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Stuck in traffic? Why aren’t you using Waze?

Next time you are stuck in a traffic jam your navigation system didn't warn you about, remember this question: "Why aren't you using Waze?"

An app for iPhone or Android phone (and BB10, and Windows Phone), Waze is a map and driving app that is filled with minute-by-minute updates from a community of traffic haters, united in a mission to defeat gridlock (or at least, avoid it).

In addition to providing reliable turn-by-turn directions, Waze is a great co-pilot/navigator app for your passengers: With the touch of a button a "pin" drops on the map that offers a one-touch summary of what's happening on the road around you. The app reminds you not to text while driving, which is not just a good idea – it's the law in most places.

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The maps provide real-time speeds for slowing traffic, and users are great at adding mapped warnings of police, accidents or road crews. I recently asked Google Maps and Waze to get me to the mall in rush hour; both said I should plow through the heavy traffic of the busiest highway in town. Waze assured me it would only take 16 minutes, Google said more like 30. I trusted Waze and despite some tense moments in crawling traffic, I arrived at my destination in 17 minutes. Directions can even be set to avoid tolls, big highways or dirt roads.

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About the Author
Technology reporter

Shane Dingman is The Globe and Mail's technology reporter. He covers BlackBerry, Shopify and rising Canadian tech companies in Waterloo, Ont., Toronto and beyond. More


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