If you avoid traffic like the plague and hate it like hell, you’d find the Waze app very useful.
I used to follow tweets of MMDA or Skyway and although they give out info on road traffic, the tweets come few and far between. Waze on the other hand is more real time in terms of giving information. The info are basically provided by other Waze app users.
You can download it from android Playstore or Apple’s Appstore. It is basically a GPS on your mobile phone or Ipad. As such, you have to be connected to the internet for it to function properly. You need to turn on your Location services (for Apple) or GPS (for other devices).
Here’s how I use it.
1. I input my destination (tip: if I am going to some obscure place, I just choose the landmark nearest it. You can store your frequent destinations like Home or Work.
2. Waze presents alternative routes to your destination with estimated time of arrival calculated on the basis of reported traffic situations. Based on these, I choose my preferred route. Don’t worry if your usual route is not included, the app recalculates your travel as you go along. If you go once or twice this route, it stores it and next time you go to this destination, your route will be included among the choices.
Don’t worry, you can minimize or maximize the map. The purple line shows my route. The other icons are other Waze users.
This is how a typical Waze map looks like. It shows the users (if you want to find a particular Wazer, you probably have to click each Waze icon. In this sense, everyone’s privacy is preserved. Oh, you can use an alias or hook it up with your Facebook. Your choice.)
3. I simply follow the voice prompts for turns. Once in a while I peek at the map which shows my location (only if you can … keep your eyes on the road, please!) — I am represented by an arrow or at other times by a car on the map, Waze has a settings for this.
4. I can report traffic, hazards, constructions that may be of use to other Wazers. This one is such a thrill. Being able to help others avoid or prepare for traffic makes me feel good.
The fun side of this app is it lets you accumulate points by the miles you travel or the reports you make. You kinda graduate from a baby Waze to a warrior Waze eventually. As you can see,I have along way to go having started only about 20 days ago. (This was written almost a year ago and since then I have already leveled up to the one with the sword.)
With the horrid traffic, this one is great app. Try it. It is easy to uninstall if you don’t like it.
I think this is a global app cause I was able to use this when I was in HK.
Important -> Please be responsible about what you report. Sometimes, I see reports of traffic or heavy traffic when in fact it was just a red light, of course you will not be moving for just 2 minutes, at most in a non-intersection road.
Since for the most part it is dependent on reports by fellow wazers (i.e. users), bear with some inaccurate reports or lack thereof at times. For instance, last July (i think), I attended a seminar in the Roxas Blvd. area. There was a major downpour (as in super major). So I checked waze before I left Roxas Blvd and saw that the usual road that I was to take going home was clear. Only to find out when I was there on the road that it was flooded and traffic. For some reason, nobody reported about it. Or maybe, there was just no Wazer in area to report what was happening. So, be a little forgiving about things like that. But, in my almost one year of using Waze, I can say it is very useful, give or take a few (and I mean few) let downs. So for lack of anything better, two thumbs up for Waze. 🙂
Another important thing -> Use of this app drains your battery faster than if you don’t. This is really important especially if you don’t have a spare battery or powerbank and you need to make important phone calls later on.