5 Waze Tips and Tricks you did not know were right there

There are useful apps and there are those absolute-must-have-and-wonder-what-you-did-without-it type of apps. Waze, falls into the latter.

I am still genuinely surprised when I people ask “what’s Waze?” so for those who don’t know, I am about to change your life!

Waze is an application that allows you to navigate from point A to point B. However, Waze chooses the best route for you not only based on distance but also based on current traffic conditions. Waze constantly monitors your journey and keeps updating the route to as it navigates around the horrendous traffic conditions.

“Get the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers.” is how Waze.com site describes it.

Waze sources its traffic information from many sources, but most importantly from other Waze users. Crowdsourcing of real-time information keeps everyone updated constantly. As you use Waze, the system recognizes that you have slowed down from 120km/h on the freeway to just 2 km/h therefore there must be something wrong. If other Waze users experience the same then it verifies that there is something wrong – now all other users know to avoid that segment.

Within Waze, you can report traffic as a standstill or report a road hazard such as a broken down car. You are also able to report where police are although I don’t really support this feature- if you are drunk don’t drive.

One of the common problems that Wazers report is the route that Waze selects for you isn’t always ideal and in fact in some cases really takes you on on a much longer journey than necessary.

As a long time user of Waze, I have experienced this too, but here are some tips to make sure that Waze does your bidding:

Tip 1 – Multiple Routes

Waze wants to take you on a journey that according to its calculation is the shortest based on time. Therefore the default route that it chooses might be longer in kilometers/miles. So when you enter your destination, don’t just accept the first route it selects for you. Rather tap on Routes and have a look at the various options (usually there are three to choose from).

If I am heading on a “long” trip (for me that means anything over 30 minutes), I like to check that Waze is actually keeping me on the best route. I tap back on the Routes option and it will simply give me the three best routes from my current location. Not only does it validate for me that the selected route is still ideal, but it lets me see if there are other routes based on new traffic conditions that weren’t there when I started out.

5 Top Waze Tips you did not know were right there5 Top Waze Tips you did not know were right there

Tip 2 – Stay Calm and Update

Some of the comments on forums are that “Waze inaccurately reported a road hazard but there was none”. If I am told that a traffic light isn’t working, or there is hazard in the road ahead or an accident and I drive past, and not see it, I can use the app to update Waze. This not only makes the mapping more accurate but also helps other people.

5 Top Waze Tips you did not know were right there

Tip 3 – Battery

Waze uses two of the most battery hungry components on the phone: the GPS and the screen. Therefore, I make sure I have my phone plugged into the cigarette-lighter USB adapter so that the phone keeps the current charge level. I also leave the Waze audio function on so that I can turn off the screen especially if I am on the freeway for many miles.

Tip 4 – Link Contacts

If you have your contracts linked to Waze, you can simply navigate to a friend by just typing his/ her name as the destination. Waze will look it up for you. Same works if you have a work address saved in your contact list.

Send ETA is a great feature too if you enabled the Contact list. When you are on route to meet friends/ family – you are able to send them your Estimate Time of Arrival (ETA) so they know when to expect you.

Tip 5 –  Sync your Calendar

If you have the address of your next appointment in your calendar, Waze can read that information (if you allow it to) and at a touch of a button you can begin navigating there. This saves you having to retype anything.

5 Top Waze Tips you did not know were right there5 Top Waze Tips you did not know were right there

 

As my friend Carly said: its aWAZEing !

By the way: have you checked out the 10 Google Tips and Tricks post? Bet you didn’t know Google can do all of that ! (I didn’t either….)

26 Comments

  1. is there possible to add updates for railroad crossing. it would also be nice to have a signal or icon to show speed limit is changing or different speed limits in a particular area.

  2. I love WAZE!! We use it all the time!!! it is extremely helpful and the arrival time is very accurate for us!!! Although, my son and I constantly disagree on how it is pronounced though!!! LOL

  3. WAZE has been very helpful to both my husband and myself. The one thing we would like help with is the scoreboard. Twice my husband’s points have been totally wiped out and sending an email for assistance in retrieving those points have gone unanswered. While in the scheme of all things important this isn’t high on the list but it has been fun to earn the points and advance to the higher levels – not fun to have them all disappear. Appreciate your help.

  4. I’ve been using last for about 4 months now and I love it it does so much more then it said here you just have to get it and try and use it and you’ll be a believer too!

    • Sandra, This past summer I used WAZE on a round trip to/fm Florida. I use WAZE all the time and knew it does not give a lot of forward information especially trying to schedule a convenient rest stop more than an hour ahead of current position.

      I also have AAA and use their trip maps. Printed out a couple days in advance they are also very useful. Primarily used as a backup in the event of cell phone failure, or a blind spot; I did find it very useful with keeping my navigator (front seat passenger) alert and “scouting” ahead for restroom, meals, points of interest and lodging stops.

      I do highly recommend and encourage the use of WAZE, AAA and a navigator for long road trips, if at all possible.

  5. Always thought it’s pronounced
    ‘WAYz’ or ‘WAIz’ or ‘WAEz’ = Meaning all 3 sound the same way with one syllable
    I have not ever heard any tutorials pronouncing it ‘wah-ZAY’ as in two syllables.
    Gettin’ my drift?

    • I wonder how you truck drivers did it when you were real men, I guess weight stations aren’t very high up on the ‘grand scheme of things’ list.

  6. Im in love with Waze! It is by far the best GPS navigation app on the market. Ive been using it for about 2 and a half years, and i would be lost without it, literally…. lol
    Other GPS apps always seem to tell you to turn after u have already passed the street you need to turn on. Waze is very good with giving u a few warnings that your turn is coming up along with a distance countdown. Also, Waze lets u know BEFORE u reach your destination whether its on the right or the left, giving you plenty of time to get in a different lane if needed. Unlike Google Maps which just tells u that u reached your destination leaving u looking around like an idiot at both sides of the road cause u have no clue if its on the right or the left, so u end up passing it and then have to turn around. That alone is a deal breaker for me, and with that being said, makes Waze my #1 go to GPS app 🙂

  7. we love to travel! I use my waze for everyday trips and such. sometimes when we travel we like scenic roads instead of interstates. It would be nice if there was a option for scenic instead of just shortest and fastest.

  8. Can the “direction window” on the top of the map screen be resized or moved? In landscape mode it occupies much more of the screen than necessary. It displays the next change of direction on the top-left corner and leaves an empty blank space a across 1/4 or more of the map.

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