Review: Waze arrives on Windows Phone

waze windows phone app review somegadgetguy (2)In all the Instagram hub-bub there was another huge service which released a Windows Phone app. Navigation sweetheart Waze is now available for those of us using Live Tiles!

Using the service, it feels very much like Waze on Android, which is a good thing. Those making the switch wont have to re-learn much. The major changes involve incorporating tile-like options in the menu settings. Also, unlike Instagram, it doesn’t appear that there’s anything missing from the Waze port on WP8.

Waze is a user generated GPS service. Waze uses your location data to keep maps up to date, and people using Waze can report things like accidents, closures, and police activity. Those reports show up on your map. Because Waze is reading your GPS data, it also happens to be one of the most accurate services I’ve seen for estimating your time of arrival. It has moment to moment readings on how fast traffic is moving where ever Waze users are. In a large market like LA, it’s super accurate.

waze windows phone app review somegadgetguy (3)We’re treated to the same 3D map view. I like how simple and clean the layout is, and if you’ve been using HERE maps, I think you’ll feel right at home here too.

If there is anything to criticize, it’s with how Windows Phone handles audio. Still one of my biggest pet peeves, if you like to listen to music on your phone while using it for Waze turn by turn, there’s no way to separate the volume of music playback from alerts. Either Waze is WAY too loud, or music is too quiet. It’s something we’ve been dealing with for a while on Windows Phone, and still something Microsoft needs to fix.

The app gets the navigation job done! It’s a great first release which captures all of the functionality of the Android counterpart. We aren’t waiting for features to build in on a future update. I think there’s room for a little optimization, as there are slight stutters on my Lumia 1020, but I haven’t run into anything which would be a show stopper.

It’s free! Go get it folks! I like HERE maps a lot, but it’s always a good thing when a platform starts getting high quality competition for services.

Waze in the Windows Phone app store.

waze windows phone app review somegadgetguy (1)waze windows phone app review somegadgetguy (4)