For those have not heard of Waze yet, or still haven’t downloaded it, this application is one of the better mobile apps for navigation. The concept is simple -- create a platform where the users can provide input to traffic issues, speed traps, accidents and slow downs. Really, this is crowdsourcing for traffic. And it's pretty important for those of us with our own businesses that can't afford to waste a single minute en route to getting work done.
You can now download Waze for either your iPhone or Android device. The user-navigation interface is simple and intuitive. Once you begin using Waze, there is even a gamification component to the program: You can earn points through various means including using the program for extended periods of time, giving useful tips or notifications to other drives and by interacting with fellow Wazers.
After you earn enough points you can upgrade the mood of your Waze avatar and even gain special access to other features. The extras are just something to make the whole thing a little more enjoyable; every necessary feature is available to the average user.
Included in the program is a navigation voice that tells you where to turn and what to look out for. This includes police officers, disabled vehicles and accidents. The voice is a little outdated sounding, even though she is less snarky than Siri, there is still room for improvement.
Alternately, Waze allows for voice commands from the user. These include reporting heavy traffic, navigation and more. All of these can be implemented by hovering your hand over your phone so you can still use the program while driving.
When you are getting ready to leave for your commute enter your destination address just like any other navigation program. Waze will return multiple results and provide you with the best route for that moment. This may be taking you out of your way, but with the crowdsourcing component Waze is providing you the fastest route based on real-time input beyond just the speed of traffic and distance. You can even create setting so the directions avoid toll roads or major highways.
As always, if you are using a mobile program, make sure you are not driving while you interact with the device. If your car is in motion, Waze has a built in buffer that asks you if you are the passenger before you are able to interact with the application. Obviously, be safe and be careful, because driving distracted is not okay.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.