Offline Maps for Waze Navigation App? Not So Fast

Waze is available for both Android and iOS 1 photo
Photo: Google
Waze is currently one of the top navigation apps, and for good reason. Based on community reports and data collected from other users, Waze can help drivers avoid traffic jams and get to their destination much faster.
Compared to other navigation apps that just determine the shortest route to a destination, Waze actually calculates the fastest one based on traffic data. So it needs an Internet connection to get the necessary information from other users and thus provide you with accurate data.

Right now, one top feature requests for the Google-owned app is support for offline maps, which would allow for Waze to be used without an Internet connection.

While at first glance this is something that makes sense, adding support for offline apps pretty much defeats the purpose of Waze in the first place. This is because the idea that’s powering Waze isn’t necessarily to provide you with navigation instructions to your destination, but to get you there without getting stuck in traffic.

As a Waze employee explains, you can already use Waze without an Internet connection, albeit this isn’t necessarily the most straightforward workaround. What you need to do is load your route with an Internet connection and then go offline, and Waze will continue to work normally, but without updated traffic data.

This comes in handy especially when traveling abroad. For example, you can set up Waze before leaving the hotel using their available Wi-Fi, so when you lose the connection, the app will continue to provide you with navigation instructions just like any other app.

Waze, however, says it’s working on other ways to improve using the app in areas with poor Internet connections.

This is working partially – for some devices and on some scenarios. In any case, you will need to start the session with a connection. We are working to improve it as we realize some areas simply don’t have good internet connectivity,” a Waze employee says.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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