How to: Enable Google Maps Navigation On Apple CarPlay

Published On April 21, 2016 | How To

Since its launch on iOS 6, Apple has improved their Maps app over the years, but it still doesn’t cut it when you compare it to Google’s own Maps app. Sadly, Apple has monopolised navigation apps in on its CarPlay platform with their own Maps app (and who can blame them).

With this simple CarPlay How to guide, you can get Google Maps app navigation audio coming through your CarPlay system whilst maintaining full functionality of other CarPlay services, such as Siri, calling, messaging, listening to music apps and more.

Follow these simple steps to get Google Maps working alongside your Apple CarPlay apps:

  1. First enter the ‘Settings’ app.
  2. Select ‘General’ settings.
    2. Settings General
  3. Select ‘Background App Refresh’ settings.
    3. Settings General Background App Refresh Option
  4. Make sure ‘Background App Refresh’ has its switch set to the On (green) position.
    4. Settings General Background App Refresh Setting
  5. Scroll down to Google Maps and make sure the switch is set to the On (green) position.
    5. Settings General Background App Refresh Google Maps
  6. Next go back to the ‘Settings’ first screen and scroll down to ‘Privacy’ settings.6. Settings Privacy Option
  7. Select ‘Location Services’ settings.
    7. Settings Privacy Location Services Setting
  8. Make sure ‘Location Services’ is set to the On (green) position.
    8. Settings Privacy Locations Services Setting
  9. Scroll down on this screen to ‘Google Maps’ and make sure it is set to ‘While Using’.
    9. Settings Privacy Location Services Google Maps
  10. If the last step isn’t set correctly, tap on it and select it from the sub screen.
    10. Settings Google Maps Location Services
  11. Now connect your iPhone to your CarPlay system and open the Google Maps app on your iPhone (Note: it will not be on the CarPlay display).
    Google Maps App Icon

  12. On your iPhone, select the location you like directions for and start the turn-by-turn navigation by pressing the start navigation button in Google Maps.
    Google Maps App Start
  13. With your navigation started, you can now navigate away from Google Maps and start any other CarPlay enabled app. Google Maps will now run in the background, uninterrupted, and it will alert you with directions over any CarPlay app without closing it.


Avoid app switching too much, because the Google Maps app has to keep running in the background, and should any CarPlay apps take up too much memory on your iPhone, the Google Maps app has a strong chance of being automatically closed by the iOS system.

This work around isn’t as good as having true Google Maps navigation running on your CarPlay display, but if you run all your routes and contacts through Google Maps than Apple’s own Maps app, this is the next best thing. Have full control of CarPlay apps whilst being navigated by Google Maps in the background.

This work around also works with any other navigation apps, such as Waze navigation app.

[Thanks: Redmondpie and @Djonesy410 for the tip]

16 Responses to How to: Enable Google Maps Navigation On Apple CarPlay

  1. Dave says:

    I wish I’d read to the bottom first to see what the outcome was.

    I followed every step, excitedly ready to hop into my car to test out Google Maps Navigation – what a steaming pile of ****. The worst example of absolute nonsense click-bait I’ve seen in ages.

    Two main problems, firstly the use of English is terrible. It should either be ‘Enable Google Maps Navigation….’ or ‘Google Maps Navigation Enabled on…’.
    Secondly and most importantly, Google Maps Navigation will not be ‘enabled’ following this how to.
    Please remove this post, it completely undermines any trust or credibility this website may have once had.

  2. CarPlay Life says:

    Thanks for your views and constructive option Dave.

    You do have Google Maps audio navgiation ‘enabled’ through your CarPlay system? Would you have ‘tried’ these steps to see if it worked for your own personal situation if it just said ‘navigation audio’? I highly doubt it, so I don’t see the title being misleading, because it is all a matter of interpretation and how you use turn-by-turn navigation, sometimes guided, sometime audio only, everyone is different Dave.

    I am sorry you didn’t read the whole post before diving into the How to steps. I have now added audio into the pre-leading text before the following steps.

