While Google Maps is a widely used app for navigation among Android users, it’s hard to ignore how Waze is an equally useful app for finding the best navigation routes and avoiding traffic. There are a lot of reasons why the app is a good alternative to its Google counterpart, not only because of its various features and user-friendly interface, but also because of its nice visuals.

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Of course, let’s not forget that Google owns Waze. The app, however, remains an independently developed product. So, it’s no surprise that the app does have much better features than any default navigation app that comes with your Android device. Waze even works with Android Auto.

So, if you’re looking to know how to use this amazing navigation app, read on.

Setting a reminder for when to leave

If you need to make it somewhere by a given time, Waze can help you identify when you need to start leaving for that destination. It’s somewhat similar to Google Now, which can remind you to leave for a set appointment, but Waze offers better timing by factoring in actual traffic conditions – something that can really make a difference to arriving at your destination on time. Thus, Waze tends to be more accurate when it comes to knowing how much time it takes to get from point A to point B – especially during rush hour.

To use this function, set Waze to remind you when you should leave. Start by inputting your destination and then tapping the Later button. You will then have to set the time that you have to be there. You’ll also be able to see a graph that shows how bad traffic could get along the route you’ll be taking on that day.

Upon setting the arrival time, tap on Save. From here, Waze will be the one to notify you when you should be leaving. In addition, this can also be integrated into your Google and Facebook calendars via the Waze settings to receive alerts for events that happening in the future.

Tell your friends when you’ll be arriving

In the event that you’re running late in spite of your preparation, you might need to inform people that you’re on your way as well as give them an idea when you’ll be arriving. That’s where the Send ETA function will come in handy.

As you navigate with Waze, you can easily activate this function by tapping Send ETA on the screen. This will bring up the Android sharing dialogue, where you can inform your family, friends, or colleagues via text message or email. Note: You’re going to need to register for your own Waze account to be able to use this feature, but if you’re planning to make the most of the app you should be registered anyway.

Find the closest and cheapest gas station

Waze can also help you find gas stations along your route. After all, it’s not uncommon for people to run low on gas while they’re travelling. After telling your friends that you’re going to be running late, you can tap on your destination and choose to “Add a Stop.” You’re going to see a gas station icon on the next screen, and if you tap it you’ll be shown a list of gas stations that are along your route as well as the rates that they’re charging. This will help you make a better decision as you balance between accessibility and price.

If you’ve logged into Waze (again, it’s better that you are), you can customize those search results as well, specifically by the type of fuel you want and the brand.

Use Waze to avoid speeding

Learning to drive within the speed limit is something that every driver should do, but sometimes people tend to forget, especially when they’re running late. Waze has a speedometer function so that you don’t end up breaking the speed limit wherever you are. Access this function through the settings under Speedometer. When turned on, the function will alert you if you’re driving over the speed limit. The default setting is that the app will show you the speed limit of the area you’re driving in if you happen to be exceeding it by at least five miles per hour. Note: The Speedometer setting is available in selected areas only.

How to change your Waze’s voice

One pretty cool thing about Waze is that it has a voice that guides you, so you don’t have to keep staring at your phone when you’re trying to navigate the road. The more interesting thing, however, is that you can actually choose the voice of your assistant. While this isn’t essential to finding the best routes to your destination, listening to a voice you prefer does make the trip better, if not funnier sometimes.

To change the voice, go to Waze’s settings panel and tap on Voice. You can choose from a wide range of voices, some of which are even in different languages. There will be some voices that you can only access if you’ve used the app for a long time, while other voices are available by special promos (i.e. when they’re used to promote certain movie releases).

How to use Waze with Android Auto?

If you happen to be using your car’s built-in Android Auto, you’ll be happy to know that Waze can be easily integrated into it. The app will allow you to do a lot of things you can with your regular Android app, such as report on police presence and traffic conditions.

But, if you don’t have Android Auto in your car but would like something similar, the next best thing would be to use voice commands. Open the regular app’s settings and tap on Sound & Voice. Enable voice commands by tapping on it. You will then have to choose a gesture that will signal Waze to start accepting voice commands.

Keep in mind that you’ll need the Waze screen to be on for the voice commands to work. Don’t worry, you can also give to Waze most of the voice commands you’d normally give to Google.

Make the most of Waze!

Overall, Waze is undoubtedly one of the best navigation apps out there, so you’re better off taking the time to explore all its features and learning how to use them. Mastering the app will only make your future travels that much smoother.