Sometimes combining existing ideas is even more brilliant than coming up with one new idea. Waze, an app designed by Waze Inc., takes three very popular app platforms – games, GPS tracking, and social networking – and morphs them into one incredibly unique free app.
Waze finds your location and allows you to add to the online database as you travel. You can contribute information on current traffic, accidents or police activity. Obviously, this isn’t the only iPhone app out there with these features. But Waze is a little different.
When you download the app and open it for the first time, you set up your account and a short profile and avatar. You can even choose a different little icon to represent your mood, which will be visible by other Wazers on the map and when they search for someone in their area.
Because that’s the other thing about Waze – it’s a community. You can view the map, select a user, view how vary they are from you and “ping” them, or message them in a chat room. (More cautious users can set their profiles to private, as the possible dangerous issues here are obvious.)
Waze makes sitting in traffic a game. Watch your car on the map as a little Pacman icon adding a new road to the Waze interface, all while chowing down some cherries and other items in the road for a few bonus points.
Really getting use out of Waze requires some effort – it’s not really the app for you if you just want something to open and check on the traffic nearby. But if you’re interested in joining and connecting with other users, as well as taking control of the content available by contributing your own, it’s worth taking the time to learn. And hey, the price is right – download this free app and check it out for yourself.
Waze requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.