Android Epic App Battles: Waze vs Google Maps

Some of us are born with an innate sense of direction like a human GPS, and we can simply find our way just by knowing the general direction we need to travel in. For others, and those rare cases where even people like myself have no clue where they are, maps, and navigation apps can be your best friend. If you use your phone as your GPS then you likely have an app that you prefer to use, two of the best ones out on the Play Store though are Waze and of course Google Maps. They both provide turn by turn directions and navigation, maps of your route and live maps. They both have some compelling features too. Which one is the best though?Who deserves to be the champion? Let's go over some of the features in each app, then you can decide by voting in the G+ poll which app you use or like better.


Waze has more than you'd expect from a community driven maps and navigation app. It features real-time traffic and road information to save you time from hitting those pesky gridlocks, accidents, and any other instances that might stop you from reaching your destination on time. It also just might save you a little bit of gas money, and who doesn't love that? The nice thing about Waze is that you can drive with the app open and in doing so you're contributing to the collection of shared maps and navigation data. The data coming in from the community of users provides the live maps feature, which is constantly being edited and updated by a team of maps editors. You can get turn by turn voice guided navigation so you can be told exactly where to go and keep your eyes on the road instead of attempting to look at the map every few minutes.

Waze is more than just a maps application though, it's a social GPS app so you can add contacts as friends and see their ETA when you're driving to the same destination. Over time Waze learns your frequent destinations commuting hours and preferred routes, and if you come across something that might hold you up or if you miss your turn, Waze will provide rerouting directions so you can get back on track. You can even use the app to find the cheapest gas station nearby so you don't pay more than you have to. Waze is free, which makes all these useful features even better.

Google Maps

You're probably all familiar with Google Maps, and without a doubt, it is one of the best maps applications on the Play Store. It provide turn by turn voice guided navigation directions, or you can had the phone off to a navigator and they can read the directions off to you in the directions list. Search for destinations and view the map in various different overlays, get traffic updates and re-routing when needed. Maps is also available in 220 different countries so chances are that you'll be able to use where ever you travel to.

If you kind of know where you're going but not you're not really sure what the destination or the area around it looks like, you can pull up the street view of the address and check things out so you know what to look for. Street view even provides a full 360 degree view of the address so you can spin the camera around on your screen and see everything around. Maps doesn't just provide directions for driving though, you can get directions and navigation for walking, biking, or transit too depending on how you're traveling. Since Maps is a Google app, other Google apps and services are tied into it, like Zagat. If you're searching for a place to eat through Maps, you can see Zagat scores and reviews from other patrons who have been there. Maps even provides you with a map for when you're inside of malls, so you know where every store is and how to get there. Google Maps is also free, and it's available through various platforms that can all be synced with your Google account so your maps history can be seen across all your devices.

So, which maps application provides the best features that you're looking for? Both have turn by turn navigation with voice guided assistance, and both provide traffic updates and re-routing. Do you prefer the more vast availability of Google Maps with features like street view? Or is Waze, a community driven and socially interactive maps and GPS app more your style?

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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