Home Tech Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

Do you want to go somewhere? Perhaps you need to travel down quickly for an urgent meeting or a personal errand. Naturally, you seek to find the easiest and shortest way possible to reach your destination. 

Whether it is just down the road or the other side of town, it is human instinct to reach there at the earliest. This saves your driving time, gas money, and body effort. You certainly do not want to get stuck even in the lightest traffic conditions with few obstructions.

Well, if that is you, then you have come to the right place. Today, we will be seeing about two of the most in-demand free navigation apps in the market. If you do a small search on the internet, you are bound to find tons of mapping and navigation tools. 

While some may work, some may not work according to your needs and satisfaction. Why do you want to waste your time on them, when we have brought them to you? 

We will be talking about Waze and Google Maps. In this review, we will make a small comparison of Waze vs Google Maps features and try and find out which one is better suited to meet your needs. 

Yes, it is a tough one. 

We found that out during our research and are still spellbound by their features and capabilities. Both these apps work just fine on your android or iOS devices, and present to you with immaculate details of the route, you have in mind. 

You are updated quickly on the directions, turns, shortest route, and so on. There is no denying that travelers have found these apps helpful during long journeys. The chances of getting lost even in a remote area stand slim, with high-performance apps like these loaded in your smartphones. 

While Google Maps makes use of its vast data to choose the easiest route for you, Waze meanwhile collects these data and then tailors your trip. These two apps undeniably give you an efficient and obstacle-free road journey. 

Little about both Waze and Google Maps

Most of you might not know this, but Waze is actually part of Google. That is right. Google acquired Waze for a billion dollars way back in 2013, and both these apps are constantly poking at each nose more often than not. 

Yes, the apps work less independently, which is a good thing. Users have felt that the services are quite similar in nature. However, the method in which they enable you to get around town is completely different. 

It is not surprising to see that both these navigation apps are popular among android and iPhone smartphone owners. That is because they are consistent in their results. If they were not so good, why would people want to keep coming back for accurate directions? 

Whether you are riding all by yourself or using a rideshare app, headed somewhere down the block, knowing how to go there safely is an absolute must. Selecting from these two apps is an understandably tough choice for many drivers.

Please do check out our other free navigation apps in the market at the end of our discussion. Though each app claims to come with its own benefits, there can be only one winner that edges out the rest. 

We will settle the dispute between the master and the student, with our unbiased review of Waze vs Google Maps, both free navigation apps. 

So which one is better? 

Let us try and find out.

What is Waze?

Waze was bought by Google in 2013 and developed further into a community-based navigation app. You can sync this app with auto or car play. It is a free navigation tool and comes with a motorcycle mode.

What is Google Maps?

Google Maps was founded in 2005, and in America alone has more than 100 million users. You can use it when you are walking down the street, running around the park, biking in the neighborhood, and using public transport. 

Google Maps Secrets: How Exactly Does Google Maps Work?

We will need to dive deeper to get a better understanding of how these two apps work. 

The Basics on Waze and Google Maps

We would be in denial if we said that Google Maps is not a familiar name. Over the last few years, millions of Americans depend on it for planning their trips and journeys. It is the golden standard in navigation.

Using this app, you can not only get directions to your destination, but walk, jog, bike around, and even use public transport using it. This flexibility is not shown in most navigation apps. 

How Waze & Google Maps Estimate Your ETA

Likewise, Waze, too, came into existence in 2008. The platform is good, and it was able to garner the attention of Google, which eventually bought them in 2013. When you have the recognition of Google, then you know that the product ought to be magnificent. 

The Waze navigation app collects data from users who are using the route and then updates other users. The working is simple and efficient. Most importantly, it is accurate and updated. 

Similarly, Google Maps provides you with a robust navigation tool that offers you the most straightforward route for an obstacle-free journey. 

Let us compare Waze vs Google Maps, the main features, and find out which app is the better one. 

Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

The ability to compare user interfaces 

This Waze navigation app can provide you with everything you need. That is what a driver or rider needs. You do not want those unwanted details, just the facts that can take you to your destination. 

Waze vs Google Maps

The interface is sleek and cool. We liked it, so do millions of others who use it. The best part about it is that they have integrated with Spotify and point out the nearest gas station. The dated interface on Google Maps is not that efficient as Waze. 

We also like the fact that Waze is on the run. You are provided with precise information on every turn and go. This helps you to change your route or travel plan easily. The interface on Google Maps is excellent too.

It moves around only when it needs to. This gives you plenty of notice when you have to take action. Both the interfaces are functional, but Google Maps was slightly better. The simplicity of the interface is likable because you can focus on your journey. 

The actual data in real-time

Both Waze and Google Maps collect traffic data from users who are present on the road. Hence, you cannot depend on them entirely. So, you never know whether information on traffic jams, road closure, incidents, and so on are accurate. 

