Presentation and ergonomics: Waze
Waze offering fewer features than Google Maps, its interface is necessarily simpler. However, since we are talking about a use mainly at the wheel, it is an indisputable asset. This round is for Waze.
Guidance and mapping: tied
In terms of the richness of the cartography, the two applications are very complete. It is virtually impossible not to find the place where you want to go. But Waze makes a difference when navigating because it calculates routes in real time and can automatically recalculate the route based on traffic along the way. And this more efficiently than Google Maps, thanks to its huge participative community. That earns him an extra point.
Advertising: Google Maps
This is one of the few irritating aspects of Waze: at the slightest shutdown, it displays unwanted advertisements on almost the entire screen of the phone. Admittedly, it can be useful to know that we have a good restaurant or a nice shop is 500 meters away, but we also know distracted people who have changed their destination without wanting it by trying to make an ad disappear. On Google Maps, little or no advertising.
Alerts and Indications: Waze
When it comes to alerts and indications, Waze takes the lead. It draws attention to sensitive points stored by the application or communicated by other users. Traffic jams, construction sites, mobile or fixed speed cameras, stopped vehicles, objects on the road… Waze is a precious help, and is thus forgiven for its commercial side of the previous point.
Data consumption: Google Maps
The other side of the coin of all this information in real time: Waze consumes the data from your mobile plan without counting. Better to know this when you start on the road, especially if you use a prepaid card. Data consumption is therefore less problematic with Google Maps, especially since the application allows you to download maps of often frequented areas at home. Clearly, you can navigate without a mobile connection. Of course, you can also download maps with Waze, but this function is not native to the application. So you have to know how to do it. Winner: Google Maps.
Conclusion: Matter of Details
It is difficult to decide between these applications according to our 5 main criteria. The two seem to neutralize each other with their respective strengths and weaknesses. It is therefore questions of detail that can make the difference. For example, Google Maps will prevail to guide you by bike or on foot, thanks to better consideration of public transport. Likewise, its “satellite view” and Street View functions can be a plus. It is certainly a little unsettling for some in navigation mode, but displaying a photo of the destination where you are going for the first time is very practical.
Waze has a more playful side, with plenty of customization options. Who doesn’t want to replace the little navigation arrow with their car’s logo? Or a “Pooh” emoji? Qt who doesn’t want to be guided by the voice of Scooby-Doo or Batman?