You may not have heard of Waze. It's a free turn-by-turn smartphone app featuring user-generated maps, traffic updates, and alerts. That may sound like a lot of work, but most of the updates and data flowing into Waze are collected passively. For example, if you drive on a road that is not in the Waze map database, it gets added to the map and flagged, and can be named by user/members later. Also, if you slow down due to traffic, the Waze servers note that, and see if others are slowing down in the same area, and if necessary Waze will highlight congested roads in red.
If you've ever been frustrated by your GPS company taking forever to update new or changed roads in your area, Waze may appeal to you because you can go to the map and make corrections and updates yourself. You may also actively post updates to the system, using touchscreen buttons including police, traffic jam, accident, hazard, and map update. Waze now claims more than 1.5 million social drivers, and users seem to appreciate the bit of fun Waze introduces into the world of on-the-road navigation. Waze is available for a wide range of phones, including iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and others, and a BlackBerry beta version is offered.