Waze vs Google Maps – Which One is the Best Service in 2019?

Waze vs Google Maps
Waze vs Google Maps

Waze and Google Maps are the two most popular navigational services in the world. Both have been here for over ten years, and both are owned and operated by Google. For Google, it doesn’t matter who wins, but for everyday users, it is essential to know which app is better. To find the ultimate navigational service, we are going to explore Waze vs Google Maps. We will compare different sections and see which one performs better. The winner of each round will earn a point.

At last, we will also see which one is for you. So, are you ready? Let’s dive in.

Table of contents

Waze vs Google Maps

Routing

Waze vs Google Maps - Routing
Waze vs Google Maps – Routing

To fully understand how both calculate the route, I took 10 kilometres (6.2 Miles) of a test drive. The algorithm and methods both services use are different. Take a look at the below results table from the test drive.

ServiceETA on startETA on endDist. on startDist. on endNo. of reroutes
Waze16:2916:359.9 km9.8 km1
Google Maps16:2816:3510 km9.8 km2

I took the test drive at one of the busiest times and roads. Both maps performed well, but the estimated time of arrival was not accurate.

Traffic accuracy

Waze uses historical data, data provided by the user, and the data provided by the app to calculate the real-time data. Google Maps also uses different metrics such as data from Android devices, data provided by users, and the app to calculate real-time traffic. In my experience, Google Maps is more accurate than Waze.
Score: Waze: 0 | Google Maps: 1. Reviews: Heavy traffic can manipulate both, but the traffic in Google Maps is something top class.

Check out: Sygic vs Google Maps.

Voice navigation

Waze supports about 75 voices, including English, Italiano, Magyar, etc. You can also record your voice for many turns. Google Maps supports about 55 voices, including English, Filipino, Italiano etc.

Score: Waze: 1 | Google Maps: 1. Reviews: Waze gets this round.

Reporting

One of the core functionalities of Waze is the reporting feature. Although Google Maps has started implementing the same tools, it’s not quite there yet. Take a look at the below table for all the reporting tools. Some may not be available in some locations.

FeatureWazeGoogle Maps
Speed camera✔️
Speed limit✔️
Vehicle’s speed✔️✔️
Static speed camera✔️
Mobile speed cameraUser-providedUser-provided
CrashUser-providedUser-provided
CongestionUser-providedUser-provided
RoadworksUser-providedUser-provided
Road closureUser-providedUser-provided
Object on roadUser-providedUser-provided
Disabled vehicleUser-providedUser-provided
Fuel pricesUser-provided
Roadside help✔️
Disabled vehicleUser-providedUser-provided

Check out: Waze vs HERE WeGo.

Score: Waze: 2 | Google Maps: 1. Reviews: Waze gets this round as well. The tools Waze offers are enormous.

Transit options

Well, there is no comparison regarding the transport options. Check out the below Waze vs Google Maps transit options comparison table.

FeatureWazeGoogle Maps
Car✔️✔️
Taxi driving✔️
Bicycle✔️✔️
Public transport✔️
Taxi/ride-share✔️
Walk✔️

Score: Waze: 2 | Google Maps: 2. Reviews: Google Maps gets this round.

Offline navigation

Google Maps supports offline navigation, while Waze does not. You can download an area of approx, 70 kilometres while you can download as many locations as you want. The option to use the maps offline is available. The app updates the maps after a specific time.

Score: Waze: 2 | Google Maps: 3. Reviews: Google Maps again a score.

Check out: HERE WeGo vs Waze.

Businesses information

Regarding businesses information, Google Maps is the king. With Google Maps, you can see information such as business hours, phone number, website, reviews, pictures etc. Waze shows the data, including phone number and the website.

Score: Waze: 2 | Google Maps: 4. Reviews: Google Maps gets this round.

Contributions

Waze and Google Maps - Contributions
Waze and Google Maps – Contributions

Both allow users to contribute. Waze uses a scoreboard and level system, while Google Maps uses points and levels system. In Waze, a user can earn points and respect by reporting the information. The users can also increase their reputation by editing the maps on the website.

