Before any trip, we like to research. Where’s the best place to eat, pick up a decent coffee on the way, other interesting points of interest and more.
Google Maps makes this easy. Research online, add a new folder to your places and start saving pointers along your intended route. When you land, simply refer to Google Maps and navigate to your saved locations. Easy. Well, it would be if your hire car enabled you to use Google Maps.
Google Maps for iOS 5.0 is here and it brings full CarPlay support via iOS 12 and this is a ‘big deal’ for us. When Apple announced iOS 12, they made one huge change to CarPlay, where third-party apps could integrate, rather than the standard Apple-only apps you received in earlier versions. This always meant you were stuck with Apple Maps via CarPlay and who uses Apple Maps?
What Google Maps 5 now offers is a full mapping and navigation from your car’s display. Sadly it doesn’t quite offer full iOS support, yet. For example, you can’t use Siri to control the navigation whilst you are driving and this could be an issue in countries such as the UK, where you are now legally unable to touch your phone whilst driving. You’ll need to setup navigation until your destination point, then set it up again next time you’re about to set off.
Setting up Google Maps for CarPlay is relatively easy. It will only work with iOS 12, so make sure you have the latest OS installed on your iOS device. Open Settings, go General and then CarPlay. You’ll see your vehicle listed. Make sure this is selected and available.
Next, you need to make sure Google Maps is on your device homepage for your vehicle. Simply drag the app to the main set of icons, so it will appear on your car’s display and make sure ‘Use CarPlay While locked’ is enabled.
Once setup, you can quickly find your saved places from your Google Maps account, search for the nearest gas station, look back at recent searches and much more. Most important of all, you receive Google’s mapping system for navigating your way and most people trust this over Apple’s own map technology.
If you prefer Google’s Waze app for navigating, this is coming to CarPlay, too. Currently in beta, the app is expected later this month.
Download Google Maps for iOS 5.0.