How To Develop A GPS Navigation App Like Waze?
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Guide To Building Waze-like GPS Navigation App

Chandrapal Singh By Chandrapal Singh | June 24, 2021

You like it or not but a big chunk of your days are wasted behind the wheel. Yes, we are talking about getting stuck in traffic every time you step out of your home.

With the increasing population and the count of vehicles, the streets are getting occupied. This reduces the space on the road and leads to traffic jams. What happens next? You often fail to reach your destination on time, especially during peak hours.

In hurry, we often end up on routes that are long and more congested. Even if we ask a random stranger on the street to get somewhere, many times it leads to a dead end.

Sounds relatable enough right?

Moreover, the days of pulling out a road map from the glove compartment are long gone – good riddance of course. Today we have apps with inbuilt navigation functionality (GPS application) installed in our smartphones. 

Such apps are getting highly popular these days as whenever you need to go somewhere, they find out the best route with the fewest obstructions and lightest traffic possible.

GPS navigation has become an indispensable technology tool that even every taxi booking app and food delivery app are using to commute the passengers to their destinations or deliver food to their doorsteps respectively. Not only this but there are also several other benefits of geolocation based apps.

The number of location-based service apps is on the rise and is predicted to expand in the future. The statistics below drives the message home:

  • According to the report by BIS Research Agency, the market of the navigation app is developing continuously, with an expectation of $34.56 billion in revenue by 2021. 
  • On 11 January 2021, according to App Annie, the latest statistics prove that Google Maps and Waze are the leading GPS navigation apps in Google Play.

Hence, if you are also planning to introduce the best GPS navigation app, with the trendiest tools, you are on the right track.

Who uses navigation apps and why? 99.9999% of people need GPS navigation applications. Such apps are a must-have for those who walk, leisurely drive or commute. 

Not only are these apps useful, but they also eliminate the chances of getting lost, explore the current location and places nearby, find the best routes, plan visits and even share that information with friends.   

Hence, building a navigation app can be a smart move.

But you might be scratching your head over whether there is room for innovation or what extra-ish you can add to a navigation app except for the navigation. Of course, you can incorporate a bunch of cool things once you and your team put your heads together.

And the Waze navigation app sets the example perfectly. Since the app has raised the bar, in this blog, we have discussed everything about how to make a navigation app like Waze, what kind of app it is, how it works and how much it costs to develop a navigation app like Waze.

The Concept of Waze App

Waze is a free, high-end and community-driven GPS navigation app that comes with a myriad of useful features such as real-time traffic conditions and crowd-sourced social networking. All together, combined with a custom catchy design and cute graphics, is one of the several reasons that make users fall in love with this app.

Also Read | Top Web Design Trends, not to Miss in 2021

most popular mapping app

This is the 2nd top-rated mobile app; Google Maps secures the first rank. The drivers get to use live maps and get real-time traffic updates among other road information. 

Founded in 2007, by 2010 Waze had raised $25 million of funding and a year after – $30 million more. This was followed by 12 million downloads (as of January 2012) and a whopping 20 million users by July 2012. By 2013, the app accounted for over 36 million users worldwide. Impressive right? The figure even impressed Google so much that it bought Waze for a huge amount of billion dollars.

Google continues to manage it as a distinct, community-based GPS navigation app. 

But that’s not all-

  • Waze was the second most popular mapping app in the United States in April 2018.
  • In 2019, Waze has 110 million monthly active users.
  • Waze’s annual revenue is estimated at $37.7 Million.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. What’s the reason behind Waze’s success? Read on to find how it works first. 

How Does Waze Work?

Users around the world use this navigation app to be a good samaritan and help each other find the best route possible by sharing real-time information about traffic conditions, weather conditions, police traps, road repairs, blocked roads, etc. 

