I loved and used Waze for many years since it’s inception, but about a year ago, I switched back to Google Maps, preferring its more professional look, better lane direction, and fewer detours through neighborhoods to save a minute or two on my commute.
And the best feature at the time, and what tipped the point for me, were the notices on the map of differences in time if I chose another route. While Waze can do this, it requires you to switch away from the map. With Google Maps, just a quick glance as you approach an alternate street is needed to see the time difference.
It was a painful switch, as I missed seeing the speed limit on the map, and warnings of speed cameras and police, crashes, debris on the road, etc. All of these crowdsourced warnings were missing from Maps but I stuck with it.
If you haven’t used Google Maps in a while, you might want to take another look. Recently, they’ve added the speed limit and speed cameras to the map, and I was really appreciative of those additions. But today, I noticed a new button on the map and when I clicked on it, it showed two buttons, one that can be used to report a crash and another to report a speed trap. Passing a roadside radar trap on my way home this afternoon, I clicked on the Report button, clicked Speed Trap, and it was immediately displayed on the map. Wow! Maps is looking more like Waze every day.
While I’m happy that my favored Google Maps is getting these features, I’m a little sad as it seems like Google is taking the functionality of Waze and adding it to Maps. And that doesn’t bode well for Waze. I’m wondering if there was a timestamp on the agreement Google made with Waze when they purchased this Israeli company.
I, of course, have no insight or insider information, just speculation, but I wish Waze the best as I thoroughly enjoy the improvements Google has made to Maps.
Thanks for reading, J
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