Waze vs Google Maps

Not to mention, the ETA should be accurate on both. We were amazed to find that the crowds sourcing concept is reliable in this segment. Users submit details and information about the condition of the road for other users. 

The same is not with Google Maps. Yes, it does come with advanced technology, but in this case, real-time people are better than technology. We are not saying, Waze is always accurate and reliable, but it is better than Google Maps when you are in a hurry to reach home. 

If you are somebody residing in a dense city like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and so on, then you might want to use Waze. It is the winner in this Waze vs Google Maps feature. The interface in this navigation app is useful and straightforward to help you reach your destination faster.

Features provided to you on the map:-

Both the navigation apps come with unique features that can enhance your driving experience. After all, that is the idea of using these apps. If they are not useful beyond a particular phase, then it does not prove its worth. 

Waze lets you know the speed limit on a particular street, road, or freeway. Apart from that, you get to know if there are local speed traps. This helps you to ride carefully and slowly. This is when Google Maps works well. 

You can find local destinations easily. That is because the business pages of Google are integrated with Google. You can find a barrage of businesses with their photos and other details effortlessly. 

But, when you are searching for a gas station, then Waze can help. The app provides you with the rate of gas in that particular state. You can save money when filling up. We want to mention this fantastic feature, where you can request roadside assistance from other Waze app users. 

This was a close one in Waze vs Google Maps. But, we are going with Google Maps. When using a navigation app, the idea is not to get lost and track your route. Using the Street View feature, you do not stand to be lost anywhere in the world. 

You may like to read our guide on the Best Geotag Photos Apps That Records Your Position.

Your Ability To Finding The Route:-

Before we move in, you need to know that the algorithms of both these navigation apps are different. They formulate completely different routes as Waze was designed to help you reach your destination quickly. 

Waze vs Google Maps

Using this navigation app, you can reach your destination in a quick time. Sadly, that makes you sacrifice on bad roads and have a poor riding experience. Some of the streets are quite difficult to navigate. 

Few users felt that they had to make too many U-turns and take freeway exits that they were not comfortable doing with. On the other hand, Google Maps did a fantastic job on the run. 

It gives you a logical and practical route suggesting the best possible way. Of course, you may have to take a bit longer to reach. But your journey is comfortable and safe. This is crucial for women traveling alone at night on a desolate road. 

Both Waze vs Google Maps is on the same level here. Ultimately you want to reach your destination without incident. When you are alright with those U-turns or freeway exits, then it is okay. 

But, when you have older adults or infants in the vehicle, then your focus should be ride experience and not time. Driving needs to be pleasant and stress-free. You do not want to lose concentration when driving, causing problems to anyone. 

Waze may not be sensible to choose here. Hence Google Maps gets to win in this aspect. 

Your ability To Customize:-

If you want to be pampered as all clients expect, then you want these tools to be over-friendly with you. Let us find which one is better when it comes to customizing. Both the navigation apps allow you to avoid tolls, connect to Spotify, and change navigation voice. 

Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

Waze goes a step ahead when it comes to customization. We do not want to deny that. You can easily integrate with Spotify and support a vast number of audio apps to listen to your favorite music and audiobooks. 

Google Maps does provide you with a change of languages and accents. The former app lets you have some fun and excitement with character voices and choosing your favorite celebrity on the go. 

You are also provided with the gas price for different kinds of cars. You can be assured that your car model would be covered there. We liked the feature where you can find out if you are eligible for carpool lane by entering your car details. 

Apart from that, unpaved roads can be avoided when you have Waze installed on your smartphone. That saves your tires and your money. As far as customization goes in Waze vs Google Maps, Waze is miles ahead of Google Maps, and we found that pretty amazing.

Your Data Consumption:-

The data usage of both these navigation apps is almost similar. But the manner in which both apps tend to use them on your smartphone can vary depending on several factors.

When your data plan is limited, or you are using a barrage of apps on your smartphone, then you might want to act smart. 

Waze depends on data to move. Unless you are able to feed it with an internet connection, it does not work. It is as simple as that, and we found the hard way out. Let us say that you are driving 1 hour a day that means you have to give 0.5 MB a day. 

It may seem less. But, when you are constantly on the road or frequently travel, then you will become stuck without data often. If you use Wi-Fi in your vehicle, then it is okay. Similar to Waze, Google Maps too sucks up data and depends on several factors. 

Google Maps uses lesser data because it belongs to a search engine that literally has everything in its hands. The obvious choice for the parent company would be its own blood, that is Google Maps. 

The offline maps are reliable, and the usage of data on your smartphone is lesser when compared to Waze. You only need some internet when you begin your journey, perhaps if you want to reroute and reach your destination. 

