I like Apple Maps. It synchs with my calendar. The user interface is simple. It provides me with alerts when there’s a faster route. It’s perfect.
My husband, Marc, prefers Waze. He insists it finds the best route and saves him time.
But I detest Waze. I don’t like the gamified nature of it. When I’m driving, I don’t want to be prompted to press the screen to let others know if there’s still detritus on the road or a police officer looking for speeders. My hands — and everyone else’s — need to be on the steering wheel and my eyes — and everyone else’s — need to be on the road!
Marc insists one doesn’t have to engage with the pop ups, but the very nature of them distracts me. Quite frankly, I think there’s too much happening on the screen — and with the navigation voice. (More on that later.)
On the way up to my in-laws’ house, Marc told me he needed me to drive a little before 1 p.m. since he needed to attend a virtual meeting. Given the time and where we’d be at 1 p.m., I wasn’t thrilled. I knew I’d be driving through Northern NJ, as well as Rockland and Westchester Counties. Of course, I would “need” to use Waze because I’d be driving over the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Don’t come at me about the fact that that’s not the name anymore. It’ll always be the Tap, rather than the Mario Cuomo Bridge, to me.) Waze would give us the heads-up about potential traffic into Connecticut. In my husband’s mind, Waze is a necessity while driving in the NY Metropolitan Area.
I acquiesced and fired up the Waze app on my phone. (Truth: I had to download it again. I detest it so much that I deleted it from my iPhone.) And that began the most stressful 80 minutes of my day.
I got onto 287N at the point where it’s four lanes of traffic across. It was as if every maniac driver was out on the road. There were tailgaters, lane-changers who didn’t signal, and reckless drivers who dramatically zip from one side of the highway to the other without a care for other people’s lives.
To make matters worse, Waze felt the need to give me every freaking piece of information about our route whenever possible. Waze told me every possible thing I could do when exiting. Case in point: Look at the amount of directions on the screen!
“Take the right lane to I-87 South/NY State Thruway South/I-287 South/Mario Cuomo Bridge/New York City” is just too freaking much. Apple Maps would never overload me with info like that!
AND ANOTHER THING! I had to keep the kids quiet while dealing with all of this craziness. Seeing as that was about three hours into the trip, I had to make a deal. “If you are quiet while Daddy is on his call, then I’ll give you the iPad to share once he’s off.” They took the deal. By the grace of G-d, they were quiet.
The only positive of the whole driving experience today was listening to Handel’s Water Music softly while I drove.
Luckily, Marc got off of his call in Westchester County. I took the second exit to Hartsdale and got out of the car to change places with him. No way was I going to drive on the narrow lanes of Merritt Parkway with Waze!
Now I’m in the passenger seat. The kids are taking turns with the iPad. Marc is driving us on the Merritt Parkway. We are sitting in slow moving traffic. Not even Waze can help us get around this always-present traffic. Whatever. At least I can relax now.