Waze vs Google Maps: which navigation app is really better?

Waze and Maps are both from Google and they are both navigation apps. But what is better, Waze or Google Maps? You can read that in this article!

Overview

Waze vs Google Maps: which one is really better?

In addition to the similarities mentioned between the two apps, there are of course also many differences. It is precisely those differences that determine which navigation app is really better, or at least better suited to you. We have listed the most important ones for you.

Navigation

Both Google Maps and Waze will take you to where you want to go. Google Maps is a traditional navigation app: you enter a location and it finds a way to get you there, whether you want to walk, drive, cycle or take the bus. Waze, on the other hand, is made exclusively for car and motorcycle users. Instead of just finding the fastest way from A to B, Waze always analyzes road conditions to try to get you to your destination in the fastest way possible.

Both apps can determine the traffic situation based on the number of users on the road. Google Maps highlights traffic on the screen, just like Waze, but the difference is that Maps is happy to let you follow the preset route. Sometimes Maps will ask you if you want to take an alternate route, but that’s it. Waze aims to minimize your time on the road and get you to your destination as quickly as possible. So Waze doesn’t ask permission to change your route and automatically provides directions that guide you around obstacles.

waze google maps

When it comes to driving, the two services are practically identical, but Waze’s unique way of navigating around delays makes it an invaluable tool for drivers. If you like taking alternative routes, Waze is definitely the best solution.

Public transport

If you travel by public transport, or any other form of alternative transport, Waze has absolutely nothing to offer you. The purpose of Waze is to reroute you as a driver when it sees a faster route around obstacles, but of course you don’t have that luxury when you travel by public transport. So you will have to use Google Maps.

Google Maps supports public transport, walking and cycling. Trying to use Waze just gives you a route like a car might take, which isn’t always a safe idea. Google Maps is packed with information about public transport. It contains complete timetables and maps for transport services and can integrate them into driving directions. It also has real time updates on delays.

maps

Interface and design

Even though they perform the same function and are both from Google, the apps look very different. Google Maps has the look of a more traditional app with all the information on the screen, while Waze has a simple interface with less detail and a cartoonish design. That difference comes from the fact that the apps are designed for different things. Waze takes drivers from A to B, helping them avoid traffic and road hazards. Google Maps is useful for almost everything. Navigating, discovering new things and places, and even chatting with companies.

When navigating, the two apps look functionally identical. The apps show you what you need to know. So where to go and some extra information such as speed limits and dangers on the road. Google Maps provides even more information. This can sometimes be useful, but it also makes the image less clear. Especially if you drive in a big city. With Waze, everything always stays tidy and clear. That is very nice, even if you miss some extra information.

waze google maps

Availability

Waze and Google Maps are both available on iOS devices and are compatible with Apple CarPlay. So it doesn’t matter which device you use or which car you drive, you can use them both.

There are also versions of both services available in desktop browsers, although they are limited in that you don’t get live navigation that way. You can look up directions and locations and save things to your account, which you can retrieve later on your iPhone.

Use of data

Google Maps and Waze are both dependent on data, but Waze is the most dependent. That’s because the entire operation of Waze is built around information shared by users. Much of this is collected automatically, just because you drive around with the app open. Users can also report any obstacles or hazards that could bother other drivers. Analysis of all this information provides a picture of what is happening on the road and can be used to direct or redirect users where necessary.

Google Maps can also paint a picture of road conditions, but uses a system based on a larger amount of information. It uses both historical data to guess what conditions will be like at a particular time of day, but is also able to real time collect information from traffic sensors and Google Maps users. That’s why it doesn’t matter if you come to an area with few Google Maps users.

waze data

Waze vs Google Maps: Conclusion

It is clear that Google Maps is the most comprehensive navigation app. Maps is more detailed and has many more resources at its disposal. No matter how you want to get around, Google Maps has the tools to help you. Waze is very limited in comparison, offering navigation only for motorists.

Still, Waze offers something that Google Maps can’t match (which is actually quite strange considering how long Waze has been with Google). If you are a driver who wants to reach his destination as quickly as possible regardless of how, then it is definitely best to use Waze. Google Maps can also see road conditions and anticipate them, but isn’t as proactive in letting you take a different route. If you travel by public transport, Waze is completely useless. In that case, Google Maps is not only the winner, it’s your only option.

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