so over the past month or so I have been trying a new iPhone app called Waze, which is the subject of this post. Waze is (to quote the website) "...a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road...".
The differences between Waze and say TomTom are considerable, but all starts with the fact that the maps and the traffic reports are created by the userbase, AKA you.
Once you install Waze, you run the app on your phone; be that an iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile or Symbian. When the app is running your GPS position is used to place you on the user generated map. If the street is not on there already, you can add it.
What is really cool, if you get caught in traffic; Waze knows about it and can let everyone else know! When you see a speed camera, accident, police, etc. you can report it yourself and up it pops for everyone to see.
Now, there is more magic to it than that. There is the Twitter integration, Foursquare integration. There is also the points system, which makes driving around to and from work, the shops, whatever like playing Pacman for real.
In short, Waze rocks!
It's very early on too, so I can't wait to see it grow! And here are some of the ideas I reckon might be cool.
More Twitter: At the moment it's one broadcast from Waze to Twitter. It'd be cool if say my @replies and DMs appeared on the screen? Maybe see tweets on your route? I wonder howe many people are tweeting about the traffic?
More Foursquare: It'd be kinda cool to be able to navigate to Foursquare locations. Also, what do you think of the idea of Waze identifying Foursquare locations nearby and asking if you want to check-in?
Open Street Maps: Now, there may be background as to why Waze is not using or contributing to the Open Street Map project, but I can't help but think it'd be a cool collaboration!
Alerts and Actions: I used to have on my Jailbroken iPhone an app called iComing. It alerted me when I reached certain GPS coordinates. That meant things like alarms, sending a text message. It'd be cool it Waze would say text my wife when I hit the motorway turn off for home. Maybe Tweet a message if I am going under 40 MPH on a certain piece of a road, or get near the office.
More Social features: So being able to follow people/friend them. Stuff like that. Ahem... NoseRub... Ahem. ;-)
So there you have it, thats my two cents worth on my favorite application on my mobile at the moment. I love Waze and I reckon it's going to get better and better. I hope so anyway, because to be frank, the actual navigation/routing is pants for me at the present. I've been editing the map to try and make it better... so hopefully as they come online it'll get better. Also not seen any of the automatic route optimisation etc... presumably because at the mo the maps around me are not up to scratch?
But even with those points, I love Waze. So give it a go, it's free and really has potential.
Photo by liquoredonlife