How to use the Waze app to drive

Navigation app Waze: 7 tips for the Google Maps competitor

Compared to other map and navigation services such as Google Maps, Waze is different because the app uses a kind of crowdsourcing. User data is collected so that it can be used to provide reliable information on road traffic and road conditions. We have seven tips for you on how you can use Waze even better.

Of course, Google Maps also uses real-time traffic data, and so comes to astonishing precision - but Waze wants to do this even more thoroughly and precisely than the big competition. And it's also clear: the more people use Waze, the more accurate the data will be. If you have to fight your way through traffic every day with a GPS, Waze is definitely an alternative worth considering. The seven tips in our list reveal how to get along better with the navigation app.

1. Set the maximum speed warning

Especially when you are traveling in an unfamiliar area, it can quickly happen that you have forgotten or overlooked the maximum speed limit. In contrast to Google Maps, the speed can be displayed including a warning when the maximum permitted speed is exceeded. This is done via "Settings> Speedometer display> Show warning". Here you can now set exactly which exceedance the app should warn.

2. Share traffic information with other users

The more Waze users share sales information, the better the quality of the app. You can report a lot of things, including of course accidents, police checks, traffic cameras or simply traffic jams or slow-moving traffic. If you want to report something, simply tap on the round orange symbol in the lower right corner. Then a menu opens where you have various symbols available to send your message quickly and easily. Of course, this only works with GPS reception and the Internet.

3. Use the ETA function: Send arrival to friends

A particularly practical function is the ability to easily send your arrival time calculated by the app to friends. To do this, first tap on the blue symbol with the arrow at the bottom right in the route screen and then on "Send ETA". Now you have the choice whether you want to send this information to a friend at Waze or, for example, to a WhatsApp contact. But: In addition to the arrival time, the app also sends a lot of self-promotion to these contacts.

With Waze you can report traffic incidents, send your arrival time and of course plan routes. Image: © Waze 2017

4. Activate voice commands: Better safe than sorry

Since you are not allowed to play around with your smartphone in traffic - tapping on the navigation app is allowed if the device is firmly connected to the car in a holder - activating the voice function in Waze makes sense. Then Waze can be controlled by voice. To do this, go to "Settings> Sound and voice output> Voice commands> Allow", where you have to tick the box. In order to activate the voice commands during use, you still have to define a gesture - such as a tap with three fingers at the same time. Now you can navigate by voice or report a traffic jam and of course stop the navigation.

5. Use Waze offline - it's actually very easy

If you plan your route while you are online, the internet connection can be switched off afterwards. Because Waze caches the current routing data, the route can also be displayed without a connection to the Internet. Of course, no information on traffic jams or accidents can be called up during offline navigation. However, you can also download this information - if available - before you are offline. To do this, go to "Settings> Display and map settings> Data transfer> Download traffic information". Then data, for example on current traffic jams, are downloaded with the route.

You can also navigate offline with the Waze navigation app. Image: © Waze 2017

6. Add favorites - so that it goes faster

To speed up navigation, you can add favorites in Waze. These are places that you visit frequently and want to call up again and again. To add favorites, go to the left sidebar "Favorites> Add Favorite". There you can then search for an address and give the favorite a simple name. The favorite can then be called up in the same way.

7. Fewer symbols on the display - so it is clearer

Especially when traffic is particularly dense and there are a lot of traffic jams, the display can quickly become clogged with lots of small symbols: traffic jams, police, cameras and petrol stations are then everywhere. Not to forget the different color coding of the streets. To get a clean display, go to "Settings> Display and map settings> Show on map". There you can then select which symbols should be displayed and which should not.