WAZE: Why I Am No Longer Playing Their Dangerous Road Games

by on November 13, 2015

in consumer

WAZE logo

This is a short disposition on why I am no longer playing the dangerous road condition points games with my Waze app. And thank you Waze, AKA Google, for enticing me away from these dangerous driving habits.

The other day my wife needed a new battery for her cell phone and it was not a simple fix since our Motorolas (AKA the Hong Kong based Lenovo) has sealed bodies, we could not change them out ourselves. Well, at least not easily. SO off to the Verizon store I went. I ended up getting new phones for both of us. Technically, they’re new batteries, right? In the process, I’ve achieved divesting myself of our horrible Motorola phone experiences. (Why I’ll never buy another Motorola Phone Again) This also ended my 10-year embargo on Samsung products, since I ended up with two new Samsung Galaxy S6’s.

(MY sympathies to those who still have their Motorola phones and still experiencing the alleged ‘Planned Obsolescence’ experience.)

But I digress.

The reason I am no longer playing the Waze points Game was that when I got my new phones one of the first apps I installed back into my phone life was my Waze App, the app could not connect me to my old profile that had accumulated thousands of road points.

If you might recall, I bantered a while back about which was better, Google Maps or Google’s Waze. Waze eeked out the Maps app.

But when I installed the Waze app on my new phone and went to connect to my Waze profile, it said it could not find my profile and it went immediately into creating a new profile for me.


Normally I don’t care about when an app screws up collecting all my marketing data and has to start over. That’s not my loss. But in this case, I was a little miffed because I was losing all those Waze Road Warrior points I had acquired under my other phone.

What Waze Road points you ask?

Waze User Road Points Game

When you use your Waze app to go anywhere, you acquire road points. The more road points you acquire, the more influential you are when you report road hazards and the like.

When you report road hazards like cars stopped on the side of the road, debris in the road, hidden cops, you get points for reporting them and you get points for when Waze users ‘thank’ you. (It seems when you acknowledge a hazard still being in-place, you end up ‘thanking’ the reporting user.) But as you do thise things, your profile acquires points through time and you get different badges or status credit to your account.

But I lost all that when I got my new phone and installed the app, and it could not find my old profile.

But then it hit me how f*ing stupid this points game is in Waze. Sure, the first time you start reporting things, you get a warning that suggests your passenger should be the one reporting road hazards. Really?

And then there you go, picking up your phone and reporting things.

But the menu to report things requires dexterity in managing and navigating. It’s not hard, but for someone operating a motor vehicle, it’s one more level of distraction and complexity when operating your vehicle.

So I decided I’m done playing this stupid, distracting road game. And I want to thank Waze for making me come to my senses.

On the other hand, I think the biggest improvement they could do to make the Waze app a touch safer is to add a column of badges or buttons to the side of the screen to make reporting road hazards a one-touch experience. Right now you have to hit one button, choose an option, then define that option, and then hit ‘report.’ I think they need to make their app safer to use, because frankly, you know people are. Period. Keep it so drivers are focused only on their side of the road. That is… if they keep up this points system.

Google Moving Apps Seem More Hazardous Than They Need To Be

It’s really odd sometimes, the mods that Google makes to their road apps. In Maps they pulled out the zoom button (a plus/minus button) that allowed one-finger zooming in and out of a map. Instead, they force you to the two-finger zoom function. That can require two hands. In Waze, well, a system of menu items to navigate does not seem all that smart in an app that will more than likely, find itself being used while a vehicle is in motion.

Just saying.

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