Waze vs Google Maps: What’s Better Google Maps or Waze

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most widely used navigation applications currently available. Both apps offer users a variety of features, but which is the better choice for you? This article will compare the two apps head-to-head to determine the better option for you. So let’s start exploring Waze vs Google Maps.

The Google Maps vs. Waze battle is tricky to gauge. Google is the parent company of both navigation applications; thus, many similarities exist. Almost daily, it seems as if they are getting more similar to one another.

However, there is still a distinct dividing line, and that is the fact that Waze and Google Maps both approach navigation options in different ways. The data is essential to Google Maps, which uses years of accumulated knowledge to guide you from point A to point B.

On the other hand, Waze uses crowdsourcing and has developed an aggressive method for directing users to their desired locations.

The two don’t vary much. Finding out which is the greatest is not a simple effort; the one you go with will usually rely on your requirements and preferences. Despite this, if you pit Google Maps against Waze in an all-out fight, whose navigation program do you think will come out on top?


What is Waze?

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

Google bought Waze in 2013 and turned it into a GPS navigation software with real-time social networking elements. “In the event of an accident, hazard, road closures, or another difficulty, a “Wazer” may alert their fellow drivers about it by letting them know about it in advance. With Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you can use Waze on your car’s display if it has one.

Waze goes beyond driving. Google Assistant (Android) and Siri support have been added (iOS). You can also use the app’s carpool feature to plan rides or locate companions. Free, ad-supported Waze. It features a motorbike mode, and you can stream Spotify and podcasts through it.

Download Waze


What is Google Maps?

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

Google Maps is a standard navigation tool that gives walking, bicycle, and public transport instructions and driving directions with lane markings. Android smartphones include a preloaded navigation app.

Google Maps isn’t only a navigational tool; it also highlights businesses, landmarks, and sites of interest, making it handy for gaining a general picture of an area or portion of town, seeing what’s near your destination, and other static map features. Even while navigating, you may search for services and add stops.

Many of Google’s other popular services, including Assistant, Street View, and Search, are incorporated into Maps. Google Maps also contains Waze-like features, such as real-time accurate traffic reports and augmented reality walking instructions. It makes sense for Google to bring some of these capabilities to its (presumably preferred) map app, so we may ultimately see the two applications merge.


Google Maps vs. Waze Comparison

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

Regarding finding your way around, various options are available to you. Google Maps and Waze are two of the most popular navigation apps. Both offer unique features, but which one is the best? This article will compare Google Maps and Waze and see which one comes out on top.



Maps are ubiquitous in our society. We use them for navigation when driving, walking, or biking. Google Maps and Waze are two of the most popular map applications. They both offer similar features, but there are some key differences.

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

Google Maps is available on Android and iOS devices, desktops, and laptops. It has detailed maps of almost every country in the world. 

Waze is also available on Android and iOS devices, desktops, and laptops. However, its detailed maps cover only a limited number of countries.

Waze is known for its user-generated real-time traffic updates. Drivers can report accidents, traffic jams, and police patrols, police traps, police locations in real-time. This information is then shared with other drivers in the area. Google Maps does not have this feature.


Terms of Navigation

Both are top map apps. Both have their benefits, but which one is the best for you?

Google Maps is available on Android and iOS devices and has more features than Waze. However, Waze is faster and more accurate information regarding real-time traffic data.

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

If you’re looking for a comprehensive map application with many features, Google Maps is the better option. If you’re more interested in getting timely traffic updates, Waze is the better choice.

Both can take you to the location you want to be in the end. Even though Google runs both of them, there are significant differences. To the point that determining who “wins” totally depends on how you navigate the surroundings.

The software you should use for standard navigation is Google Maps. You give it a destination, and it will figure out how to get you there, regardless of the weird route you want to take to get there. You may drive, walk, ride a bike, or take the bus, and Google Maps can help you figure out which option is best for you. Google may even warn you of potential hazards along with the best route options, such as traffic or construction, and allow you to take alternate routes.

