CarPlay Navigation

Waze deserves to be your default navigation for CarPlay

We write about Apple Maps quite often here at CarPlay World, but not often about Waze. Waze is a navigation alternative to Maps. You must download it from the App Store, it’s not on your iPhone by default, like Maps is.

If you are like most drivers, you want to avoid traffic as much as possible. Major cities like Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles are now experiencing some of the heaviest traffic in American history. This is because of a variety of factors but it all boils down to the rapidly rising populations in urban and suburban areas. There are probably a lot more people driving around in your city than there were five years ago or even then there were last year. You are bound to have longer drives to get around.

Luckily the software developers at Waze have been doing their best to save you from that dreaded daily commute. An increasing number of drivers choose to share their location data with Waze through Google Maps, which has given Waze an abundance of data references for some of the most accurate real time navigation processing in history. The clever data processing software found in the Waze app currently has no equal at least on commercial app stores.

Google Maps and Apple Maps which are very popular navigational apps do not offer the real time updates Waze can give you. This is because Waze emphasizes community reporting while other mapping software rely on trusted users’ updates which are much slower. Conventional navigational systems are almost designed in an unrealistic bubble because driving environments are always subject to change and need rapid updating for effective mapping.

For example, when a Waze user reports speed traps, potholes or accidents that information is added to the real time community map much faster than on Google Maps or Apple Maps. After a recent IOS update Waze is available on the highly popular CarPlay system and can actually be configured as the default navigational app! Here are the steps to get that done and save yourself from another wasted day in traffic.

• Download the Waze app onto your iPhone
• Navigate to your iPhone’s General Settings tab
• Select Apple CarPlay from the list of options
• Open your cars custom CarPlay settings
• Tap on more apps and scroll down to Waze
• Use the green plus sign to add Waze to your list of apps
• Use the horizontal triple lines to slide Waze to the top of your app list

Once you are able to set Waze as the preferred mapping software for your Apple CarPlay experience you will never want to go back. There are an abundance of online user reviews rating the Waze app extremely positively. Many reviews stress the significance that community reporting brings to mapping software. One reviewer compared it to AdBlock stating “It’s like you literally get to avoid traffic and accidents like your using AdBlock to skip commercials on YouTube”. And other ones praised the simplistic, yet visually appealing user interface Waze is famous for. It’s no secret that most smartphone users credit Waze as the most effective mapping software ever created.

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

2021 Car Models Without CarPlay

With an increasing demand for a safer convenient driving experience, automakers have come up with integrated infotainment systems. They are designed with a navigation system for a seemingly better orientation enhanced with an optimized map engine that has proved to be unreliable over time. Apple developed an in-car infotainment system labelled CarPlay. Its interface has generic sync capabilities designed to give users in-car access to information stored on the phone when connected to an in-dash system. 

It was just several years ago we were telling you what cars have CarPlay. It was rare. Now it’s the opposite: it’s now easier to say which cars don’t.

CarPlay is famous for its intelligent voice assistant ‘Siri‘, this feature interprets messages if asked to complete tasks like making a call or using a map for navigation. The information is not as accurate as you may expect. The biggest drawback of the feature is it can not be used without an active internet connection. Apple only has the map translation in English, hence your iPhone will not be able to detect voice commands if voiced over different languages. So why pay for an update you do not find useful, manufacturers increase the cost due to technology integration, this is the primary reason why more people have switched back to more relaxed less complex cars with less tech.

Infotainment systems were built to help users enhance safety while on the road including climate control in the vehicle, parking assistance, and a voice-based digital personal assistant designed to perform several actions in your car. There are currently two options in the market; buy an already in-built CarPlay system or a head unit compatible with an apple CarPlay. Very few automakers and technology analysts have embraced the idea of a base model with no infotainment screens but the idea seems to capture technophobes’ attention who are looking for a less complex base model.

This car does not have CarPlay!

With the evolution of auto technology, it proves almost impossible to get a modern vehicle with minimal technology features as every year cars get redesigned with significant updates. You could spend hours contemplating hundreds of models and yet find very limited classifications for your preference. However, the good news is that there are recent 2021 models yet to be released with less complex tech, redesigned for technology-averse individuals.

