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How Much Data Does Waze Use? 3 Crazy Facts (Updated 2023)

How Much Data Does Waze Use

Waze is the go-to app for motorists.

Sure, sometimes the app takes you to strange places.

But it never lets you down.

However, these days it feels like your data runs out fast.

And you wonder if Waze has something to do with it.

Read along to learn:

  • 3 unusual facts about the Waze app.
  • 5 simple ways to decrease data consumption.
  • 11 great insights on which navigational app is better between Waze and Google Maps. 
  • And a lot more…

How much data does Waze use?

Waze uses 0.5 MB of data for an hour of driving a day on average. That’s a total of 15 MB per month for a daily driving time of 1 hour. Many factors may increase this usage, such as runtime and distance. The number of events that happen in the area where a person is driving also affects data usage. 

Data usage when using Waze – 3 facts

#1: The data usage is small

15 MB of Waze data usage a month for an hour of driving daily doesn’t seem a lot.

That’s only a data usage of 75 MB if you drive 5 hours a day.

But Waze’s data consumption can come from other factors.

Other apps like Google Maps collect historical data.

Meanwhile, Waze relies on crowdsourcing for its dataset.

This means that Waze users or Wazers contribute to the data that the app collects.

The more info it receives, the more data it consumes.

Still, a monthly Waze data usage of 75 MB isn’t high.

#2: User behavior affects it

Waze gathers information as soon as you start driving.

But it also collects data from Wazers that send updates.

For example:

There’s a minor accident on the road you’re driving on.

And there are over a hundred Wazers in the area.

If everyone sent updates, Waze would adjust its navigation immediately.

Moreover, the app is aggressive in giving directions and redirecting…

This depends on how often the dataset updates.  

Now, imagine if there were a dozen notable traffic incidents…

Then, every Wazer is typing away to contribute.

In this case, an active Waze app will receive notifications and consume more data…

Even if it’s only in the background.

“How many people are using Waze?”

The most recent statistics say that Waze has 25 million users in the U.S.

That’s a lot. And it’s a good thing.

How so?

Because the community can help each other out and make driving breezy.

But there’s a downside to having a community-based dataset.

You see, in a place without any Wazers, the app is useless.

Of course, you can still use the maps and your saved routes.

But you won’t receive any navigational tips…

Which defeats the purpose of using Waze.

#3: You can decrease data consumption

You can’t always remember to turn off Waze when you’re on the road.

Plus, it doesn’t consume much data, so it’s not really a priority.

But if you drive long hours every day, data consumption will pile up.

If this is something that concerns you…

There are several ways to decrease your Waze’s data usage:

#1: Turn Waze off after use

  1. Press Stop
  2. Close the app.
  3. Go to your phone’s Settings.
  4. Go to Connections and Data usage.
  5. Find Mobile data usage and Application data usage.
  6. Look for Waze, then turn “Background data usage” off.

#2: Disable data usage

  1. In your Settings, click on Map display.
  2. Toggle “Show wazers” and “Show data” off.

#3. Adjust mobile Internet

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Go to Connections.
  3. Tap on “Data usage.”

#4. Data saver

  1. Go to “Data Saver.”
  2. Click on “Now” and toggle on.

#5. Turn on “Ask before turning on.

  1. Click Waze Settings.
  2. Go to Battery saver.
  3. Turn on “Ask before turning on.”

Further reading: How Much Data Do Radio Apps Use + Tips To Save Data

Is Waze better than Google Maps?

Waze isn’t exactly better than Google Maps.

Let’s explore the reasons…

For years, Google Maps has dominated the charts in GPS mapping.

It’s tempting to say that you don’t need another navigational app.

But Waze’s popularity has been gaining momentum.

Both these apps are the most popular in their category.

Also, Google owns the 2.

Now, it isn’t surprising that people want to compare…

And users are often curious to know which is better.

At first glance, both apps seem to share the same utility.

However, they were developed with different things in mind.

So their primary values aren’t the same.

And to decide which 1 is better depends on what you need them for.

Let’s take a look at situations where each app has something more to offer.

