Avoid road hazards and slowdowns with Waze [50 Essential iOS Apps #22]

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Waze on iPhone in a car GPS mount
Waze provides clear turn-by-turn navigation and alerts you to potential hazards.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Waze map and navigation All across the country (and the world), people depend on cars to get from place to place. Unfortunately, not knowing where traffic is slow, or where a police officer is hiding, can cause serious delays. The Waze navigation app takes out the guesswork.

It tells drivers where traffic, construction or the 5-0 might turn a drive into a total bummer. Better yet, the navigation app’s huge user base means real-time data that lets you change course to avoid slowdowns.

What is Waze?

Waze is a community-based navigation app for iPhone (and Android). Much like Apple Maps or Google Maps, it provides turn-by-turn navigation, as well as alternative routes and live rerouting. It provides real-time updates to your route, with user-submitted reports for a variety of situations.

Why Waze is a great navigation app

Thanks to millions of Waze users (aka “Wazers”) around the world, using the app during your drive gives you constant updates on traffic, construction zones or accidents. Even better, Wazers can tip you off to a hiding police officer. This real-time data can help you avoid unnecessary slowdowns or speed traps.

Waze screenshots of hazards and Spotify integration
Waze makes getting to your destination easy and enjoyable with hazard warnings and Spotify integration.
Screenshots: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Along your route, you can find gas prices, restaurants and hotels. This makes the app exceptionally useful for road trips, where stops along your route may be unexpected. You can also create a travel “plan” to save various waypoints for a specific time during your drive, helping you stay on course for various checkpoints of a drive.

Another useful feature of Waze is built-in Spotify controls. From the map view, you can choose from recently played music, skip through songs, and control playback. This gives you control over what you listen to without leaving Waze, helping you stay on time and safe.

Who Waze is for

Waze is great for anyone who relies on driving to get around. Community-generated updates make it useful for daily commutes in big cities and long drives alike. Spotify users will find added benefit in Waze’s ability to control their music without leaving their turn-by-turn navigation.

Bottom line: Waze is the best navigation app

Whether you’re traveling somewhere familiar or somewhere new, Waze is a great map and navigation app. It’s easy to use, and provides useful insights that other turn-by-turn apps lack.

Price: Free

Download from: App Store

See more of our 50 Essential iOS Apps

Want more essential iOS app reviews? Check out our ongoing series, 50 Essential iOS Apps.