Though you have less data, you can make use of the offline feature. When you lose the signal, you will not be stranded without knowing the directions using the original map. Google Maps is the winner here in this Waze vs Google Maps, thanks to its ability not to diminish your data. 

At the time of our research on Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?, we found a video about “5 reasons you’ll use Waze over Google Maps” which is worth watching. 😎🤴

5 reasons you'll use Waze over Google Maps

Cons of Waze and Google Maps

Having seen most of the good of both Waze vs Google Maps, it is time to look at the bad. After all, every product or service comes with both the good and the bad. We cannot just delve on the positive and forget about the negative. 

Being aware of the cons enables you to make the right decision. This is about choosing a navigation tool that saves you during emergencies or during adverse weather conditions. These are based on the feedback found online from highly reputed sites. 

Let us talk about some of the cons of both Waze and Google Maps.

Cons of Waze:-

According to a user, Waze consumes a lot of battery power. Despite using an iPhone that is known for its conservative battery, the app drains the battery. We are not sure if the same can be right about the latest android devices. 

Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

Another user says that this app comes with advertisements that can be extremely annoying. Though the advertisements pop up when the vehicle is stationary, it is difficult to get rid of the advertisement, and it covers the whole screen. 

Cons of Google Maps:-

Yes, Google Maps does have cons, too, and it is much more than Waze. We felt that the app does not come planned for commuters. When we wanted to travel through the subway, it just showed us how to catch the train to the destination. 

We also felt that the traffic details are not accurate most of the time. One of our developers used it in real-time and almost ended up getting lost on his way to the office. At times, it shows you a longer route, and that can be annoying. 

One user from Nevada found himself without bandwidth using Google Maps because when saved offline, the auto-update feature took up everything. He also added that when you are using a pre-paid hotspot, it connects as Wi-Fi gobbling the data. 

These were some live problems of using Waze vs Google Maps during your travel or journey. Knowing them can make you aware of how to use any one of them efficiently for your desired results. 

Reviews of users:-

Some users have mentioned how each of these two apps plays a crucial part in their day-to-day lives. According to one user who lives in the state of California, he says that he uses Google Maps because it is more accurate than anything else. 

He feels that Waze is not that accurate, but Google Maps can be spotted on everything. A user residing in Georgia says that she depends on Google Maps. However, she does find minor discrepancies in traffic information during her commute. 

An elderly individual from Maryland says that he prefers to use Google Maps because of the details that it provides him. In a sense, it tells him which lane he should be on and when he should turn left or right. 

Once he was in a tunnel and became worried, but Google Maps guided him like a lighthouse, and he was able to take a right turn after exiting the tunnel. Most American users feel Google Maps is safe and reliable but that does not mean Waze is not good.

Other Free Navigation Apps in The Market

During our research, we came across some noteworthy free navigation apps in the market. We thought of mentioning them to you briefly. They were able to catch our particular interest because of their inter-country and overseas travel features.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is the default mapping system for Apple devices. It is similar to Google Maps to Waze. It shows you traffic details and updates in real-time. Not to mention, the restaurants are color-coded for easy identification. 

Waze vs Google Maps: Which one is right for you?

Users can plan your travel using this navigation app. Apart from that, it also comes with a Flyover tool, which allows you to view 3D versions of towns and cities. You can also take an aerial tour of that place.

Open Street Maps (OSM)

The Open Street Maps (OSM) is another navigation app that maps several countries. This app is more like Waze that depends on third-party data for updating and creating maps. 

Few online community members take responsibility to update geographic information. Most reviews have shown that the maps are accurate. Sadly, it does not come with advanced functions like customizable options and GPS functions. 

Final Thoughts

So, what did you think about the Waze vs Google Maps review? Which navigation apps are the better one? We cannot pinpoint and tell you the winner but can give a recommendation based on the features offered in them. 

When you want to find the best route for a quick journey, then we suggest Waze. That is because you are provided with real-time data. When you want a comprehensive interface for knowing other specifics of your journey, then Google Maps might come in use. 

Waze provides you with a live traffic situation, reports, parking options, and a clean map. The best way to describe it according to our research was automobile orientation. When you want to take a small journey on foot, train, or the bus, then Google Maps has your back. 

If you are somebody who enjoys those long walks, then you might want to use the Google Maps period. The options and functionalities can take you there in no time. 

Summing up, we recommend Waze because it provides you with an efficient method of traveling the country. The features are excellent and helpful. It offers you a shot in the arm for the rider. 

On the other hand, Google Maps is stable too. When time is not a constraint for you, then you may want to consider it. However, we felt that it is useful for those long vocational journeys and public transit travel. 

Whether you want to use Waze or Google Maps, it is not an exclusive decision. Though you can only use one app at a time, you can consider having both installed on your device. At the end of the day, it boils down to your kind of travel and needs. 

We hope to see more of them in the market, and the final say is entirely up to you.

Happy traveling, folks!