What makes Waze different from conventional GPS navigation applications? It is a community-based, participatory app that collects traffic data and map data from its users. The data is analyzed and shared with the other users for them to explore the ultimate routes as per their choice.  

how does waze work

Read | Taxi booking application guide

Furthermore, Waze is the official navigation app for taxi booking apps like Lyft. All you need is an active internet connection to load routes and steer to your destination. You won’t be able to get your location if you are offline. For the data to come to live, you need to have a stable connection. 

What’s So Special About Waze?

By now you know that Waze provides its users with the latest and most accurate data collected from other users in that particular area. There are two ways it collects and shares information:

1- Passive: The point when the app evaluates the vehicle’s speed to inform the traffic jams and suggest the shortest, fastest way to reach the destination.

2- Active: It refers to the situation when users report anything that has the chance of ruining their rides such as car accidents, police posts and road closures. 

The most interesting feature of Waze is that it not just assesses your area but also your destination to present you with the most relevant advertisements. Waze offers advanced features of a navigation app where a local business can assert locations on its maps. This way, the business owner can convey local ads and targeted messages to people who are nearby and seeking a location, particularly in that area. 

Apart from this, Waze users can entertain themselves during the ride by listening to their favourite music from apps like Spotify, as well as podcasts and audio voices to guide themselves, from within the app. 

Users can even arrange carpools to offer rides or find companions. Basically, it has everything a user could want. Keep reading to know all about geolocation app development.

What are the Key Features of a Navigation App like Waze?

Before deciding upon how to make a navigation app, take a look at its core features you can implement. The section also throws light on ‘what technologies are required to build an app like Waze?’  

#1 – Real-time Updates

Waze not only has high-quality satellite images but also provides real-time notifications from other users that result in a valuable user experience.

Users can upload pictures and add notes to provide fellow users with the most accurate data and up-to-date information.

#2 – Authorization

Authorization is one of the basic features of your future navigation app. Once the registration is done, users get a personal account through which they can share reviews and notes to inform and communicate with other users. This builds a sense of trust and surety among users.

Include login features via the email address or social media account. Use tools like Facebook SDK and Twitter Kit to implement social logins.

#3 – Geolocation & Navigation

The map forms the cornerstone of every navigation app to help users navigate to their desired destination. The GPS system locates objects, determines the location and displays the route. 

You may integrate cell ID functionality in your app, as it relies upon the data incoming from mobile operators. Moreover, when you combine GPS and Cell ID, the geolocation services of your navigation app are detailed and error-free. 

Also Read | Cost to develop indoor navigation app

#4 – In-App Messages

In-app messages work wonders to retain the existing users and onboard the new ones. To amp up the style quotient of your app, determine how user messages will be displayed. They can either be sent to a chat or delivered as push notifications when the user enters a particular area or even both.

Some of the best practices for in-app messaging, to ensure its success, includes visually appealing, easy exit, paying attention to metrics, setting up rules to target your in-app messages to the right crowd and consistent in-app messaging experiences across the web & app.

#5 – Voice Assistants

While driving, the eyes need to be on the road and not on the phone. To make sure, drivers do not get distracted by viewing the map again & again and run into a mishap, turn-by-turn voice assistance is integrated into the system. 

Hearing helps the driver move in the right direction without any interruptions. Voice assistance also informs about the traffic alerts. The feature can be turned off manually when not needed.

what technologies do you need to develop navigation app like waze

#6 – Social Networks Integration

Integrating social media platforms boost your app’s visibility and augment your brand reach & awareness. Therefore, it becomes of utmost importance to integrate your app with social media platforms for authentication and seamless login.

The amalgamation of social media elements and navigation is one of the factors that has taken Waze to new heights. Moreover, social network integration eliminates the risks surrounding authentication by taking care of the most possible problems and vulnerabilities.

So if you are on your way to building a similar navigation app, take care of crowdsourcing possibilities and other important features for social integration such as profiles, comments, likes and in-app mail services. Facebook API, Sendbird Chat SDK and Layer SDK could be your best technological stack here.

