Tech Talk: Which navigation app is most helpful on the roads?


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — All this week, Good Morning Richmond is taking a closer look at the technology we use in our everyday lives.

With so many navigation apps out there to help you get around, how do you know which is best for you? The ladies of Good Morning Richmond tested a few of them out to see how they compare.

Evanne Armour used Apple Maps, Katie Dupree used Waze and Amanda Malkowski fired up her old GPS. They set off from the station on Arboretum Parkway near Midlothian Turnpike and headed to Nordstrom at Short Pump Town Center.

All three methods of navigation directed the ladies a different way as the best route.

Apple Maps told Evanne to take the Powhite and 64W. Waze routed Katie from the Powhite to 288N. And Amanda’s GPS told her to take Robious Road to 288N.

Evanne and Katie were scheduled to arrive a solid five minutes before Amanda.

But Katie ended up getting to the destination first — four minutes before Evanne. Waze routed her around a crash that Apple Maps didn’t even pick up on. Evanne sat in traffic for a few minutes while Katie avoided it all together. Katie arrived right on time.


That’s one of the pros of Waze. It’s community-based, so drivers can share what they’re seeing on the roads in real time. The app collects that information to predict the quickest route.

A con? The screen can get cluttered with icons if there is a lot going on. Some drivers report being distracted by that. Also, the community reporting can be less beneficial in areas that are not highly populated.


A pro of Apple Maps is that, if you have an iPhone, you already have it. The app comes pre-loaded. Users say the screen is clear and the step-by-step directions are easy to read.

A con? Users complain about incorrect left turns and U-turns and that some of the mapping is off, sometimes leading them to the wrong place.


As for the GPS like Amanda was using, a pro is that you probably have one tucked away in your glove box. You don’t need internet access to use it and can likely be able to charge it right there in your car. If you’re looking to avoid eating away at data on your cell phone, you might reach for a GPS instead of an app.

A con? You have to keep the maps updated. Just because a route is the shortest in distance doesn’t mean it’ll be the shortest with traffic.

We want to know what tool you have found to be the most helpful on the roads. Click HERE to vote in our 8News Daily Poll.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to

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