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CarPlay

The latest version of the Google Maps navigation app is set to work even better with Apple CarPlay.

Updates mean those with compatible iOS Apple devices will see Google Maps integrate with the CarPlay Dashboard view.

Users will now be able to have Google Maps displayed side by side with other functions. This means Google’s navigation instructions alongside music choices and calendar appointments.

Freedom to choose your mapping solution

Google Maps Apple CarPlay Update

Until now, Apple CarPlay’s Dashboard setting was only compatible with Apple’s own Maps app. This forced drivers to choose between the neatness of the Dashboard display, or using third-party navigation apps like Google Maps separately.

Apple released an update for CarPlay earlier this year, offering third-party developers the chance to work in Dashboard mode. However, it has taken Google until now to make the necessary changes to its own Maps application.

Now that Google has taken the leap to making its own mapping app work with the CarPlay Dashboard, expect other third-party maps to follow.

Google Maps back on your wrist

Google Maps Apple CarPlay Update

The latest update for Google Maps will also be of interest to Apple Watch wearers.

Google dropped support for Apple’s smartwatch range in 2017, causing frustration for those who relied on its functionality. Now, Google will fully support the Apple Watch, offering step-by-step directions.

Users will be able to set saved destinations to quickly generate directions to, along with estimated journey times. Google Maps will tailor instructions depending on whether the user is travelling by car, bike, public transport, or on foot.

Updates for compatibility with Apple CarPlay are now live, whilst Apple Watch users should see changes made in the coming weeks.

CarPlay

General Motors reintroduced the Chevrolet Trailblazer nameplate as an all-new small crossover for the 2021 model year. Offered as a “uniquely youthful, yet functional alternative” in the popular small crossover segment, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer comes with a variety of infotainment and technology features, and now, GM Authority has learned that one of those features will become standard across the lineup.

The feature in question is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the two standards in modern passenger vehicle-smartphone integration.

Both features were previously offered as part of the optional Technology Package, but will now be standard on all 2021 Chevy Trailblazer models, starting with units produced in September.

As a result of the feature’s new standardization, all models will also get a $100 price increase. For reference, the current 2021 Chevy Trailblazer starts at $19,995 (including destination) for the base L trim with FWD and the turbocharged 1.2L I3 LIH engine. Now, this same configuration will be priced at $20,095 (including destination) starting with units produced in September.

As stated above, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were previously offered as part of the Technology Package, which also included:

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM with 360L
  • Bose premium seven-speaker system
  • SD card reader
  • Wireless Charging
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • HD Rear Vision Camera
  • 4.2-inch diagonal multi-color Driver Information Center
  • LED headlamps

As a reminder, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer rides on the GM VSS-F platform, with production for the U.S. taking place at the GM Bupyeong plant in South Korea. Available engine options include the turbocharged 1.2L I3 LIH, and the turbocharged 1.3L I3 L3T.

Is standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto the right move for the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, even with the $100 price increase? Let us know by voting in the poll below, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Trailblazer news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.

CarPlay

CarPlay will come with support for over 100 additional languages, which means that users would thus be provided with a localized typing experience when they’re in the car.

Why is this a super-useful update? It’s because beginning with iOS 14, you should technically be able to type in your own language on the CarPlay screen, obviously when parked. This means CarPlay will allow users to type businesses names, addresses, and pretty much anything else in their native language with local characters too.

Apple hasn’t provided a detailed list of the new languages that will be supported in CarPlay, but additional information in this regard is projected to be shared by the time the iOS 14 update gets the go-ahead.

The next iPhone software update will bring plenty of improvements for CarPlay users, including support for wallpapers, something that was previously available on jailbroken devices exclusively. Apple will include a series of pre-defined wallpapers in iOS 14, and right now, it looks like users won’t be allowed to use their own backgrounds as CarPlay wallpapers.

Additionally, CarPlay will also support a series of new apps, some of which would be aimed at electric cars.

At this point, iOS 14 is still in beta stage, so if you want to try it out ahead of the public launch, you can just download the preview builds offered by Apple. However, keep in mind that these beta versions aren’t supposed to be used on production devices, as they often come with bugs and stability issues.

As for the ETA of the stable version of iOS 14, the official launch is expected in the second half of September. The iPhone 6s and newer models will all support the new iOS 14.

CarPlay

But in addition to all these improvements that Apple announced earlier this year at WWDC, CarPlay will also include a series of other smaller refinements that many people might actually miss.

One of them is the privacy indicator that shows up when an app uses the microphone or the camera, with color dots displayed in the CarPlay UI right under the clock.

And by the looks of things, there’s more coming to users with the upcoming iOS 14. Apple has silently updated the music playback UI to display larger album covers regardless of the screen resolution of your head unit.

I noticed this in the very first beta of iOS 14, but now more testers confirm that this is indeed the case. More specifically, some CarPlay users previously received the same UI in iOS 13 if their head units supported this layout. On lower-resolution displays, the playback UI just displayed a smaller album cover, with the playing controls eating up more space on the screen.

It looks like the upcoming iOS 14 makes the same experience available for everybody, technically showing large album covers on the right side of the screen, while everything else is grouped on the left. This is something that makes much more sense, and at the same time, it allows drivers to see the album cover much easier, thus removing the distraction when driving.

iOS 14 is projected to launch in September for the iPhone 6s and newer models. A beta build is already available for those who want to test everything in advance, but keep in mind that running pre-release software isn’t recommended on production devices given the likelihood of bugs and other performance issues.

CarPlay for waze

This time, Google has updated the iOS version, which also powers the CarPlay experience, and by the looks of things, there’s one improvement that the search giant mentioned in the release notes and another one that the company probably forgot to add.

