WhatÃ¯Â¿Â½s up guys and gals, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Antuan Goodwin welcoming you to Tap that App, the
show where we take a look at the hottest apps for your mobile device.
Android phones often come preloaded with GoogleÃ¯Â¿Â½s free Maps with Navigation
software, but users of other smartphone platforms usually have to pay to get their
Waze is a cross platform, free mapping and navigation app thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s
been available for a while on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows
LetÃ¯Â¿Â½s take a look at Waze: Community GPS navigation and see if
itÃ¯Â¿Â½s worth tapping.
Yes, even you, my fellow Android geeks, there are a couple open
source and social elements that are sure to lure a few of you away from GoogleÃ¯Â¿Â½s
Fire up Waze and youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll be greeted with, as youÃ¯Â¿Â½d expect, a map of the roads around
As you drive to and fro with the app running on your smartphone, youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll notice
on the map that some of the roads have little pellets Ã¯Â¿Â½ la Pacman and icons that you
can collect by driving over to gain points.
As you do this, you (and everyone else
running the app/playing the game) will be contributing GPS positioning and flow
data to WazeÃ¯Â¿Â½s crowdsourced maps.
ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s right, every bit of map and traffic data
that this app provides is generated by a user on the road like you.
HereÃ¯Â¿Â½s where Waze gains an advantage over traditional traffic services.
Because it is
automatically grabbing flow data from an army of users, rather than road sensors, it
can potentially be more accurate, more granular, and more widespread at the same
Where most traffic services only give data for major highways, Waze users can
report traffic, accidents, red light and speed cameras, and police traps on surface
Here in San Francisco, weÃ¯Â¿Â½re often able to see traffic updates that are less
than a few moments old on heavily trafficked roads.
While some of you may want to run the app for the good of mankind and your fellow
drivers, the rest of you will want some sort of return on your digital investment.
Waze allows you to search for points of interest and take advantage of free turn-by-
turn directions with automatic rerouting.
For my fellow gamers and achievement whores, thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s also a scoreboard of sorts
that tracks and rewards the users with points for miles driven, map issues reported
and resolved, etc.
so you can see how you stack up against your Waze buddies and
ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a little pointless, but then again arenÃ¯Â¿Â½t all achievement
DoesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t make it any less fun to be at the top of the Leaderboard.
ThereÃ¯Â¿Â½s also a social element that allows you to connect with your friends via status
updates to let them know where you are and what youÃ¯Â¿Â½re doing and commuters can
join commuting groups based on your daily commute to single out road reports,
chats, and data that is relevant to the roads you travel most often.
Think of it as a
sort of digital carpool.
WazeÃ¯Â¿Â½s crowdsourcing can be both a gift and a curse.
Because its data is 100% user-
generated, Waze will obviously be at its best and most accurate in areas where
many users are, well, using and contributing data to the cloud.
If youÃ¯Â¿Â½re the only
person in your tiny town running that app, then itÃ¯Â¿Â½s you generating and supplying
the map and traffic data.
However, users in heavily populated major metropolitan
areas with hundreds users running Waze will get the most out of the Waze
On the other hand, itÃ¯Â¿Â½ll be a lot easier to collect those little pac-pellets
when youÃ¯Â¿Â½re the only one gunning for them.
Unless youÃ¯Â¿Â½ve already got a navigation app of choice, weÃ¯Â¿Â½d definitely recommend
that you tap this app for the low, low price of free in your app store of choice.
may not dig too deeply into the social networking aspects that Waze presents, but
we think that most will find value in the turn-by-turn directions and free traffic data.
ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s it for this weekÃ¯Â¿Â½s show.
Got an app that youÃ¯Â¿Â½d like to see tapped?
suggestions to TapThatApp@cnet.com.
IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Antuan Goodwin, happy app tapping.
Best apps for beer lovers
The best in touch-screen racing
Google Maps is back on the iPhone
A new hope for Angry Birds
Get your food porn organized with Evernote Food
Throw down some 360-degree tomahawk dunks with NBA Jam for Android
Keep those racy photos and videos private with Vault for Android