Features where Google Maps is better:

#1: General navigation

Google Maps Is Better When It Comes To General Navigation

If you’re not particular about how to go somewhere…

Google Maps is the better app.

You type in a location…

And voila!

It’ll show you how to go there on foot, by driving, and by commuting.

Also, it’ll give you alternative paths and an estimated time of arrival.

On the other hand, Waze is more focused on drivers.

So it doesn’t help much with alternative transportation.

#2: Offline maps

An Offline Maps feature is available on Google Maps.

With it, you can choose any spot. Then, the app will download all available info.

Meanwhile, Waze can only save relevant information if you save a route to your favorites.

However, you won’t get any updated information when offline.

Which would make using Waze pointless when you have no data.

#3: Public transportation

Public transit timetables and services are available on Google Maps.

Plus, the app connects all this information to its directions accurately.

Also, it uses historical data to give updates on delays and estimate congestion.

#4: Out-of-sight advertising

Advertising on Google Maps is subtle.

One example of this is the square icons of sponsored establishments.

Which can hardly be distinguished from the round icons of free users.

Also, there are no banner ads that you have to dismiss while on the road.

That being said, ads on Waze disappear when you’re on the move.

But they’re still distracting, especially when you have smaller phones.

#5: Discovery Features

Here’s why Google Maps knocks it out of the park on discovery features:

  • It has a much larger number of info buttons.
  • Its location cards pack more than only basic information.
  • It has information on almost everything, even unknown places.

If you appreciate having all this information at your fingertips while on the road…

You’ll understand why Google Maps has been the golden standard.

#6: Tourism

Local tourists and out-of-towners can find local travel destinations with ease…

That’s because Google business pages are combined in the app.

So it’s easy to find anything, which usually includes contact info, photos, and reviews.

And don’t forget the street view feature. 

With that, finding the right place to hang or discover won’t be hard to do.

Features where Waze is better:

#1: Customization

Customizing is a minor thing for many…

But could improve the user experience.

Now, Waze offers a lot of options for customization, especially for English speakers.

Its voice section allows you to pick celebrity voices.

Also, it’ll let you record your own voice or anyone else’s.

So you can take orders from anyone you want, including yourself.

Moreover, you can use “moods.”

This allows you to change your avatar’s appearance on the map.

Also, Waze holds events every month or so… 

Where Wazers can earn points if they contribute to the app’s dataset.

If they reach a certain number of points by sending information and other updates… 

They can unlock virtual stickers and avatar sets.

#2: Interface

With all its information, icons, and notification, Google Maps can look messy.

But Waze’s motto about its interface is “Nice and clean.”

That’s why the app uses a modern and minimalist design.

This tosses out unnecessary visual noise…

And shows you only what you need to see.

If you’re a first-time downloader and want a visual reference, check out this video:

#3: The Fastest Route

Waze has one target: to get you where you want to go as fast as possible.

That’s why it has real-time analysis of the quickest route.

So, it can alert you of possible delays more effectively.

On the other hand, Google Maps analyzes historical data.

So it’ll give you advice regardless of the actual changes happening at the moment.

Which makes Waze better because it collects data from other active motorists in the area.

So the app can give you immediate updates.

#4: Traffic congestion and obstacles

Who’d think that a crowdsourced approach to data collection would work?

Fortunately, Waze users are very active in submitting reports.

And they’re far more dynamic compared to users of Google Maps.

Moreover, Waze is determined to do something about the information it receives.

It’s forceful in telling you how to avoid hazards reported by others. 

Like an aggressive gym trainer pushing your red face to lift some more.

It creates great value for being part of the community.

And beats Google Maps’ data collection machine any day.

#5: Roadside Assistance

Did you know that you could request roadside help from fellow Wazers?

If you encounter problems on the road…

You can use Waze for aid.

Even a professional may come to help you out.

So, follow these steps to send a request:

  1. Go to “Reports”.
  2. To open the Roadside help menu, tap on the lifesaver icon.
  3. Choose the request type.
  4. Click on “Request” to add the report to the map.

Note:  Make sure you’re by your car when sending the request. Moreover, the report will stay on the map for 30 minutes.