With this new update, Waze reaches version 4.65.1 on iOS, and according to the official changelog, it includes new refinements for planned drives.

According to Google, this new version “fixed a bug so you’ll see info about your destination before leaving for a planned drive.” In other words, if you use Waze with planned drives on your iPhone, you should now see information regarding the route to your destination when you’re supposed to leave.

But in addition to this improvement, I also noticed something that concerns GPS tracking in Waze.

Like Google Maps and the other navigation apps, Waze needs to determine your location to then follow you on the map and provide directions according to your route. As some people discovered the hard way, the GPS tracking doesn’t always work exactly as expected, as Waze occasionally struggles to locate you on the map or experience some sort of delay when navigating.

This delay is something that I personally had to deal with Waze on CarPlay since version 4.64.2, which was released on July 10. This was more noticeable when making a turn, as this change of direction reflected in Waze one or two seconds after it happened.

And as it turns out, this new release fixes everything, as the delay is gone, and the performance overall seems to be much smoother. The updated experience is available both on the iPhone and on CarPlay, so I’m guessing that the update just brought things back to normal.

CarPlay

One of the new features coming in iOS 14 is the ability to customize your car’s CarPlay interface with one of several new wallpapers. If you don’t know, CarPlay lets you control your car’s stereo and other connected smart car accessories with Siri voice commands, and this version of iOS marks the first time users will be able to adjust CarPlay’s look to a significant degree.

Before you can try out one of these new wallpapers, you’ll need to connect your iPhone to your car and set up CarPlay (if you haven’t already.) This process will be different for every car, but it’s as easy as connecting your phone via USB (or a fancier wireless connection) to a CarPlay-supported vehicle. After that:

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings and go to General > CarPlay.
  2. Tap “Available Cars.”
  3. Select your car from the list to enable CarPlay.

Now to zhuzh up CarPlay with one of those fancy new wallpapers. To reiterate, these wallpapers are only available in iOS 14, which is still in beta. You can install the iOS 14 preview now to check it out early, or you can wait for the final, stable version to roll out publicly, likely in the fall. Either way, once you’re running iOS 14, here’s how to add a CarPlay wallpaper:

  1. Make sure your iPhone is connected and CarPlay is turned on.
  2. Open “Settings” in your car’s CarPlay interface (not your iPhone’s)
  3. Tap “Wallpaper.” Scroll through the list of available wallpapers. You can tap on one to preview it.
  4. If you like the way it looks, tap “Confirm” to apply the background.

Obviously, don’t make these changes while you’re driving.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the two most popular in-car systems, and today we decided to give a more detailed look to it. Hopefully, after taking your car check, it’ll help you find your next vehicle quickly, considering you love iPhone, Android, or both.

Android Auto vs CarPlay

Android Auto is an in-car OS, introduced by Google on June 25 at Google I/O 2014. It allows mobile devices to have an Android operating system to be integrated with the cars via built-in display units on dashboards. One the other hand, Apple first unveiled its vehicle-smartphone integration standards in June 2013 as iOS in the Car. It was re-launched as CarPlay in March 2014.

Android Auto features Google Assistant, GPS mapping/navigation, web search, music control, SMS composition/playback, and telephony. In comparison to that, CarPlay features Siri: Eyes Free mode, iMessage control, and response, satellite navigation, music control through iTunes and telephony instruction, and control.

When Apple introduced the CarPlay, it was easily recognizable on the display screen as the interface was much similar to iOS. Android Auto, on the other side, seemed like Windows 8 with its “Cards” interface. However, now both the Auto and Carplay are very much refined and intelligent. Both systems commonly feature data integration and voice recognition.Vehicles Compatible with Google Android Auto

On the same day, when Android Auto was introduced, many automakers agreed and announced to include this system as a feature in their vehicles. In this regard, Honda was the first one to release an official statement confirming to incorporate Android Auto to selected models of Honda and Acura. In the start, Honda vehicles were only compatible with Apple CarPlay while Acura exclusively featured Android Auto. Other automakers that exclusively partnered with Google included Bentley, Infiniti, Maserati, and Volkswagen. These marques, along with others, had joined the league under Open Automotive Alliance.

However, currently, almost all car brands offer both the Auto and CarPlay functionality.

Bear in mind that your smartphones will only be compatible with Android Auto if they have at least Android 5.0. Google suggests you use Android 6.0 for better performance.

Vehicles Compatible with Apple CarPlay

Announced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, CarPlay attracted individual automakers that chose to go with Apple only. Ferrari was among the first of those. In this regard, the Italian premium sports car manufacturer launched Ferrari FF, equipped with Apple CarPlay.

Although Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl™ Apps delivered integrated in-vehicle apps connectivity for both Android and Apple smartphones, they preferred only CarPlay to reside on their display screens at the start. Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Jaguar Land Rover, along with BMW, MINI, and Toyota, were the brands that subscribed only for CarPlay, initially. Do you know that CarPlay requires at least iOS 7.1 on iPhone to connect? There are other requirements as well, which you can find here.

CarPlay Android auto-2

Vehicles Compatible with Both

When both these systems were introduced, some automakers exclusively chose either system, while others decided to include both Android Auto and CarPlay in their cars. Today, almost all car brands, including Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Cadillac Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Nissan, Ram, Subaru, Volvo use both these in-car systems. Here’s the list of models that are Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible.

Apple and Google claim almost 90 percent share of the overall smartphone OS market, and they both rule in the in-car operating systems, as well.

So, do you want a car compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? Or do you love to have a vehicle that allows you to connect any of the two?

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