Google Maps is now available on Apple’s CarPlay following the launch of iOS 12, allowing third-party developers to make navigation apps for CarPlay.
Until now, Apple Maps was the only CarPlay compatible navigation app.
Besides confirming that the app was coming at the iOS 12 announcement event in March, Google was very quiet about when its main navigation app was going to receive a CarPlay update. Now, version 5.0 is available to download on iOS.
When Google Maps is in CarPlay mode it follows Apple’s design rules, but it still maintains some of Google’s signature colours. This means that the information boxes on the left of the screen look the same as Apple Maps, but the actual map looks different.
Introducing Google Maps on CarPlay. Now you can get the best of Maps from iOS, right in your car → https://t.co/mA6VxxSlOA pic.twitter.com/5ogDDTsrdK
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) September 18, 2018
One of the more fascinating features of the update is how Google Maps handles the GPS view in CarPlay. When the in-car version of Maps is running it keeps the camera locked behind the driver icon. Maps in Android Auto rotates the camera around the driver icon to display more of the road ahead. It seems that Google has made this change to comply with Apple’s design guidelines, or it could be testing an alternative GPS screen.
If a user is running Google Maps’ navigation on their phone and moves to the car it remembers the route and continues the directions in CarPlay.
Google’s made sure that offline support works in CarPlay too. Whenever a user downloads a section of Maps, they can use it later without any data. The feature supports turn-by-turn navigation as well, so as long as a user pre-downloads their maps, they should never get lost again.
Google’s other mapping app Waze is also coming to CarPlay soon.