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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Make Your Mobile Maps Social With Waze

I've had an iPhone for over 2 years now and one of the features that I absolutely depend on is the maps app.  It is rather reliable and having a GPS guided set of directions is a godsend.  But the native maps app on the iPhone while simple, doesn't offer near the functionality of a standalone GPS unit.  There are some great GPS apps for the iPhone, but most of them cost $40 or more.  If you're like me, you'd rather purchase a standalone unit before you would drop that much on a phone application.

As I was looking for a cheap or free solution I stumbled across an application called Waze.  Waze is a collaborative mapping program that gives you much of the functionality of a standalone GPS unit along with some really fun and useful features.  Features such as:
  • 3D/2D Maps
  • Voice Directed Turn-By Turn Directions (no text to speech)
  • Live traffic updates including Police Traps, Hazards, and Traffic Jams.  All user submitted.
  • Intelligent routing.  Can offer multiple routes and learns your route preferences as you go.
  • Map editing and reporting abilities.  You help make the maps better by tracking road changes/additions/deletions on the app and online on waze.com.
  • Completive point system.  Earn points for "munching" roads, submitting road reports, and for just using the app.  See how your score compares to others in the area.
  • The more people using Waze, the better the road information will be in your area, so Waze rewards you for participating.
  • Facebook and Twitter integration.
Waze is a free app available for most smartphones: iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Blackberry.  For more information on what Waze can do, visit their website - www.waze.com.  You can also check out the introduction below.

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