Three Features That Make Waze a Better App Than Google Maps on Android Auto

But despite several high-profile developers bringing their navigation software to the world of Android Auto, Google Maps and Waze remain the top choices for users out there. And it’s no wonder why.

Three Features That Make Waze a Better App Than Google Maps on Android Auto

By Bogdan Popa

Both Google Maps and Waze continue to offer an impressive arsenal of features, all at absolutely no cost, and what’s more, available completely free of charge. While alternatives like Sygic do come with premium capabilities offered with a subscription, Google Maps and Waze are focusing on delivering the complete feature package at absolutely no cost, regardless of platform.

But what sets Google Maps and Waze apart from the rest of the crowd is the impressive lineup of features, though, at the same time, each of them comes with its very own set of pros and cons.

When it comes to a comparison between the two, Google’s decision to continue offering two navigation solutions makes little sense for some people, especially since their goal is to get drivers to a defined destination faster, safer, and easier.

Waze, on the other hand, has been equipped with its very own exclusive capabilities that make it a better choice than Google Maps, including on Google’s Android Auto. And today, we’re highlighting three of them.

The traffic reports

First of all, it’s the signature Waze feature: the crowdsourcing engine that allows drivers on the road to send reports, including for speed traps, accidents, traffic jams, and other hazards they come across.

This particular feature is what makes Waze so special: thanks to the gigantic community powering it, Waze has become incredibly accurate, and it’s therefore capable of providing live traffic updates in a way that makes public roads much safer in real-time.

While some traffic reports have made their way to Google Maps as well, it’s pretty clear Google too wants Waze to excel in terms of such capabilities, so the app comes with a long list of supported reports, including even for roadkill, flood, hail, fog, ice, and unplowed roads.

So while the traffic reports are incredibly handy, it’s the community behind them that makes everything possible, therefore turning Waze into a traffic companion that’s super-accurate in 99% of the cases.

The customization options

Another thing that makes Waze more special than Google Maps is the customization side of the app. As compared to Google Maps, Waze comes with moods, vehicle icons, and navigation voices that are often refreshed with custom packs, sometimes as part of partnerships between the company and other vendors.

Most recently, for example, Waze partnered with Microsoft to release a pack of Halo goodies, therefore letting you replace your vehicle icon with custom content inspired by the upcoming game. Special voice packages and moods have also been released.

The only shortcoming is that all these updates are typically part of limited-time offers, so they are removed after 30 days. But even so, Waze still provides more customization options than Google Maps, where most people have decided to stick with the boring blue arrow because the vehicle icon settings are incredibly limited.

The speedometer

And last but not least, it’s the speedometer, a feature that also shows up on Google Maps for some but is missing for so many others.

Google has never provided too many details on why the speedometer is indeed available in Google Maps only for a handful of users, but when it comes to such a feature, Waze offers the full capabilities to everybody out there.

The speedometer bundled with Waze shows not only the current speed but also warns you (both visually and using audio alerts) when you exceed the limit. And given the information is also based on data provided by map editors, everything is once again super-accurate and up-to-date, so you can safely rely on it to make sure you’re not getting a ticket.

Of course, this accurate speedometer can also become a double-edged sword, especially when combined with the speed trap reports, but when used properly, it’s a feature that everybody loves, and which should become available for everybody running Google Maps as well.

Originally published at Auto evolution