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Android App Review - it's like a free radar detector...sort of
Android app review: Waze

free gps waze radar detector app review android traffic information navigatorUPDATE June 8, 2011 - I used the app today to get to an unknown location. After loading my destination, I discovered that I was wrong about the audible turn-by-turn instructions (or it was added in a recent update). They do have them, and they worked almost flawlessly. The building I was looking for was right off the main highway, so rather than informing me of my last turn the nice GPS computer lady said, "You have reached your destination." Where? I turned around and made a quick right and there it was. - GT

Waze is an app for your Android device which claims to be a free GPS navigation tool with turn by turn directions. The difference between Waze and all of the other traffic trackers is that it is updated in real time by the users on the road. And there are a number of other cool features to their app which allows you to report a condition live or inform others of a speed trap (hopefully not as you're being pulled over).

So, does Waze work as they claim? Absolutely, kind of.

I loaded the app, turned on my GPS (required) and hit the road. I switched the screen to the Me On Map mode which was perfectly tracking my location and displaying my speed. The short explanation is that when you hit a traffic jam of any kind, the Waze system notes your slowdown (along with others in your area) and notifies other members that that area is a problem. Unfortunately, I must have been the first, or only, member heading west on I-94 toward downtown Detroit when the completely shut down the expressway. Well, at least now other members may see that there is a big issue on that road. There is also a feature where you can take and upload a photo of your current situation. Since I was at a dead stop, I took a shot of the snafu and uploaded it. Quick. Easy. Pointless unless there's something cool to look at.

Although Waze boasts over 3 million users, I think most of them are outside of the United States. Once their numbers grow here, this app will become more and more useful.

There is also a Reporting option where Waze users can report accidents, speed traps, traffic jams, speed cams and more. There is even a Waze chat room where drivers can text in their road rage.

I need to explore the app more, but so far it works excellently as a GPS navigation tool, with the only drawback I see being that you don't get turn by turn voice instruction. Maybe on the next update.
The potential for getting real time information on everything that is going on the roads is incredible.

But, mostly, I want all of you to download and use the app so that you can let me know when I'm approaching a cop with a radar gun.

NOTE: Waze app is also available for iPhone and Blackberry

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