Most of these apps are fairly straightforward with how to get directions. You’ll find features like a route planner, distance calculator, current location and location history, walking or running map, and the ability to change home address or a business location. Let’s dive a bit further into each to see how to get the most out of your app.
One of the most helpful features of Google Maps is the ability to add multiple stops to a route. After inputting a destination, just tap the ellipses in the upper-right corner of the screen. You can add one or more additional locations. It’s a really useful way to plan a longer route without having to fumble with the app while driving.
That same ellipses button is the way to adjust your route options and see live satellite views and show traffic updates. Google Maps provides satellite, terrain, transit, traffic, and biking overlays, and offers live traffic data for alternate routes, accidents, road work, and speed traps. You can avoid toll roads, highways, and ferries while seeing the time and traffic for driving, walking, riding a bike, hailing a rideshare, and using public transportation (if available). Google has begun rolling out a live speedometer to show speed limits, as well, though it’s not available for all users quite yet.
With any map app, people often wonder how to change voice controls. Google Maps doesn’t have that functionality within the app itself, though you may be able to change it through your phone’s settings.
Additional functions you’ll only find in Google Maps: personalized recommendations, the ability to post reviews, street view, and cultural hotspot indicators.
Unlike Google Maps, you can’t add multiple destinations using Apple Maps. The app does offer “pit stops,” where it will show you nearby gas stations, restaurants, and coffee shops.
You can also view satellite and transit overlays, and get directions for driving, walking, hailing a rideshare and using public transportation, though no bike routes are available on Apple Maps. The app also provides a bit less traffic data for its users, only offering alternate routes, accidents and road work. You can avoid tolls and highways on Apple Maps, too. And though you can add a speedometer, it’s the most complicated of the three: you’ll need to go into your phone’s Settings, then scroll to Maps. Tap “Driving & Navigation” and move the “Speed Limit” switch to on.
Additional functions you’ll only find in Apple Maps: weather, temperature, and air quality, and a flyover augmented reality feature.
Within Waze’s settings, you can input your driving preferences. Simply tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom left and then click the gear icon at the top left corner of your screen. Settings includes details about your vehicle, any toll or HOV passes, preferred gas stations, or your speedometer.
To contribute a flag for an accident, police, or other report, tap the yellow-orange circle in the bottom right corner of the screen. You’ll see all the different icons pop up – choose the one that corresponds to the current situation.
Waze also has several search codes that change the functionality of the app. To enter a code, choose “Navigate” on the main menu, then type the code in the destination box.
Waze only provides routes for cars, motorcycles, and taxis. And like Apple Maps, you can add just one pit stop. However, Waze is the most comprehensive if you want to get local traffic updates; live traffic updates include alternate routes, accidents, road work, police, potholes, and speed traps. Having a police locator app or a police tracking app can be especially useful when driving across those known speed traps.
Additionally, its Speedometer function is the coolest of the apps. Under “Settings,” tap “Speedometer.” Here, you can adjust when Waze displays the speed limit and if you want an alert to sound when you’re speeding.
Additional functions you’ll only find in Waze: the ability to add tolls and HOV passes and view festivals and protests.