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You’d be tempted to believe that all navigation applications are the same, because their role is to guide you when traveling to a foreign location. Google Maps and Waze are owned by Google, but there are features that make them unique applications and in this article we’ll compare them. Depending on your needs, you’ll decide which application is the best for you.

On Waze, the drivers are informing other people who use this application about road traffic accidents; police officers who ask drivers to pull over their vehicles for checkups; road closures etc.

Google Maps is offers more features, more transportation options and provides additional information about important places, such as monuments, businesses, hotels etc.

Feature Differences

Google Maps supports voice navigation options, no matter if you’re on a bike, in a car, or if you’re walking; you’ll get live traffic conditions and alternative routes when roads are closed; navigation options for public transportation, driving, biking and walking; information about millions of places; Google Street View; offline mode supporting turn-by-turn navigation; it warns you if you’ll arrive too late to your destination; it will recommend you which lane to drive in; it will track and save location data.

Waze supports social network integration and other users can report live traffic; the application offers additional celebrity voice navigation options; it will learn your preferred routes and frequent destinations; it searches for the cheapest gas on a route; it can be set to avoid highways by default; it allows the users to send live, updating information with their ETA, to their friends etc.

Interface and Ease of Use

Google Maps is like a digital version of a paper map, recommending major roads in special, not side roads. You can search for a specific address, but if you can’t remember the street, type in the business name or the type of business. The Street View will take you to that place so you’ll know how it looks in reality, and to get there, Google Maps will allow you to select between varieties of different transportation options. If you’ll choose the driving option, you’ll get route recommendations, with different ETAs. If you’re taking the highway, Google Maps will suggest you which lane you need to be in to get to an exit ramp. Of course, all the time you’ll use turn-by-turn navigation, from point A to point B.

Waze is focusing merely on driving, showing all the roads there are on a map. In the search menu, you are able to write an address or the name of a company, and the application will show you the route to get there. Moreover, at the top of the screen, Waze is displaying sponsored destinations (they’re floating), which can be quite distracting and annoying. The turn-by-turn feature is shown exactly like on a traditional GPS unit, as Waze will pan the view and zoom in.