Google Maps is great

I’ll start off with a disclaimer: I’m a fan of Google and its products. I use a lot of their products and own multiple Android devices. I don’t believe that they can do no wrong, but so far they’ve been developing topnotch software and services. This post is about how great Google Maps is.

“Argh! Sorry I’m late, Waze led me in circles.”

“Waze didn’t know where this place was.”

“Waze this, Waze that.”

If there’s one thing I haven’t stopped hearing people say ever since Waze became popular in Malaysia, it’s how the app brought them to the wrong place. Maybe it’s just an excuse and the app has been wrongfully accused, but I hear it all the time. The worst part is? People don’t bother using alternative navigation apps and continue using it. What’s stopping you from switching to another app that does the job better? Nobody is holding a gun to your head.

Granted, I haven’t reviewed every single navigation app out there, but I’ve been using Google Maps for the past seven years and I haven’t found a reason to drop it for anything else. I’ve probably gotten lost using Google Maps less than ten times since I started using it. I haven’t heard anybody complain about it either.

Let me tell you what Google Map is great at doing – getting you from point A to B using the fastest route available. Feel free to add stops in between. It’s not perfect but that’s pretty much all I need from a navigation app. Features like automatic traffic reports when it’s almost time for an appointment are a bonus (thanks to Gmail and Calendar integration).

Since Google acquired Waze and incident reports are now reported in Google Maps, there’s literally no reason to use Waze anymore. Arbitrary points, icons of cute cars and novel voice packs? Okay. I’ll take the app that gets me to my destination on time without all the extra bells and whistles any day.

Google Maps is also great if you plan on taking public transport or walking. Its offline maps are also great for exploring foreign countries if you don’t have access to data on the go. Also, you don’t get ads cluttering your map (hopefully this doesn’t change). Using it on a PC is even better – you can get a traffic estimate based on what time you leave or get an estimate of what time you need to leave to arrive at your destination on time. Pushing directions from your browser to your phone also works great.

As of now, I see no reason to use Waze over Google Maps but for some reason, almost every Uber in KL uses it. I’ll never forget the time I was almost late for a flight because the driver followed Waze blindly and ignored the huge physical signboards pointing him in the right direction to the airport.

“Waze is better because it lets me know where the speed cameras are.” Better idea – how about not speeding to avoid speeding tickets?

Google Maps is available now for Android and iOS devices.

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