On the other hand, Waze was developed specifically for those who drive cars and motorcycles. Waze monitors the road ahead to determine how to quickly get you to your destination. Unlike other navigation apps, it does not just locate the shortest route to your location and leaves you to take it.

Waze uses the number of users on the road to improve traffic conditions. Google Maps flags traffic or impediments on-screen, like Waze, but Google will send you on the same pre-set route regardless. Depending on traffic, it may suggest another way, but it’s not pushy.

Google Maps altered its route calculations last year. Real-time traffic and several traffic signals will make the planned route safer and more eco-friendly. This saves gasoline and reduces accident risk.

Google Maps will consider more than your ETA when directing you. It shows you how much a journey will cost if you pass through toll roads. It nicked this functionality from Waze.

Waze’s sole purpose is to reduce travel time and bring you to your destination faster. It doesn’t ask permission to change your route mid-trip and automatically offers directions around obstructions. As Waze tries to get users where they need to go, it often sends them to strange spots.

Waze relies on active users on the road. The program has no idea what lies ahead if you’re the only one using Waze for hundreds of kilometers. Both programs let you save maps offline, but Google Maps is more upfront. Google Maps Offline maps feature allows you to download a map section. Individual routes can no longer be saved.

Waze doesn’t have either option; however, saving a route caches the information so you can use it offline. Because Waze uses live data, you won’t get up-to-date traffic information if you lose cell coverage. You lose Waze’s uniqueness. The two programs are almost comparable when driving, but Waze’s unique technique of avoiding delays makes it an essential tool. Waze is a good option if you don’t mind taking unorthodox routes.


Alternative and Public Transport

Waze has nothing to offer if you’re using public or some other mode of transportation. When Waze identifies a faster path around obstructions, it directs you to it, but since you’re not the one driving, you don’t have that luxury on public transportation. As a result, you’ll need Google Maps.

Google Maps includes public transit, walking, and cycling support. Using Waze would direct you down any path a car could drive down, which isn’t necessarily a good idea.

What's Better Google Maps or Waze

There is a lot of public transportation information available on Google Maps. To begin with, it has access to complete timetables and maps for transportation systems worldwide and can seamlessly include these in its directions. It also provides real-time information on delays and other issues you may encounter throughout your travel, so you can at least be aware of them before they happen.

A combination of past data and the number of people it can observe in a given location at any given moment allows Google Maps to forecast how active a particular service or region will be. The program also includes motorcycle and e-scooter rentals and local ride-sharing services.

That doesn’t mean Waze can’t compete, but there’s still room for improvement in alternate modes of transportation. As a result of the availability of those rental services in your region.


Design & Interface

Both has a radically distinct user interface. In contrast to Google Maps, Waze is a considerably simpler software with less information and a cartoony style.

There’s a big difference between these two programs because they’re created for different purposes. To help drivers go from point A to point B while avoiding traffic and other road hazards, Waze is the only app you need. Google Maps may be used for navigation, discovery, and business connections.

Waze vs Google Maps

They both appear and work the same when it comes to getting about. What you need to know is all that is displayed on the applications. Your icon, the additional locations to travel to, and other information like speed limit, restrictions, and dangers are included.

Waze is the clear winner in this category since it eliminates all unnecessary information from the start and gives you exactly what you need to see. Everything looks immaculate whether you’re actively receiving directions or simply glancing at the map. Despite the usefulness of Google Maps’ additional information, it obstructs your vision. And, if you live in a major city, it might often appear to be a total disaster.


Third Party Advertising

Both include ads, but they handle paid content differently. Google Maps has updated adjustments to make adverts more noticeable on the map. A paying company or place should have a square icon, not a circle.

Waze vs Google Maps

Waze flashes banner adverts whenever you stop moving. You don’t have to dismiss the advertising when you start moving again. They’re still big and obvious, especially on smaller phones. If Waze must display advertising, it could at least make them less invasive.


 Data Overview

Both rely extensively on data, but Waze depends on it much more than Google Maps. This is because Waze bases its functioning on the information its user’s supply. A significant portion of it is gathered mechanically merely because you move about with the application active on your device. Users can also report any dangers or roadblocks that they come across that may cause other cars to experience delays.

