Doing something interesting with your Insane Audio head unit? This is the place to share!
1 post • Page 1 of 1
When Waze was first released, I didn’t take it seriously because of its playful cartoon aesthetic and animations. I thought it must not be a real, reliable navigation solution with goofy cartoon characters and road “candy.” I was wrong, now I love Waze, and I’m not the only one. Waze is the most widely used traffic and navigation app in the world (with nearly 100 million monthly active users) and the playful aesthetic is all part of their goal to make getting from point “A” to point “B,” fun and easy. Large buttons, subtle animations and careful use of bright colors make the app exceptionally easy to use when driving. And easy to use, means safer for everyone on the road.
Waze also allows voice input for search and discourages drivers from typing by presenting a warning dialogue if it detects if the car is in motion. By taking advantage of crowdsourced data, Waze is the ultimate driving app. Users quickly become contributors or “Wazers” with an interface that makes reporting various items including traffic, police, crashes, road hazards, closures, etc. a breeze.
It’s all the little things layered on top of a very functional app that makes Waze such a delight. For example, Waze allows you to connect your social media accounts, why you might ask? When you stop at a stoplight, you might receive a friendly “beep” through the app from a far-away friend who also happens to be driving and using Waze also, and of course you can send a “beep” back.
The only problem with Waze is that it doesn’t work offline. Most of the time this isn’t an issue, but when you start to get into more rural areas, places where you could really use some navigation assistance, you might find yourself needing something more than Waze. This is where Insane NavEngine comes in. While NavEngine can’t (and never will) compete with the crowdsourced data Waze offers, NavEngine enables completely offline navigation, no matter how far from civilization you may find yourself. NavEngine works offline by design; all Insane Audio units come with a premium quality GPS antenna and map data for the entire U.S. and Canada onboard. That means you never have to download maps for specific areas or worry about remembering to download a map before you lose service. It’s all there, including trail maps, 3D topography, points of interest, and all kinds of other powerful features, like the ability to navigate to gas stations (or breweries) along your current route.
Waze + Insane NavEngine
So, which app should you use? Well, we use both Waze and NavEngine… at the same time. That’s right, first we open Waze, enter our destination and begin navigation with Waze. Then hit the NAVI button to open Insane NavEngine, enter the destination and begin navigation. Why use both? It’s actually a completely complimentary setup, well worth the extra seconds it takes to enter the destination again. We like the 3D topographic view and offline navigation of Insane NavEngine, but we also like the up-to-the-minute traffic and police warnings from Waze. For example: driving from our hometown here in June Lake, CA on the Eastside of the Sierra Nevada range to almost anywhere else involves driving through areas without cell service, like Yosemite National Park, when we’re heading to the SF Bay Area. In these beautiful, rural areas, NavEngine has you covered with offline navigation and stunning 3D topography. Yes, 3D topography means El Cap is more than a dot on the map, it’s a 3000-foot-tall sea of granite, rendered in 3D, in the HD screen in your dash. Isn’t the 21st century neat?
Once you leave the park and start to enter more urban areas where traffic can really affect your ETA, Waze is already assessing the situation and providing alternative routes as necessary. Waze is completely compatible with our products and will fade down your music volume to give traffic or speed trap alerts, as well as turn-by-turn directions. Speaking of music, did you know that pressing the NAVI button will toggle between Insane NavEngine and the previous app? This means, if you open your preferred music app first, and then press the NAVI button, now you can switch between navigation and music with a single press of the NAVI button. Or use this same functionality to switch between Waze and Insane NavEngine.
With this winning combo, you probably won’t need any other traffic or navigation solutions, but hey, we’re Insane Audio, so we’ll give you the rundown on a few more options and let you decide.
With Google’s latest Maps app, you can view traffic without starting navigation. This is a pretty nice feature, especially if you haven’t nailed down exactly where you’re heading yet, and in cities, let’s be honest, traffic can certainly be a deciding factor as to where you are going… or aren’t going. Rather than just getting traffic info on a selected route, you can now view current traffic conditions for an entire area. To view traffic, just tap the layers icon, on the top right of the map screen and select “Traffic.” You can also access Google Maps “Traffic” with one tap by adding the shortcut widget to your home screen – simply find “Driving Mode” in your widget library (keep swiping left in your apps list) and place the widget wherever you like by tapping on holding on it.
This navigation and traffic app recently added functionality for users to contribute traffic information like Waze, but it’s hard to imagine they will be able to match Waze’s community growth. While the interface is not as clean as Waze, Inrix does provide some valuable features to help you navigate and avoid traffic. The default view is like that of Google Maps with the traffic layer enabled, showing a green to red spectrum of traffic congestion. They also offer the option to display other layers such as accidents, closures, hazards, construction, police and traffic cameras.
One unique feature Inrix offers is a “Traffic Forecast.” This feature allows users to select a time in the future and see predicted traffic conditions. Pretty cool idea for trip planning, however, when using the app, I noticed their traffic forecast for the Bay Area at 4:30PM on a weekday seemed highly optimistic in my opinion/experience. This app also offers a parking feature called “ParkMe” that helps users find and pay for the perfect spot, in over 4,000 cities, 67 countries and 7 continents, impressive numbers, Inrix.
All the apps covered here are free, and offer automatic night mode with adjusted colors for nighttime driving. While we’re pretty stoked on the Waze + Insane NavEngine combo for traffic and navigation, maybe you’ll find another killer combo that works better for your specific needs, maybe it’s something really cool that we don’t even know about. If so, be sure to share your setup here… this forum is a safe place, where you can feel free to share your feelings... Think of this forum as nest in a tree of trust and understanding. In any case, drive safe, beat the traffic and enjoy the journey!