After what seems like a very short beta period, Google has now released its Apple CarPlay compatible app update to the general public.
Version 5.0 will require iOS 12 to be installed, which was released on Monday 17 September 2018.
Once installed, or updated, you’ll see the Google Maps icon sitting on your CarPlay home screen.
Launching for the first time you’ll be taken to the main overview screen, showing your position on the Google map tiles, with its signature blue arrow. Tapping the screen allows you to invoke the Apple UI drop bar, which displays options to set a destination and visit navigation options. To the lower right, you can pan the map around using directional arrow controls and there is also a talk button here to set your destination via speech.
Selecting Add destination display six options, shown below. These are all very self explanatory, each display a list view of options, which once selected will set the navigation to that option’s destination.
Selecting ‘Other’ however will display a onscreen keyboard, which allows you to enter your destination address, post code or place name – something Apple Maps should take note of.
Once your destination is set, you’ll see the common overview map, displaying the various routes to your destination. Selecting Go commences navigation, whilst More Routes will display options in a list format along with their distances.
During guidance mode, you can mute turn-by-turn alerts on, off, or alerts only. The settings option is also displayed to allow you to customise your navigation screen. Exit will simply cancel your navigation and remove any navigation. To the lower right there is an option to re-review your routes, in case you wish to swap to an alternative route. Guidance panels are oddly in green, which can get lost when in satellite view mode.
Selecting Settings option from the home screen or during navigation displays the five options to customise your navigation. Avoiding motorways, tolls and ferries, through to toggling Satellite view and fixing North view on the map.
Speak Your Destination
Here is the screen when the talk button is toggled. Whilst this is visible the microphone is open to speech dictation of your destination. Alternative using the Other option to use the keyboard input is another way to enter a new destination.
Google Maps is a long overdue, but very welcome update for us CarPlay users. Many of us maybe intergraded with Google’s ecosystem, so being able to access saved places, or share directions from friends and family is super convenient to access through Google Maps on CarPlay – without the need to copy it over into Apple Maps instead.
I am sure as the months pass, Google will fine-tune and improve their CarPlay App. I’ve yet to experience any bugs thus far, but as functionality is fairly basic here, there is little to go wrong really.