Google Maps does not offer anything for reporting any traffic-related data. But, you can help the community by adding information regarding the places you visit. Like achievements in Waze, Google Maps uses “badges”. As you go, you earn points and after specific points, your level increases. Google organises different events around the world and depending on the badge level; users get rewards and free invitations.

Check out: Top 10 must-have Android apps in 2019.

Other features

Here, we add some more information regarding both. This round does not affect the score.

  • Google Maps offers a street view feature in many nations.
  • Both allow sharing your journey with your friends.
  • You can see lanes while you travel in Google Maps.
  • Google Maps creates a timeline of the places you visit.

Which one is better where?

The answer to this question is tricky. I have been using both services for a long time, and the below list is from my experience.

  • For ride-share or taxi, Waze is better, because of it’s reporting features.
  • For a personal car, both work fine.
  • For public transport, bicycle, walk etc., Google Maps is there.
  • Are you visiting the town and stuff? Google Maps will give you what’s around.

Final score

The final score of Waze vs Google Maps is 2|4. Google Maps won the fight with the lead of 2 points. Google Maps may not be rich regarding the reporting tools, but its all-rounding nature gives it an edge over the other maps services out there.

In conclusion

When it comes to a giant tech company, it can be assured that the services are updated regularly. Waze and Google Maps have come a long way, and they have a lot to offer. I hope the post Waze vs Google Maps helped. Thanks for having a read, and let me know what do you think about both in the comments section.

Image information: Images used on this page are screenshots of the apps. Some images are under Creative Commons and Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 1.0).




The post was last edited by Madhsudhan on 03/Nov/2019.

Author: Madhsudhan

Hello, my name is Madhsudhan Khemchandani. I'm a Software Engineer, graduated from UniSA, Adelaide. I'm the owner, author, and maintainer of this post and the site. Please contact me if you have any questions or feedback.

6 thoughts on “Waze vs Google Maps – Which One is the Best Service in 2019?”

  1. A very thorough comparison, thank you for your efforts!

    Personally I think Google Maps comes a little ahead of Waze because it has the ability to show car parks on the go. I’ve not found a way for Waze to do that.

    1. Google Maps has some of its great features. Now, they are also adding features like mobile speed and safety cameras. Users can report if any hazard ahead.

  2. Is this post just an update to an older version? Because in 2019, Google Maps has most if not all of the features you describe as being unique to Waze. You can also start a route with one tap, since the start button now appears immediately, right next to the button for browsing alternate routes. Or better yet, just use Google Assistant, and start a route automatically with zero taps. You don’t even need to open the app.

    1. It’s been a couple of months since I have updated the text. I have found a couple of new features, like the speedometer in Google Maps. Hopefully, in a couple of days, I’ll start updating. The assistant works perfectly fine. You don’t need to open the app. Just say “OK Google, navigate to home” etc.

  3. Waze is cuter graphically and it offers the very nice feature of seeing other Wazers in your surroundings: you can even message them.

    Not that you are likely to make friends thusly, however it’s warming specially when travelling alone.

    However you can’t help but get the impression the larger company purchased the smaller one to take a competitor out, I mean why else would they keep the two apps?
    And then they make one stall, and the other move forwards, while people gradually transition.
    Not stall too much of course. It must be acted gently to work as desired.

    I have had problems with Waze’s routes coursing through city streets that are one-way, and the other way!
    I checked that on Maps, and the one-way directions are right. I don’t know how they set one-ways, but anyway… if what I guessed above weren’t right, no reason for Maps not to share its more updated knowledge to Waze.

    Also, Maps shows you restaurants, churches, police stations,… on the map. If you want to reach “that place that’s around here” but can’t recollect the name, with Waze you are in trouble because it only allows you to search for places.

    Maps insists quite uncannily to store your movements’ history and track everyhting about you, Waze is more discrete.
    But the one-way errors are a severe problem

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