Although Apple Maps has its charm (I find Apple’s Maps app a little more accurate with its traffic information), Google Maps is still people’s go-to application of choice when it comes to turn-by-turn navigation apps.
It has been a long asked question for many newly adopted CarPlay owners – Will Google release CarPlay support for its Google Maps application? Well, that all depends on a number of factors – So let’s look at the ‘possible’ or the surefire ‘no-ways’ of Google Maps appearing on Apple’s CarPlay platform. Who is to blame…
Apple, simply doesn’t want it there
Apple is the gatekeeper of what appears on its CarPlay platform. After all, they are the only company that will ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ any developer’s new application or update (such as Google Maps) from appearing on their App Store. So why would Apple stop Google from offering CarPlay support in a future update? It’s simple – competition – competition with Apple’s own Maps app, which is already the only turn-by-turn navigation app on CarPlay.
Love it or hate it, Apple Maps is pretty much here to stay as the sole navigation app on CarPlay, and without Apple letting its guard down, I doubt we will see any street-navigation applications releasing on CarPlay any time soon. Perhaps in a few months, when competition heats up, Apple might change their tune on the subject and loosen their grip on what they allow on their CarPlay platform. We could be in for a long wait, however.
Google doesn’t want it there either
One angle could be that perhaps Google hasn’t even tried to update its Maps app with CarPlay support. But why wouldn’t they, you ask? Well two words – Google Auto – Apple’s competitor for the car entertainment space.
If Google can keep its highly-adopted Maps app for its own Android-based car platform, that will surely give them the ability to sell more Google Auto supported devices, no? Well, yes and no really…
Google is partly a data driven company. So letting iOS users loose on the roads with Googles’s own CarPlay supported Maps app would help enhance its own road and traffic data. Remember, Google bought user-driven traffic app – Waze – so the more people using its own Maps app, the more traffic data is being fed into their service and the more accurate Google’s own Maps app gets. So why wouldn’t they include iOS users to their data-driven cause?
CarPlay vs Google Auto – Round 1 – Fight!
Apple’s CarPlay and Google Auto is still at its early adoption stage. Over the coming months, both parties will be fighting to get a foothold in, what appears to be, a new domain for them both. With more manufactures and aftermarket systems choosing to support both platforms for their 2015 line-up, I am sure we will start to see some cross-platform sinergy between both platforms. It won’t be long until Google and Apple acknowledge that there is room for both to capitalise on the software side of this problem, and overall sell more hardware units as a result.
Limiting the availability of certain apps on each platform can only do more harm than good for the long term potential of each of their own platforms, so I am certain this is just an early ‘stand-off’ phase for both companies, as they both fight hardware release and firmware update in their new venture into the car entertainment market.
As more new vehicles and aftermarket stereos support both platforms, I am sure we will start to see the competition between them both return to software and application support. Just like we have seen with tablets and mobile phones: the more quality software and integration with our own personal life and online services, the more likely we are to be won over them.
So where the blame might be with Apple at this current time of writing, in a few months we might be pointing our finger at Google as to why we’re still waiting for its Maps app to appear on CarPlay. However, if Google leave it to long, Apple might have enough time to iron out the creases with its own Maps app and offer an even stronger claim to the navigation app crown, and make this whole ‘will it, won’t it’ concern less much of an issue for CarPlay owners.