If you’re like us and millions of other people out there, you fight an inner battle just about every time you have to navigate anywhere. Should you use Google Maps? Should you use Waze? There’s no question in our minds that Google Maps provides a better on-screen navigation experience, and it also uses the same live traffic data as Waze to reroute you in the event that traffic starts to pile up somewhere along your path. That’s the biggest thing, right? You want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, and both apps will guide you along the best path (theoretically, at least). The problem with Google Maps, of course, is that it doesn’t have all the crowd-sourced incident reporting features that make Waze so fantastic. Are there police ahead on the highway? Is there a speed trap along your path? Are there bad potholes on the road or other hazards ahead? Waze will tell you all that and more thanks to its massive user base of active Wazers who love looking out for their fellow drivers.
Waze is indeed the best option out there when it comes to getting real-time information about the roads ahead. While it’s true that Google regularly adds key features from Waze to Google Maps since it owns both apps, there are still plenty of features that will never make the leap from Waze to Google Maps. There are also new features being added to Waze all the time that people wish Google Maps would copy, but they never seem to make it over. Waze might seem like the best choice when heading out on a drive, but things got a bit more complicated this week when a new feature began rolling out to Google Maps for both Android and Apple’s iPhones.
There is precious little question at this point that electric vehicles are the future. Tesla was the catalyst that started this revolution, but now every major car company out there is racing to make the jump from internal combustion engines to electric drive systems. You can make the argument that all these car companies would have headed in the same direction without Tesla paving the way, and you would be correct. But Tesla accelerated a transition that would still be in its infancy if not for Musk and his cohorts.
While Tesla is the top-selling EV brand in many big markets, there are plenty more electric cars on the road these days. Since finding charging stations is still a top concern for EV drivers, there are tons of apps out there that help you plot a path to nearby chargers. The holy grail, as it were, is a single app that aggregates all the different types of charging stations so that EV drivers can find the nearest compatible station with ease. Yes, compatibility is also still an issue since not all charging stations work with all cars.
Google Maps just took a big step in the right direction toward becoming EV drivers’ one-stop shop when it comes to finding charging stations. The app has listed EV charger locations for quite a while now, but a new feature noticed by the Android Police blog makes it wonderfully easy to cut out incompatible stations and only display EV charging locations that work with your car. As seen in the screenshots above, the new feature allows a user to choose only the plug types that work with his or her specific vehicle.
It’s true that most EV charging station apps have the same functionality, but having this capability right in your main navigation app is far more convenient than having to hop back and forth between apps. Plus, as we learned recently, Google Maps is adding the ability to pay for EV charging right inside the app. That will be a terrific addition as well — now if only Google would add the same EV features to Waze.