Tuesday, 23 September 2014

GPS / Mapping App: WAZE (Top Pick)

Since moving to Penang, and including the times when I drive in Thailand, I have always relied on my Garmin 3790 GPS.  In some ways, and as a fallback, I still do.  The trouble is, as time goes on, the maps get more and more out of date, with constant re-routing of traffic and changes to one way systems being as much responsible as new or re-badged roads.  yes of course you can update the maps on these devices but the updates are costly, not so frequent and often out of date svn when quite new.  These GPS devices also lack updates about current traffic conditions and hazards on your route such as jams, accidents, road closures etc etc.

Enter WAZE.  WAZE is one of the leading community based traffic and navigation apps and, most importantly is EXTREMELY popular in Malaysia and SE Asia in general.  The app is very useful and very powerful in that it accepts live updates to any traffic situations you might encounter and reports to delete them if, once you arrive at the location, the problem has cleared.  The maps are also updated from user /community engagement so new one-way routing and road closures are very quickly updated to the maps which I have found to be VERY accurate indeed.

The turn by turn navigation is very good and rarely sends you off on a wild-goose chase and those user generated reports are great for avoiding traffic problems.  Given that often when I switch on WAZE I'm advised that there are 1,000 + 'Wazers' nearby it's not surprising that it's so useful.

It has day and night navigation modes, good turn by turn commands, the ability to lock 'North up' if you wish, the ability to 'go invisible' should you desire and a very accurate ETA calculator and a host of other features that can be found here.

WAZE is free app which is multi-platform and can be downloaded both from iTunes (for IOS devices) and from the Google Play store for Android devices.  I think WAZE is an absolutely brilliant app, one that I definitely would not be without, and one that has largely replaced my use of dedicated GPS devices both here and in Thailand and it gets a very well deserved 'Top Pick'.


  1. Thanks for yet another great post. I can hardly keep up with you all of a sudden - every time I look there's another interesting post to read!

    1. Thanks you for the comments. Normal service should resume soon!!!


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