Awful search behavior

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Awful search behavior

Postby apurohit8 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:46 am

When trying to get to an address via Waze (Android), the search system seems to completely lose its mind and provide unhelpful results. For example:

If I click on an address within a calendar entry (eg "500 Research Dr, Wilmington, MA") I am asked which app to use, so I choose Waze. Waze then does a search, and instead of using this address, the first result is "Wilington Ave, Springfield, MA". In this case, the second is the correct location, but often the other results aren't much better. (I can provide screenshots if needed). When this happens, I can't even tell what the "correct" address was, so I have to go back, remember it, then go back into Waze so I know which one to choose. Why am I getting nonsense results instead of the address I provided?!

Another example, if I try to get directions from the Yelp app, for example, the address is not properly loaded by Waze and it just ends up sticking a pin in some location that is unrecognizable to me. I have to go back to Yelp, look in the map, and then come back to Waze to see if it's right or even close. Or, I go back to Yelp, remember the address, and type it in manually into Waze. Why can't Waze "read" or see the address properly?

Both of these make using Waze VERY annoying. It used to work beautifully (back in the 3.x days, I imagine) but it's been like this for quite a long time now. Am I doing something wrong?
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Re: Awful search behavior

Postby bgodette » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:08 am

You're using separate apps and passing Navigation Intents to a navigation app of your choosing (that's the "which app to use"), and not doing the search natively in Waze. What's passed to Waze in the first case appears to be an address, based on your described behavior, but how it's formatted is completely up to the sending app and could be formatted in a way that confuses Waze.

In the second case, Yelp, it's passing just a GPS location to the Navigation Intent, the only thing Waze can do, or any other navigation app, is route you as close as possible to that point. Complain to Yelp to stop being unhelpful and pass addresses instead, because they're often wrong on location.

The second case is unfortunately a very common problem and is the cause of almost all "bad routing" issues, and there's nothing that can be done about it beyond having the sending app fixed to send street addresses instead of GPS locations.
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Re: Awful search behavior

Postby apurohit8 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:04 pm

I hear what you're saying. I agree with you on the Yelp issue, and will certainly write to them. I did notice that Maps provides directions to the location "immediately" while Waze just pops a pin there so I can't tell if it's right or even close (particularly given the poor directions on the other issue). Again, I'll write them, since it's just silly how they don't provide proper info... totally agree with that.

As for the calendar issue, Google Calendar is the standard calendar in Android, so it's not some "other" or "crazy" app... and Waze can't seem to decipher the address? That is not a valid excuse. Again, Maps gets it right, so the data is being provided in a reasonable manner there, it's just that Waze isn't recognizing it. If this were some other app, then I'd say, sure, we should talk to that app maker... but this is the standard Google Calendar, so it should be handled properly, especially given that Maps gets it right. In other words, the data is being presented, so Waze needs to update itself to understand this format, since it's the most common calendar app on the platform.

Along with this, I would also recommend that Waze should tell you what search address was used, so that you can at least see what the user asked for. For example, in this calendar example, there is a complete address... but when you get to the Waze screen, you don't know what the searched address was, so you can't tell which result is correct or not. Simply providing the search terms will allow the user to see what they asked for, and then better-choose the proper result (since Waze can't seem to figure it out).

Ideally, BOTH of these should be addressed in Waze, but one or the other would fix the problem. Still, it's helpful to let the user see what was searched for, so that they can make an informed decision instead of having to go back to another app to figure out if the results are correct.

Again, I agree with you on the Yelp issue. But I for the calendar one, I think there is much to be improved... and that's what I would like Waze to address, which is why I am writing about it here.
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