Waze vs Google Maps

The analysis of all that data provides a picture of what is happening on the roadways, and it may be used to direct or reroute people wherever required. Additionally, it enables the algorithms that power Waze to make the service and its maps even better.

Google Maps also can see an image of the current state of the roads, but their method is based on a far more extensive database of information. However, it can also gather real-time data from traffic sensors and users of Google Maps. This allows it to make educated guesses about what circumstances will be like at any moment in the day. Google Maps has access to significantly more data than Waze does and is better able to use it.

Because of this, it does not make a difference if you wander into a region where few people use Google Maps. The application will keep you reasonably well updated since it can determine what is happening based on other criteria.

Both use their data in quite diverse ways, which is to be expected. Even though both are owned and controlled by Google, the latter does not yet have a tool that would actively reroute your travel depending on the data it gets. This is a feature available on Waze but not on Google Maps.

If you pay attention to what Google Maps displays on the screen, you can keep track of future road conditions; nevertheless, it is up to you to choose other alternative routes if and when they become available. The navigation app Waze may occasionally divert your way without your knowledge, but Google Maps won’t do that. 

However, years of data collection and analysis experience have provided several benefits. Google Maps can determine the number of people who utilize specific routes at any time of day and the parts of the map where people usually drive faster than the posted limit.

Google has a good notion of which fastest route to take and how long it will take to reach your destination, excluding extraneous variables after your journey starts using Google. Waze has a lot going for it, but it does not have any historical data, and data from traffic sensors is not working in its favor.


Businesses and locations

Even though Waze is essentially a navigational tool, it possesses discovery capabilities that are pretty comprehensive and comparable to those found in Google Maps.

Both applications have several features designed to assist users in locating significant sites and businesses in their immediate surroundings. They provide you with information directly and show you what you need to know by providing a search bar and several buttons that perform specific functions. You are equipped with the tools necessary to swiftly locate anything you are searching for, whether gas stations or a supermarket, and then travel there.

Waze vs Google Maps

On the other hand, as appears to be the case rather frequently, Google Maps provides you with more features. It comes with a more significant total number of buttons with specific functions. Therefore, whether you are looking for a business that sells athletic goods or electronics, the list of discovery buttons that Google Maps provides will have something for you. Waze, on the other hand, prioritizes keeping things straightforward.

When locating things, it’s easy to make that fewer options are preferable, especially since you can always use the search box to do approximately the same thing. On the other hand, the location cards with Waze do not include nearly as much information as those with Google Maps.

Both of these platforms now allow you to search for electric vehicle (EV) chargers, according to an upgrade made by Waze. However, Waze’s offering is currently only accessible to waze users in the United States.

Google isn’t perfect and doesn’t cater to everyone’s needs, but it does an excellent job of covering much ground. One of the restaurants that serve takeaway food in my area has no internet presence whatsoever, not even a website that provides location information. Despite this, Google still contains a significant amount of information, such as the business’s hours of operation, phone number, and even when they get busy.

When it comes to providing more information, Waze is pretty hit-or-miss. In contrast, Google has practically everything you might want because it compiles data from various sources. Waze is not as comprehensive as Google Maps.

It is also not apparent whether Waze’s discovery choices will get the same upgrades mentioned for Google Maps. If they do, it would be interesting to see how they compare. The time of day will be considered when determining the recommendations Google presents to you. As a result, these suggestions will be much more targeted. Now, all we can do is wait and watch what happens.


Traffic and Risks

In the day, Waze App was the only app that correctly accounted for traffic and potential hazards on the road. However, Google Maps has been steadily gaining ground. Both options offer the same features and functionality, with minor exceptions.

Waze takes a proactive approach to guiding you around obstructions that other users have reported. For the sake of trimming a few more seconds off your predicted arrival time, you may find yourself driving down strange, winding roads (ETA). You can’t help but respect the commitment shown. Even now, Google does not go to such a great extent, which is perfectly acceptable.

