Following Apple’s WWDC announcement of expanded third-party support for CarPlay automotive displays, Google today added CarPlay support to its crown jewel on iOS: Google Maps. The app has continued to be popular with iOS users despite Apple’s introduction of a competing and evolving mapping application six years ago.
Now publicly available in the iOS App Store, version 5.0 of Google Maps features the company’s own map data and material design language. It also enables users to get Google-optimized directions and locate points of interest not found on Apple’s maps, including locations synchronized from Google account data, such as home, work, and contact addresses.
For the time being, Google Maps on CarPlay notably omits Siri-powered voice control. You can, however, access Google’s own voice search functionality. In a feature that might tempt some Apple Maps users, Google Maps continues to include support for downloading free maps of a given area, enabling you to have map access even when you’re not online.
CarPlay support is the only marquee new feature in version 5.0 of Google Maps, and arrives after a post-WWDC beta testing period that hopefully eliminated any navigation-related bugs. Google’s Waze app, which integrates user-submitted traffic reports into maps, is currently in beta for CarPlay and expected to be released in the near future.