1. 2021 Ford Ka+ 

With the Ford Is+ 2021 you get a standard and simple stereo with a volume knob. All  Ford brands have no satellite navigation system. However, lacking the ability to support CarPlay, the car has a phone mount that allows user to mount their phone and use it as a sat-nav.[1]

2. 2021 Fiat 500 

The newly installed infotainment system known as UConnect5 that comes with Fiat 500 is much more improved compared to the last version. The new dash design features a large centre display and additional smaller feature of the driver’s display. Technical details of an infotainment screen are yet to be released but it is assumed to outline its ancestor’s features [2]

3. 2021 Dacia Duster 

The new Duster 2021 has undergone structural changes as noted in their latest model. The model is a perfect choice for technology averse individuals. There are striking aerodynamic changes that come with the improved look offering model in different shades. This is the perfect car for technophobes as the dashboard is pre-wired for accessory-fit radio and speaker system, Stop/start system, Speed limiter, and a dusk sensor that does not support CarPlay.[3]

4. 2021 Smart Fortwo 

Screen infotainment for this model was not installed however, the car offers a base for a pair of plates where one can install their smartphone. The brand currently offers an Android auto excluding CarPlay[4]

5. 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 

The luxurious SUV is fitted with standard infotainment features with the infotainment system comprising of a 9-inch touch screen with large on-screen buttons for easier climate and audio readjustment. The screen graphics are more outdated as the system does not support CarPlay or android auto, simply a navigation system,14 speakers, and a smartphone charging pad.[5]

6. 2021 Suzuki Ignis

Aesthetic changes are minimal as expected with the interior, there’s very limited information on the infotainment system but it is more likely to adapt the last version mode that does not support both android auto or CarPlay.[6]

7. 2021 Volkswagen Sharan

This redesigned German MVP model comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system but only offers functions like mirror link, rear-view camera, CarPlay and android auto at extra cost.[7]

CarPlay Navigation CarPlay Texting & Calls

Why Apple CarPlay Saves Lives

You always hear how important it is to never text and drive, but how many people actually listen to that advice? According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that more than 35,000 people lose their lives to motor vehicle accidents. A major reason for many of those accidents is distracted cellphone usage. This is especially the case for drivers who text and browse the web while operating a motor vehicle. 

It’s no secret that driving can take up a lot your time.  And sometimes you will get that super important text message from your boss or that critical email from your coworker which you need to respond to ASAP. So, like many people you probably have picked up the phone or texted away while driving. All whilst accepting that you are putting yourself and others in great risk. But what if there was a safe and responsible way to handle those tricky driving situations?

Enter Voice Recognition

Voice recognition technology has greatly advanced in recent years and can now be used as a primary form of input. This is great news for those times you need to use your phone on the road. Your hands and eyes are usually busy when driving, but your voice is not. And if you own a car equipped with Apple CarPlay you will have access to a highly advanced voice recognition system which will work as your very own personal driving assistant.

Enter CarPlay

Vehicles equipped with Apple CarPlay’s hand free voice recognition system enjoy a variety of features like hands-free texting, hands-free navigational mapping, and hands-free web searches. If you drive with CarPlay you will never have to type that risky text on the highway ever again. Your voice assistant will do it for you! Apple CarPlay connects to your phone seamlessly and all incoming message will be available to read on your CarPlay display. You can also use your CarPlay voice assistant for navigational instructions so that you will never have those awkward mapping on the go moments ever again. Browsing the web for a quick question is also just as easy, all you have to do is direct your question to your CarPlay system and you will get a prompt response. 

How to set up your Apple CarPlay Voice Assistant

  • Step 1: Make sure your car is turned on
  • Step 2:  Enable Siri in your iPhone system settings
  • Step 3: Connect your iPhone to your car via USB or Bluetooth
  • Step 4: Use your car’s specific Voice Command button to activate its voice assistant (Check your vehicle’s manual for more instructions)
CarPlay Apps CarPlay News

CarPlay Just Got Better With Apple News and Apple News+

Apple’s CarPlay is the best thing to happen to car entertainment systems since the speaker, and people are quite satisfied with it:

“iOS 14 is now available for download on the iPhone 6s and newer, and needless to say, this is one highly anticipated release, all thanks to the many new features that are included.”

The thing that makes this much sweeter is that now, CarPlay users can listen to Apple News and Apple News+ on their device, as well. This feature was being rolled out step by step, according to some who said they noticed the new feature back in iOS 13.6, whereas others report to have not seen the feature until the most recent release of iOS 14.

Either way, now CarPlay users are granted access to Apple’s prestigious digital news and entertainment publication service in full band. This following the news that Apple became the most valuable public company ever, back in late July early August. The tech company continues to push the limits, and cater to their consumers by providing Apple News+ now fully rolled out as of the newest iOS release, iOS 14. 

But why is this so great? Well, it’s because “subscribers can now listen to audio stories with zero distraction, just like they’d be listening to their favorite music powered by the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.” ( 

What is Apple News?