Waze vs Google Maps

While allowing users to report dangers as they come across them, there is no guarantee that the information will be accurate, mainly if you’re using Google Maps. For example, The roadway leading into London is studded with speed Traps. There must be at least one camera installed per mile to ensure compliance with the stringent speed restriction of 50 miles per hour. Waze displays simple images for most cameras, and it alerts me with a pop-up message if I get close to one of them while driving.

Meanwhile, Google is poor at both of these things. You can report speed cameras and other major traffic problems on Google Maps, but the app only displayed two cameras on the drive from my place to London, which is around 45 miles long.

Waze does not appear to contain all of them, but it has a significant number more than Google Maps. One would imagine that the data-collecting machine that Google uses would be more accurate than Waze’s method, which is crowdsourcing.

While it’s true that Google isn’t too far behind, Waze is now in the lead because its user base isn’t nearly as inactive as Google Maps is.


Hands-free navigation

Both hands-free controls function in the same way. The “Hey Google” command from Google Assistant may be used instead of tapping the on-screen microphone whenever you want to send a command.

Hands-free navigation

Using Android, accomplishing this task is simple because Google Assistant comes pre-installed on all Android devices. Users of the iPhone need to perform specific additional steps. Siri will send orders to either app, but it will default to Apple Maps if you don’t indicate which app you want it to use. Therefore, instead of just asking for “directions home,” you should ask for “directions home using Waze.” You can also download Google Assistant, which will handle everything for you and can be activated by tapping the microphone displayed on the screen.

You can use an assistant to go to new destinations, change your current route, check what’s ahead, traffic, etc. There is no difference between the two applications in terms of the instructions, and you can use an assistant to navigate to new locations.

There are also voice commands for reporting traffic jams and other road hazards you notice while traveling. You may also use these functions if the Assistant app is loaded on your iOS device.

Therefore, it shouldn’t make much of a difference in the path you choose or which device you employ; your experience should be relatively consistent.


Customization Capabilities

Waze allows for a great deal of personalization, notably in the voice element of the app. Whereas Google typically only offers a single voice choice for each country or area, Waze provides several different options, mainly if you speak English.


Other celebrity voices may be used within the app; however, these usually are just included for promotional purposes and are not a permanent part of the program, for when Microsoft and Waze decided to give the character Master Chief from Halo a voice (opens in new tab). In addition, if you do not wish to receive instructions from an unknown robot, Waze allows you to record your voice and utilize it instead.

When you are using Waze to navigate, you can select one of 10 different vehicle symbols that appear on the screen. These icons include a Formula One race car, a motorbike, and the plain old arrow. In addition, you can adjust your “mood,” which, in essence, gives you the ability to personalize the avatar that other people would see on their maps.

If you log enough miles or provide enough information to Waze’s database, you can unlock a unique mood represented by a golden crown.

You have the option with Google to swap the voice to a different language or location, and you can also change the on-screen symbol that represents you to one of three other automobiles. However, that’s all it has to offer in terms of real customizing possibilities. However, if the idea of being directed about by a helpful robot from the United Kingdom appeals to you, you may choose to have that happen.

Although customization is only a minor portion of what both applications can do, if you want to express yourself more fully through your navigation software, then Waze is the program you should use. Similarly, Waze is your best bet if you want to shake things up and replace the monotonous voice set by default.



Google Maps is the better navigation service. It’s more thorough and has more resources than Waze. No matter how you travel, it can help.

Waze solely offers car navigation. Despite being part of the Google family for so long, it provides a service that Google can’t equal. Why? It’s unclear what Google gains by keeping both services alive and not integrating Waze’s feature into Google. It’s true.

Waze is for drivers who don’t mind how they arrive at their destination. Google can detect and predict traffic conditions but won’t proactively send you along an alternate path.

If you’re not driving, Waze is pointless. Google readily fits its small use case. There are several situations in which Google is the sole option available. Please share your comments about Waze vs Google Maps review in the comments section below.

sheraz Durrani

Sheraz is a tech enthusiast and Digital Nomad passionate about creating engaging content that informs and engages his readers. With a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Google Cloud certification, Sheraz specializes in Microsoft Office, iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac technologies.

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