Google Maps vs. Waze – Which Is Better For You?

There are options when it comes to navigation systems on your phone. And how nice it is to have options! It’s hard to believe anyone ever got around without some type of mapping app.

Google Maps is definitely the front runner when it comes to popularity. But others talk up Waze for its crowd sourced traffic and alert features. So, which one is for you?

Both are available on iOS and Android and both are owned by Google. Let’s take a look at what both have to offer.

Google Maps

Google Maps is the OG of navigation systems – it’s been around longer than Apple Maps or Waze. That being said, they’ve had time to tweak out issues and make the app better as time has went on.

  • Allows you to choose your type of travel. Whether it be driving, public transportation, walking or bicycling.
  • Able to switch between modes with a simple tap.
  • Shows train lines and bus stops, integrates with ride-sharing platforms like Lyft and Uber, and even displays Subway station platforms with listed entrances and exits.
  • Suggests better times to start your trip if there is heavy traffic.
  • Location sharing: you’re able to share where you are with friends and family before you get to your destination.


Waze is a driver-focused app that has many features built in to make your journey a lot more fun and smooth.

  • Relies on information from drivers using app.
  • Users can alert each other to traffic, road hazards and even cop locations.
  • Adjusts its recommendations in real time based on information from other drivers. If a better route becomes available, Waze will change your route.
  • Determined to get you to your destination quicker.
  • Local experts can edit street data, turn permissions, house numbers and more, which can yield more accurate guidance than Google Maps.

When should you use Google Maps and when should you use Waze?

Google Map does so much more than give you directions to your desired location. It gives you suggestions for food, activities, drinks, parks and so much more. It will even give you the reviews of the places it suggests for you. In certain locations, it’ll even display the average wait time. You’ll get to see pictures of the restaurant and a vague estimate of what you can expect to spend. Waze doesn’t offer that kind of information because it’s main focus is getting you to your destination.

Google Maps is the best choice for people who want offline maps, and want to create their own map with pinning points of interest. Not only that, but it’s the obvious choice for those who use alternative modes of transportation other than a car.

Waze is your friend for long trips. If you’re driving a car or motorcycle, you might consider Waze for your commute or road trip. Waze tends to display shorter travel times than Google Maps. Waze wants to get you to your destination the fastest and hassle free. So, if you’re looking to speed up trip – Waze is the best option.

Bottom Line

Both Google Maps and Waze are quite different – and it would ultimately come in handy to have both apps on your phone for varying journeys. If you’re setting out on a long commute or wanting to know specifics about the traffic patterns – open up Waze. Other than that, Google Maps is likely to be your best option.

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