    Let’s hope Google Maps works ‘fully’ with Apple CarPlay in the future, but I highly doubt it will be any time soon, if ever on this platform, but for some users who have their lives embedded in the Google platform, and they would like to at lease use the service through their CarPlay system, this is for those guys and gals. 🙂

    • Dave says:

      Understood. I guess as someone who always mutes any Sat Nav (so that it doesn’t interfere with music/podcasts) I was just very disappointed – I still feel that the title of this post over promises and the content completely under-delivers!

      However – I accept that everyone is different and some may be very pleased to have the voice navigation from Google Maps coming through whilst they use other CarPlay features.

      My frustration comes from having found this site very informative and extremely helpful when trying to decide whether to replace my stock head unit with an aftermarket CarPlay one.

      Having built up a lot of trust and credibility in my humble opinion, I just feel that this article (and the very similar Waze post) are misleading and undermine the credibility you’ve clearly worked very hard to establish.

      If the title was “How To: Enable Google Maps Navigation (Audio Only)…” then I’d have known exactly what to have expected. At that point I’d have recognized that it’s a clever work-around for some, but not relevant for me personally. I guess I just resent the implication that the current title clearly suggests.

      Anyhow, still far more useful (and correctly titled!!) posts here than otherwise, so keep up the good work!

      • Ben Kitching says:

        I agree with you to be honest Dave, I was extremely excited to see this pop up in my regular googling to see if Apple Support Google Maps on Carplay…. I experienced a similar level of disappointment when I clicked through and read that it was audio only.

        I guess this may be useful to some people but the title is sure to get a lot of clicks from people who won’t find it useful.

        Like you I mute any Sat Nav so that I can have audio playing. I guess this may be useful to others who use it differently but I definitley feel misled by the title.

    • Jeffrey Davis says:

      To suggest you can “enable” Google Maps or Waze for CarPlay is totally misleading — and you know it. You’re baiting people into clicking into a how-to guide that merely enables audio from these apps, not the DISPLAY, which is the central feature of the entire CarPlay platform. You should change the headlines and be upfront with readers about what you’re really “enabling” them to do.

  3. Jeffrey Davis says:

    This is a very misleading set of “guides” here. Waze and Google Maps are not “enabled” for CarPlay if they can’t be displayed on screen. Baiting people to click on stuff like this reflects poorly on you, and this site. I won’t be coming back.

  4. Jesse Bland says:

    Misleading clickbait article.

  5. gerardw says:

    Thanks for this.

  6. boogaert says:

    hmmm… at each voice instruction it interrupts my car audio, so that is good, but after the instruction it remains interrupted untill I manually choose car audio (eg. Radio) again… after next instruction the same… anybody a solution?

  7. Fred Davenport says:

    Waze, Waze, Waze PLEASE!

  8. Fahad Al-Riyami says:

    Ugh. I was especially disappointed because I’ve successfully avoided clickbait for so long only to fall into this trap. Well, at least I know better now and will be avoiding this site going forward.

  9. phinn says:

    This workaround is pathetic. Android Auto is so much better because it lets you choose. Apple’s smugness has ruined CarPlay.

  10. Sharon Gayle says:

    Guess I should have read the comments first. New ( to me ) car and the sales guy talked about projecting what is on my phone to the screen. I thought that was anything on the phone. Hint I don’t like the voice telling me stuff. I want to SEE the MAPS. On the SCREEN. S o this is pointless

  11. Ranjith Coapullai says:

    Give me back my 3 minutes. Please.

  12. Jason Paschal says:

    Now how the hell do you turn this feature off!!!!!!! Every time now it reverts to playing the music on iTunes from my phone anytime I am using google maps now. I am sick and tired of switching back to the radio every minute!!!!!

  13. Bubba Blue says:

    It worked for me. I have an older 2015 Civic SI, not the new system in the 2017.

    I guess the “Car Play” feature on the new models is the issue. Avoid buying a new Honda. The old ones work better.

    I can also get a clean audio signal out of the two rear speakers. It hasn’t been crossed over like the front door speakers. It can be amplified for a subwoofer without having to replace the whole head unit and lose features. I don’t know if you can do that any more.