In June 2013, I started using waze to get around constant traffic and to find new routes to various places. Around October, there was an update which seemed innocuous at the time. However, the reality is the ads started popping up for local businesses in proximity or along the route to where I was. This in itself wasn’t quite so bad, as I realize Waze (and the phone company, and police, ad companies, etc) already knew where I am, exactly. And they know where I’ll be shortly. Seems a smart way for advertisers to hit up locals. There were two problems with this however. The first is you cannot opt-out of the ads. I would pay money to not see ads and keep my data private (at least private with waze). The second is the ads completely screwed up the map display. The screwed up map display meant quitting the app (mostly force quitting it since it was non-responsive) and then restarting it. This sounds innocuous until you try to do it while driving.
As of December 2013, I gave up. I uninstalled it. I couldn’t find a way to delete my account and remove my data. I was at the top 1% of drivers in the state, and had whatever the highest gamification rank there was at the time.
I ended up installing OsmAnd. Ok, really I installed OsmAnd~ from f-droid, but eh, details. It works great. It lacks the real-time traffic routing, but I don’t really miss it. Also includes bicycle and pedestrian features.
originally published at wiki.lewman.is