Apple News+ is essentially an Apple user’s one-stop shop for the world’s most popular news and magazine publications, bringing a personalized, curated list of news and entertainment and audio stories to the user’s fingertips. Listening progress can also be synced across different devices. Start listening to a story in the house, and continue right where you left off, as you dip into the car on your way to the office.

“We’re committed to supporting quality journalism, and with Apple News+, we want to celebrate the great work being done by magazines and news outlets.”

Lauren Kern, Editor-in-chief of Apple News

It Works With Regular Apple News

Of course you get more with Apple News+, but you don’t need it to get Apple News in your car with CarPlay!

Apple News+ includes titles such as the likes of The Atlantic, Better Homes & Gardens, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, ELLE, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN The Magazine, Esquire, Food & Wine, Good Housekeeping, GQ, Health, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, New York Magazine, The New Yorker to name a few, as well as The Wall Street Journal.

“We think the breadth and quality of publications within Apple News+ will encourage more people to discover stories and titles they may never have come across before.”

I remember seeing these big name magazines sprawled out on the table at home when I was younger. Now that the digital age is upon us, it’s to see them still going strong, and being adapted to the new age in digital format, and enhanced by a company like Apple.

CarPlay Continues to Stay Ahead

With this news, the Apple CarPlay experience just got better. Staying up-to-date with the world’s most popular publications brings more sophistication to the CarPlay experience. CarPlay isn’t just another app: it’s one’s key to the world. 

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay CarPlay News

Carplay Coming to 2021 Honda Passport

Honda is stepping up their game with a new CarPlay feature coming to its 2021 Passport.

“Now, all Passport trims get the previously available 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard equipment. That means Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as well.” (

If you’re unfamiliar with Apple CarPlay, according to Apple, CarPlay is “a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive.” Think of complete system synchronization between your iPhone and your vehicle, that gives you powerful control at your finger tips (or your voice). You can access directions, send and receive calls and text messages, and listen to your favorite music. All this conveniently situated on the Passport’s built in Infotainment display.

Using the power of Apple Maps, CarPlay can actually predict where you are going, utilizing information it obtains from your email, text messages, contacts and calendars — a truly impressive display of AI capability.

Missed a call? Siri can help you with that, all completely handsfree, keeping you safe on the road. Need to send a message? Instead of writing, Siri can interpret your dictated speech into a written text message that can then be sent to whomever you need to communicate with while under way.

There’s virtually nothing that CarPlay can’t do (unless you need it to do the laundry). Honda introducing this new feature to their 2021 line of mid-size SUVs is a smart move, both for consumers and for their bottom line as well. Honda has provided this digital gold mine to their customers at no additional charge:

“The Passport doesn’t cost anymore for 2021, but Honda tossed the extra tech in. Yay!” (

The key is in the 8.0-inch infotainment screen in the base model, where before if buyers wanted to access such capabilities, they would have had to upgrade to the EXL-trim costing roughly $4,000 more.

We all love getting something back, and Honda has done it with the sexy tech addition in Apple CarPlay integration, however one downside according to Yahoo, is that “the Sport’s display audio unit does not, however, include a text-message function, satellite radio, or HD radio those remain the exclusive province of the EX-L and higher trims.”

Since 2019, Honda’s Passport has been amongst the lower performing vehicles of its line up with sales much lower than its competitors. This could indeed be the spur in the horses rear that pushed Honda to emerge with the 2021 Passport standard upgrades with no additional cost.

What ever the brand of its coming, expect big things for Honda in the coming year, and it could all be thanks to CarPlay.

Aftermarket CarPlay Headunits

Add CarPlay to a Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson recently announced last year that they’d include Apply CarPlay in their Boom! Box GTS Infotainment System, which began with Harley Davidson’s 2019 models. That’s exciting news for motorcycle enthusiasts that want CarPlay’s safe, easy-to-use infotainment system on their screens as they drive their bikes. Since CarPlay is so safe to use, many Harley owners have been wanting to install the system on their bikes. The good news is that Harley is now offering an infotainment system that will work with Apple CarPlay on their 2019-2020 model bikes.

The system comes standard on a few Harley models, including:

  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited Low
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davison Road Glide Special
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Street Glide Special
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson CVO Limited
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson CVO Street Glide
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson CVO Road Glide
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Tri Glide

There are also factory-installed options for other bikes, including:

  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Street Glide
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Road Glide
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Electra Glide
  • The 2019-2020 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic

The Cost

If you are purchasing a 2019+ Touring Harley Davidson, then you get CarPlay on it from the factory. If you want to add the Boom! GTS Infotainment System onto your bike if it doesn’t come standard, then you’ll have to pay an additional $1899.99, which would be added onto the total price of whatever bike your purchase at your Harley-Davidson dealer.

