Technical Tips


How Can I Use Waze as Standalone GPS Device


Waze as Standalone GPS

Google Waze is my favorite GPS app that I am using for last 3 years. I wish if somebody could launch a Waze Standalone GPS device in the market. Unfortunately, there is no standalone Waze GPS device so far.

However, we have a solution for those who are looking for a Waze GPS Device that can rest on their Car Dash as a stand alone.

As we mentioned before, there are many benefits of switching from a dedicated GPS device to Tablet devices. Please refer this article if you want to know more details about Benefits of GPS Tablets Over Dedicated GPS Devices.

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The best thing about Waze, it is a community driven app where users can report road hazards and other incidents that can see real-time on Waze Map for other users.

The developers backed up by Google are implementing exciting features in every release and that I why I never think about any other GPS App for my phone other than Waze.

How to Setup a Standalone Waze GPS?

Well, the idea is to use any one of your old Tablet that is resting over your shelf for a long time. This can be an Android tablet or old versions of iPad device too. Please make sure your iOS or the Android OS version is supporting to download latest version of Waze from iTunes / Google Play store.

Benefit of using Standalone Waze GPS

So the benefit of using dedicated Tablets for GPS is you don’t need to change the program or attend the calls on your tablet. You can use your Smart phone for calling or messaging. You never distract from MAP since your tablet is displaying the routes on the tablet. Location based apps like Waze or Google MAP tend to use your battery power more than other apps. A tablet with car charger will keep your battery up on both devices.

What Type of Tablet Best for Waze?

We recommend to use a cheaper Android tablet with 7 inches or more screen size and better resolution. The tablet can be Wi-Fi based, that is way cheaper that cellular models. We listed best non cellular built in GPS tablets that you can refer if you don’t have one now.

For iPad users, Apple is shipping iPads without built in GPS. So if you want to use iPads for Waze Standalone GPS, then you have to go for an external GPS chip that power up your iPad as a GPS device. Unfortunately we couldn’t find out an external GPS sensor for iPad, and we like to proceed with Android tablets here.

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If you can get a built in GPS tablet that will be great. Please see the best list of GPS based tablet that you can choose from. But if you have a regular one without an internal GPS, don’t go for a new one. There are plenty of external GPS devices available in the market that you can buy and connect to your non GPS tablet. We see one GPS Receiver from Amazon GlobalSat ND-105C Micro USB that requires an Android device to have “USB Host” support & “PL2303 GPSInfo” app for Android to function.

Note: We never tested this GPS sensor in our lab, so we recommend to research further when you chose the GPS sensor).

Setup Waze with Android Tablet as Stand Alone

I used my old Android 2013 Nexus Tablets that already has built in GPS. I connected my tablet to Wi-Fi and installed Waze app from Google Play Store Link.

Waze GPS Android Install

Once you get Waze installed on my Tablet and downloaded the updates and extra language files. Now I have to fix this tablet on my Car dash, that you can buy a tablet mount holder from Amazon.

Now you can set this Waze GPS on your Car Dash Camera. Now the next challenge is to let your Waze connect online while you drive. This is only applicable for those who have a Wi-Fi based tablet. If you have a tablet with cellular connection, then you don’t have to worry about the step here, just bother about your monthly data bill -:).

Setup Hotspot on Android or iPhone

So the best solution to connect Waze tablet to the external world is your smart phone. You can use your iPhone / Android as a hot spot to connect your tablet while you drive. For iPhone; Go to iOS Settings > Personal Hotspot > Turn On > Set Wi-Fi password.

iOS Android Hotspot Setup

For Android, Goto Android Settings > Personal Hotspot > Portable hotspot – Enable > Setup WiFi hotspot. Now depend on your smartphone, they start to share the network connection.

Now Go back to Android Tablet, Wi-Fi Settings > Select Phone Wi-Fi > Enter Password to connect. Now you can connect your Waze map online, give updates and road hazards while you drive.

Android Connect Hotspot

Now you can enjoy a perfect Stand Alone Waze GPS device on your car dash cam. To save your data plan, I recommend to connect the tablet to hotspot only when you want to enjoy the features of Waze while sitting behind the wheels.

Waze Android App

However, if you want to use Waze GPS App without consuming from your data plan, please see our workaround to Get Waze and Google Map Offline to Save Mobile Data.

What will happen to Waze if I Run Out of Data?

Waze is able to save your route information in cache memory. So you will be fine once you set your routes on Wi-Fi or data plan before it run out. Just in case, if you want to add a stop or reroute to a different  location, then you may stuck with Waze message “Waiting for network”.

Waze Offline

This is an alternative for those who want to use Waze standalone GPS device. This workaround may cost data usage from your smart phone. If you have data usage restrictions, then the solution is to go for an Offline Map or shop a dedicated GPS.



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