waze is it's social aspect. While driving, you can send warnings about traffic or weather situation (for ex. construction or fog), police traps etc to other users connected to the network. If you slow down in traffic jam, the waze app automatically shows the slow parts on the map for other waze users, whose can than choose other routes.

You see other "wazers" on map and can "ping" them. Also Waze contains a point system for activity (just points plus charts for users with most points) and you can drive for points through several bonus places shown on the map. However after a time these bonus places dissapeared from my map.

You can even help to build the maps, as all the maps in Waze are created by users. I've never tried that.

Pros : 
1. Useful : although the Waze community in my city is relatively small, it helped me several times to mind the traffic jams.
2. Nice : ... to see, that other people using the same app as me and contributing to it.
3. Multiplatform : iPhone, Android, WM, Symbian, Blackberry (beta)
4. Dynamic : i like to see, that Waze is improving things
5. You can use it in a convertible :) 

Contras :
1. Battery : consumes a lot of battery. You have to have your smartphone connected to the power socket in the car.
2. Security : you have to be very careful to use it while driving. Look on the road, not on the phone.
3. Minor bugs : sometimes less important parts of the application - groups and points - aren't loading correctly.

Waze has a nice intro video :
(click on "OK" on the blue screen or on the bullet points in the upper left corner)

And in reality than it looks similar to this :

Nice app. Looking forward for further updates.

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