CarPlay on a Harley
CarPlay on a Harley

Unfortunately, for anybody that owns a 2018 or older model of a Harley Davidson, they are left out by their manufacturer. Plenty of people with older model bikes still want to get Apple CarPlay installed into their bike’s infotainment system. That’s because the Boom! GTS System isn’t available to use on Harley’s older model bikes.

Luckily, there’s a solution for these older Harley bikes that are in the range of 1996-2019. You’ll be able to add Apple CarPlay and other audio improvements onto your bike now if you’d like.

The DIN Slots

One of the problems with the 1996-2013 Touring family of bikes has to do with head units and your DIN slots. If you have a 1996-2013 bike, then you only have one DIN slot, and most CarPlay options require two. So, what can you do since you need two DIN slots?

If you want to solve this problem, consider a new Inner Fairing offered by Metra, which is called the 95-HDIF. This particular fairing system is made to perfectly fit onto a 1996-2013 Touring model, and it also works with a Double DIN head unit. So, the problem has already been solved for you.

The Metra can be used with the Sony XAV-AX5000 plug and play bundle. This system is so easy to install, many Harley owners are capable of doing it themselves. However, if you aren’t comfortable with that, te installation can also be done in a shop. Below we’ve listed what the bundle will cost.

  • Sony XAV-AX5000 (retail: $399.99)
  • Metra 95-HDIF Replacement Inner Fairing (retail: $599.99)
  • Metra HD-ASWC-1 handlebar control integration module (retail: $89.99)
CarPlay Apps CarPlay Music & Podcasts

Spotify Pushes into CarPlay’s Music Turf

Not surprisingly, Spotify has risen in status to the most popular music app around, including both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Interestingly, Spotify has become so popular lately since there are so many other options in music, including Apple Music and Deezer. However, much of Spotify’s success has to do with its innovation. Back in October 2019, Spotify finally received full Siri integration, and now, Spotify is offering a new “car mode” that has everybody buzzing. 

Spotify and Siri

In October 2019, Spotify announced that iOS lovers can now use Siri together with Spotify. The lack of functionality that existed between Spotify and Apple previously was a source of some stress for both parties. Finally, the two decided to set aside their differences and work together, realizing the potential benefits for both companies. 

Before Apple and Spotify buried the hatched, only Apple Music worked with Siri. However, everything changed back in October 2019 when Apple introduced the SiriKit to iOS 13. Spotify moved quickly to use those functions, and now, after you’ve performed the update, you’ll be able to use Spotify with Siri’s voice commands. 

However, the introduction of Siri into Spotify isn’t the only achievement that we’ve seen from Spotify recently. Recently, Spotify has been the source of a lot of speculation because of the app’s unique car mode feature.

Spotify and Car Mode

Not only can you now use Siri with Spotify, but you can also get your very own car view when you install Spotify. Now, precisely what do we mean by a “car view?” If your car doesn’t have the latest infotainment system, like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, or if you are one of those people that prefers to live on his or her phone, then Spotify has a solution for you. 

By using Spotify on a car that lacks an infotainment system, Spotify’s app will now create its own “car view” so that you have an interface similar to the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interface. By offering a feature like this, where users that lack an infotainment system can still play music from their Spotify app as if they had one, the expectation is that Spotify is likely to boom even more significantly than it already has.

Spotify is already the most popular music app in the world. By offering its car mode through the app, we can only imagine how much larger Spotify will become once their updated app takes off. 

What You’ll See with Spotify’s Car Mode

If you use Spotify’s car mode, you’ll see a dumbed-down version of the original Spotify menu that’s meant to be more comfortable for drivers to use while they are on-the-go. The icons and the text are blown up so that drivers have easier access to them. Since January 2019, this feature has been available in the app. However, it appears that Spotify has several other plans for this app now that it’s been released. 

Spotify is currently working on improving its car mode for the future. For example, Spotify plans to expand its update into podcasts so that there will also be larger icons and easy-to-read artwork, making things easier on drivers. However, nobody quite knows when Spotify intends to release their improvements. However, most people expect Spotify to complete their modifications and then introduce another update later on in 2020. 

