Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both go a long way to combatting distracted driving. They mimic your smartphone screen on your car’s infotainment screen reducing the temptation to pick up your phone when you’re at the wheel. Functionality includes navigation, but Apple has long avoided adding two popular options. That’s about to change as Waze and Google Maps come to Apple CarPlay.
Apple Maps has never been particularly good. Ask anyone with an iPhone and they likely have more than one story about how they were led astray by Apple Maps. Although you can easily open Waze or Google Maps on the iPhone, that isn’t the case when you plug in your phone to use Apple CarPlay in your vehicle.
The attempt to force everyone into using Apple Maps never really worked. The solution, despite being unsafe, was to open exactly the navigation interface you preferred and stick your phone in your cupholder or somewhere propped in the center console where you could easily see the screen. Not an ideal solution to the problem, but it worked.
At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, Apple broke the news this is about to change. The iOS 12 update will let users choose third-party navigation apps including Waze and Google Maps when they need directions.
This doesn’t put Apple ahead of the curve, but rather brings it up to speed with Android Auto, which already has these abilities. Some iPhone users were so frustrated they were considering switching to Android devices, so this move comes not a moment too soon.
There is, of course, the option to go with the navigation system already available through your car’s infotainment system. Some of these OEM navigation systems are good, some are horrible, but they’re almost never as updated or as easy to use as Waze and Google Maps. Waze is also popular for its real-time notifications of things like speed cameras, radar traps, and any issues on your drive route.
If you’re thinking this will make your summer road trip a breeze, think again. This was just an announcement regarding future updates. We won’t see iOS 12 until later this year around September. In the meantime, good luck using Apple Maps.