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8 Useful Waze Features to Enhance Your Driving Experience

 The driving and navigation apps of today have surpassed the early GPS navigators by leaps and bounds. They will not simply get your from point A to point B, but the multitude of customizable features these apps posses will also help you choose a road with no tolls, let you plan the best departure time for your trip, and will even take you to the nearest gas station in your area, all in just a few screen taps.
One of the most well-known and most-downloaded free driving apps out there is Waze, which makes driving an interactive experience and allows you to see if you will encounter any hazards, traffic jams, accidents, or police on your route in real-time. We’ve given a general overview on how to use the app in a previous article titled How to Get Started With Waze, but in this post, we’d like to show you 8 clever but often overlooked features of the app that will make your driving experience much easier and more enjoyable, whether you’re just going to pick up the groceries or are planning a longer trip.

1. Make shortcuts to the destinations you frequent

Useful Waze Features fast access
Image Source: via Android
Searching for the same address every day or every week, like your home and work address, or the location of the grocery store you frequently shop at can be really frustrating. Still, many of us want to know what the traffic situation is on the road before departure, and so we are forced to put in the address every day. Waze users can go around this annoying problem quite easily by adding your home and work address in the search section of the app.
To do so, simply open the app, go to the Search Button > Home, and type in your home address in the window, and you're done. Once you've saved these destinations, the next time you need to go home, simply open the Search button and click on the "Home" or "Work" button, and the app will automatically start navigating you towards your home or work address. 
You can also bookmark any recent destination if you want by simply clicking on the three dots beside the destination, and then selecting "Add Favorite" and clicking on "Done". The favorited destination will now appear in the "Favorites" tab of the Search button.

2. Find the best departure time

Useful Waze Features best departure time
Image Source: RD
Tired of always commuting in traffic? If your time of departure is somewhat flexible, you can easily see when is the best time to leave on Waze. To do so, type in the location of interest, and in the window that appeared find and tap on “Find the best time to leave”. A chart with the movable time of arrival on the left and the corresponding traffic on the right will appear, as well as an estimated time of departure. You can also manipulate the date and place of departure in this window to plan future trips and avoid traffic.

3. Find parking in an unknown location

Useful Waze Features parking
Image Source: RD
In big cities and unknown locations, finding a free parking spot can take an eternity. Waze has a solution to this problem, too. To find the nearest parking options, go to the Navigation screen, tap on the bar at the bottom of the screen, and then tap on the blue Parking icon (a “P” in a grey circle) at the top of the screen. A window will appear that will prompt you to either click on “Find parking” or “Mark your parking spot”. If you just need to mark the location where you've parked your car on the Waze map, tap "Mark your parking spot", but choose "Find Parking" if you want the app to show you nearby parking lots on the map. 

4. Customize your driving preferences

Useful Waze Features driving preferences
Image Source: via Android
We all have specific needs when we're driving to a specific destination - some prefer avoiding dirt roads or toll roads, whereas others have monthly passes for certain toll roads and may actually prefer to take the toll road to cut time and make use of the pass. Waze allows you to manipulate all these and other preferences in the app.
To find the section with all these settings, click on the Search button > Settings icon (top left corner) > Navigation. Here, you'll be able to enable and disable going to toll roads, high-risk areas, freeways, ferries, dirt roads, and difficult intersections, as well as add specific toll passes.

5. Find the nearest gas station

Useful Waze Features gas station
Image Source: RD
Topping up the gas tank shouldn't be difficult even if you're in an unknown area. If you suddenly realized that you need gas, but you're not sure where a good gas station nearby is, simply find tap on the bar at the bottom of the Navigation screen, click on the Gas icon, and a list of nearby gas stations and their location on the map will appear. Waze will also show the price of fuel at each gas station and how far they are from your current location. Select the best option from the list, tap on it, click on the Go button, and Waze will add it as a stop in your trip. 

6. Share your location

Useful Waze Features share location
Image Source: RD
If you need to pick up someone but they can't seem to find your location, you can share it with them via Waze. On the Navigation screen find the blue Parking icon corresponding to your location, tap on it, and then tap on the "Send" button. The "Send location" window will pop up, listing all the apps through which you can forward your current location to others.

7. Change the language and voice of the navigator

Useful Waze Features language and voice
Image Source: via Android
Waze can be used by speakers of other languages, such as French, Spanish, German, and others for navigation. In order to change the language from a default one in your location, find the “Settings” in the left corner of the Search window, click on it, and then find “Voice & sound” in the list of settings. To change the voice of the navigator, tap on “Waze voice” and simply select the language you want. Even if you do speak English but you're tired of the same voice, there are a few fun and quirky voice options like that of a Boy Band, for instance, so mix and match to never get bored while driving.

8. Prevent speed tickets

Useful Waze Features speedometer
Image Source: RD
The last feature we'll share with you in this article is the speed limit feature, which allows your car to alert you when you're going above a speed limit. As you will know, Waze is always showing you the speed limit and your speed on the Navigation screen, but when the speed limit feature is on, the app will start playing an alert sound to let you know that you should slow down. To enable this feature, tap on Search > Settings > find Speedometer on the list. Toggle on the Speedometer option, and enable "Alert when speeding” or "Play alert sound" at the bottom of the screen.
If you haven't used Waze yet but were intrigued by all of the features we mentioned you can download the app for free on your iPhone here: Waze Link App StoreIf you have an Android smartphone, download it here: Waze Link Play Store.
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