Aftermarket CarPlay Headunits

Add CarPlay to 2014-2019 Mercedes

Do you have one of the following Mercedes that didn’t come from the factory with CarPlay? Feel left out? Now you can get CarPlay in:

  • Mercedes C-Class W205 2014-2018
  • Mercedes A-Class 2014-2018
  • Mercedes B-Class W246 2014-2018
  • Mercedes GLA 2014-2018
  • Mercedes GLE W166 / W292 2016+
  • Mercedes GLS X166 2016+
  • Mercedes CLA 2016+
  • Mercedes CLS W218 2016+
  • Mercedes V-Class W447 2016~2018

Here’s what you need

The W205 Carplay for Mercedes is a box and cables that you have installed by a pro, or do it yourself if you’re good at setting up electronics. According to the manufacturer, you don’t need to cut existing cables. It’s a matter of plugging in the connections and securing the box under the dash. Then voila, you have CarPlay in your MB!

The upgrade supports several car models featuring NTG5.0 and NTG5.2 infotainment, including the 2014-2018 C-Class W205 and the 2014-2018 A-Class.

NOTE: You may need to go to your MB dealer to activate an AUX menu, otherwise the CarPlay kit would have no sound. It depends on the audio system on your Mercedes.

CarPlay Apps

What Are CarPlay Apps?

If you haven’t used Apple CarPlay, then you’re missing out on the latest bit of technology that’s designed to keep you safe while you drive. Unfortunately, in today’s technology-driven society, many people are addicted to their cell phones and cannot exist without their devices, even for a few minutes. Nowhere is this addiction more life-threatening than when you are driving. And that’s why Apple came out with CarPlay.

Using Apple CarPlay, you’ll be able to access certain safe apps on your iPhone while you are driving. Although you could use a car holder and mount your phone instead, there are consequences to mounting your phone. First, if you use a car mount, your notifications could still distract you while you are driving. Second, you’ll only be able to see a tiny screen, so you won’t be able to access many of your apps while you drive, anyway. 

However, with Apply CarPlay, you’ll be able to easily navigate Maps, safely reply to messages, select a song to listen to, and ask Siri questions, all while remaining hands-free.

CarPlay apps are a subset of iOS apps. They are regular iPhone apps that run on iPhones but made to run inside the CarPlay environment and are thus available on your car’s CarPlay screen.

You download them onto your iPhone just like any other iPhone app — by using the App Store.

Using Apple CarPlay Apps

When it comes to using apps in CarPlay, you won’t need to install anything into CarPlay. You download the apps that work with CarPlay on your iPhone. Then, when you connect your iPhone to CarPlay, you should be able to see all of your compatible apps on your CarPlay screen when you first start your car. 

CarPlay functions well with many apps you’ll find in your iOS-like Phone, Music, Messages, and Maps. However, CarPlay isn’t designed to only function with the most essential apps. Instead, CarPlay can also work well with several third-party apps, including iHeart Radio, WhatsApp, Audible, and Spotify. 


If you’re looking for a fantastic navigation app because you want something else besides Maps, then you can download a third-party app like Waze, for instance. Many people prefer Waze over Maps because Waze includes warnings about when police officers and accidents are both nearby. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be using iOS 12 and above to use any third-party navigation tool other than maps. 


Or, if you want to use a third-party music app like Pandora, then you need to download the app on your iPhone and select it the next time you use CarPlay. Once you’ve done that, you can switch from Apple Music to Pandora by merely selecting the app on your CarPlay screen. You should also ensure that you have iOS 12 and above before you do this. 

However, if you prefer using Apple Music because you have a subscription, then you can play songs using Siri when you are plugged into CarPlay. You can also play podcasts and audiobooks on CarPlay, too. 

Compared to Google’s “free” offering of apps on Android Auto, Apple is more restrictive and careful. That’s why so many of your apps for your iPhone won’t work well with CarPlay. Apple’s primary focus on CarPlay is the safety of the driver, so not every app you love will be safe enough to qualify for CarPlay.

CarPlay Navigation

Maps Redesigned, Improved for Users in the US

New Apple Maps Designed with Better Road Coverage and Pedestrian Data, More Precise Addresses, and Detailed Land Cover

I noticed yesterday new traffic light icons. Hm. Where did these come from? Wait! There’s a lot more detail! Where did that come from?

Houston, we have traffic light icons.

They came from a Maps update that Apple released yesterday.

Apple today announced that all users in the United States can now experience a redesigned Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more, making it easier and more enjoyable to map out any journey. Apple completed the rollout of this new Maps experience in the United States and will begin rolling it out across Europe in the coming months.

There are also several significant non-CarPlay new features as well:

Maps offers interactive street-level imagery with high-resolution, 3D photography and smooth and seamless transitions through major cities with Look Around. Customers from anywhere in the world can navigate through New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Oahu, with many more places to come.