Right before I went offline on Tuesday night, Apple approved a new version of the Google Maps app for iOS that added CarPlay support. This is something I’ve been waiting for since March 2016, when I got my new car with Apple CarPlay. Now that it is out, I am happy but a bit underwhelmed.
I installed it and drove home from work using it and while it was the first time I was using Google Maps with the new CarPlay user interface, it was a bit lacking of what Apple Maps has. I suspect it will take time for Google Maps to learn and improve but it is missing some features I’d like to see.
The main thing I am excited about is the search feature – I cannot tell you how many times I use Apple Maps and try to find a location using a keyword search and it simply fails. Google Maps is not only way better at finding locations based on keyword search, I also trust it more that it will send me to the right location. Apple Maps has a history of sending me to a location that existed two years ago but is no longer there. 🙁
I do wish Google Maps would predict my commute, like Apple Maps does, when I get in the car. And tell me immediately how long it will take for me to get home or to work. I think it will do that over time, I think I’ve seen screen shots of Google Maps doing this on CarPlay. I am just surprised it doesn’t do it for me. Maybe because I am a Google Apps Suite user?
I also which it had overview mode, so I can just see an overview of the trip as I drive and not turn by turn navigation. This is something Apple Maps has. I love using overview mode when I drive somewhere I know where I am going. Just so I can see the traffic and where the slow downs are before I get there. Also, I like the ETA overview in Apple Maps overview mode.
Here are some screen shots of me driving with Google Maps on Carplay:
Here are the settings:
Honestly, not that much there – but it works. I suspect Google will quickly be releasing small updates to bring it up to speed with Apple Maps and surpass it quickly. I also cannot wait to try out Waze, when it is released.
I am a heavy maps user when I am in the car – so I am eager to try them all.
Forum discussion at Twitter.