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Featured App of the Week: Waze for iOS and Android

Why do I love Waze? In short I drive to and from the office roughly 200 times a year which means that I spend a lot time in traffic. Waze's community of users share information on street closures, major construction work, cops, and other potential driving delays. The app then takes these suggestions and offers new driving routes to avoid the delays in real time. Waze found me a new route to work that has saved me roughly 4 minutes each way. 4 minutes may not sound like much, but think about that over the course of a year. That is 800 minutes! That equates to half a day that the app has given me back, and that doesn’t even account for the days where it navigates me around freeway closures or similar roadblocks.

It goes deeper than just my time though, there are customization features that it offers that allows the app to be tailored to your preferences. For one thing, It saves your favorite routes automatically. Currently my turn by turn directions are coming from Morgan Freeman, previously it was Stephen Colbert. Hearing them chime in on a long commute is a little mental break. As was the Star Wars gamification of the app prior to the release of the movie. Speaking of gamification, Waze does a good job of ranking users, awarding points for use, and incentivizing interaction. This keeps the data in the app as fresh and accurate as possible – resulting in, you guessed it, more time saved.

There a couple additional features that makes Waze one of the most valuable navigational apps to have. Not only does the community share traffic obstacles, but it also shares gas prices so you always know where the cheapest gas can be found in your area. Now Waze is not only saving me time but also money. Another favorite feature is sharing my ETA in real time with friends and family when I'm going to meet up with them. This is especially useful when doing a road trip to go visit family. Instead of texting them frequently with updates, they can see where I'm at automatically.

If all this sounds great, you can find the Waze app for free in the iTunes store or in the Google Play store.

*Photo credit: WindowsPhoneArea.com

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