#7 – Rerouting

As the name suggests, this feature re-routes the driver immediately in case they stumble upon a road blockage due to an accident or construction or make a wrong turn. 

#8 – Payment Services

A GPS navigation app like Waze might include in-app purchases as a part of its monetization strategy. Once your app becomes a hit among the audience and people who provide complementary services (car repairs or gas distribution), you can turn that into a fruitful partnership and earn an additional income.

Follow | Google maps vs Mapbox

#9 – Carpool Service

You must have shared rides with a random person, of course in pre-corona times, who would be going in the same direction as yours. Carpool is one of the most prominent features among cab-service providers like Ola, Uber and Lyft.

Even Waze hasn’t held itself back in including this feature, popularly known as ‘Waze Ryder’. The app allows drivers to get free gas. If a person is going in the same direction as yours, you can see him/her on your screen. Both driver and rider share the gas expense for the destination that is fixed beforehand by Waze. The app automatically charges users’ credit cards/bank accounts.

#10 – Google Calendar Synchronization

Another feasible feature you should consider including in your GPS navigation app is synchronization with Google Calendar to plan trips. When given access to the calendar, the app will list down upcoming appointments with locations. This way, users can open their calendars, tap into the locations and jump right into navigation. 

Recommendations for Developing a Successful GPS Navigation App

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to make a navigation app like Waze:

#1 – Research

Thorough research is key to a successful project. Analyse the market, identify the potential risks and roll out a plan accordingly. We, at Appventurez, create a checklist to outline the key feature, develop a concept that surpasses the industry standards. 

#2 – Documentation

We know the importance of solution architecture and thus, never skip the product documentation. It explains product functionality, combined with detailed project-related information. Since a project requires thorough and detailed planning, everything is finalised and documented at this stage including what tech stack will be used, what will be the timeline, date of release, requirements, team members and other crucial aspects.

The documentation means having the consent of everyone involved and ensuring the final solution meets the stakeholders’ expectations. This avoids surprises during development.

#3 – Development

Next, our skilled IT specialists team takes care of the technical side of the app; back-end, front-end, UI-UX tools and so on. The client is informed and well-communicated about the progress. 

#4 – Deployment

The fully functioning, tested and bug-free app is ready and uploaded to app marketplaces and other working environments for the users to download.

#5 -Support

Since Android and iOS release new updates on a regular basis, we offer post-deployment technical support and app maintenance so that you never miss out on the latest trends and practices. Worried about app maintenance cost? Read our comprehensive guide.

Though we have already discussed some points that need to be considered while developing a Waze-like navigation app, let’s take a glance to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

  • Integration of social media platforms allows users to share their trips and communicate about traffic and other road situations.
  • Handy features such as re-routing to provide an alternative route in an instant.
  • Gamification features to increase user engagement and compel users to come back to the app. For example, you can provide certain points to the users every time they cover a distance. Allow them to redeem those points.
  • Add voice directions to make navigation easier and safer for the driver.
  • Keep the UI/UX design fresh, simple yet creative. The design should not be confusing for the user when they are looking for buttons and search lines.

There you go! We have covered almost everything you need to develop a GPS navigation app like Waze. so, pull up your sleeves to build a navigation app 10x as good as Waze.

How Appventurez can Help you with the Development of a GPS Navigation App?

The era of the compass is over. The navigation apps are ruling the market. We believe that if you have reached the bottom, you would have a solid business idea for the next record-shattering navigation app. 

Follow the recommendations given and get an app rolling. 

Furthermore, if you need the assistance of a mobile app development company, we are just a call or email away. Our team consists of professionals who combine the best tech tools to deliver a top-notch app effectively. 

We also specialise in creating exclusive and result-worthy marketing and SEO strategies to make sure your product gets noticed!

lets discuss on gps navigation app like waze


Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

A technocrat and an entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and Chief Delivery Head at Appventurez. Skilled in object-oriented programming (OOP), iOS Development, Design Principles, Data Structures, and Swift, he has served different organizations as Tech Lead.

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