CarPlay Apps CarPlay Navigation

Things that Bug Me about Waze

Bug bug bug bug bug bug bug

You can’t simply tap a point on the main screen and “go there”. You can on your iPhone, but that defeats the whole point of CarPlay, namely, stay off your phone.

There’s no upcoming turn warning, or alert. At least, there’s no obvious way to enable this. I’m going to go out for a drive in an hour and I’ll update this post after I change some Waze settings. On the other hand as an example, Apple Maps not only gives you warning about an upcoming turn (or merge, or whatever), it will buzz your Apple Watch if you’re wearing one.

Maybe this will give me alerts to turn…

Let’s be honest: Waze speech comprehension is terrible. I have my son type in destinations.

I go through the same intersection every day for weeks and I get Red Light Camera warning each day, one on the way in, one on the way out. I don’t know this is a complaint, it might be an observation. Whatever the case, it mysteriously stopped after about three weeks. Hm.

Despite all this, I like and use Waze. It’s my #1 nav app because it gets me where I’m going fastest.

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

Mazda Ad Shows CarPlay Very Prominently

I thought this is interesting: Mazda ad on Facebook showing CarPlay very prominently on the 2018 Mazda6‘s dash. I think they’re proud of finally being on the CarPlay bandwagon, and want to cement in buyers’ minds that new Mazdas do have CarPlay.

It was a long stretch where Mazda was the only major manufacturer that didn’t offer CarPlay. Months ago they put that bad fact to bed and started offering it on new models.

I’d put it down to Mazda being a very small car company compared to every other player, and simply not having the manpower to make CarPlay happen while trying to get new cars into its lineup.

(Why a 2018 model and not a 2019 or even 2020 — I don’t know…)

General CarPlay Information

CarPlay is Available in These Countries

Surprisingly, CarPlay is unavailable in some countries. In fact, it’s unavailable in the vast majority of the globe’s countries, given that this list is 36 items long and the number of countries currently hovers at 195.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil2
  • Canada
  • Chile2
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India2
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Republic of Korea
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia2
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand2
  • Turkey
  • UK
  • United Arab Emirates2
  • USA


Here’s a post on Apple Discussions by an owner of a new car, a CarPlay-compatible car, who can’t get CarPlay to work because he’s in a non-available country (Malta). He has an iPhone 6, a phone well within the CarPlay compatibility range, and (at the time) an iOS version that also qualifies to run CarPlay.

End of last year I bought the new SEAT LEON FR with the latest stereo + system. My car is listed in the Carplay compatibility list. But unfortunately the country I live in which is Malta, it’s not listed in the chosen contries list. So I have the latest car with the latest beefed up stereo with a nice big full colour touch screen, I have an iPhone 6 with the latest IOS version 9.2.1 but still can’t use it when I thought I was going to finally have Carplay in my new futuristic car.

Why isn’t Malta one of the chosen contries. I would really love to use it. Something else I would like to ask is, since my stereo unit is fully compatible with Carplay aND its just a country issue, will SEAT be able to install the system once it’s released to my country or do I have to buy a new car?

We don’t know what the behavior is in one of these countries, if it displays a message or just won’t activate entirely. If you know, please drop us a line.

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay CarPlay News

CarPlay Faster, Safer than Automakers’ Own Infotainment Systems

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto React Quicker Than Native Infotainment Systems

… and when the display shows you what you want faster, you spend more time watching the road than the screen. That’s the goal of CarPlay. See the Digital Trends story.

We thought this was very interesting, and a feather in CarPlay’s cap:

The researchers considered CarPlay and Android Auto roughly equivalent in visual demand, mental demand, and the time needed to complete infotainment tasks. Overall, the group rated the smartphone apps “moderately demanding” and the native systems “very highly demanding.”

In other words, Apple (and Google) are achieving what they set out to do: reduce driver demands, aka, don’t crash.

CarPlay News

New Mazda CarPlay Retrofit for All 2014+ Models!

What we’ve been waiting for has finally happened! Mazda announced last week that they’re now offering a Mazda Carplay retrofit in the US for all 2014 and up vehicles with their Mazda CONNECT infotainment system.

The update has a suggested retail of $199 + labor and you’ll have to bring your vehicle into a dealer to get the work done. Mazda notes the Carplay upgrade takes a couple hours to complete, so you’re likely looking at a total cost around $400 or so.

The upgrade includes both new software and hardware components as well as a faster, 2.1 amp USB port and the latest version of Mazda CONNECT.

Mazda introduced the CONNECT infotainment system in 2014 across their entire lineup, so if you’ve recently purchased a Mazda3, Mazda2, Mazda6, MX-5, CX-5, CX-9, or CX-3, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the upgrade.

And don’t forget that if you bought a 2018 Mazda6 this year, Mazda will upgrade your CONNECT system with CarPlay at no cost!

Mazda is pretty late to the CarPlay game, but with this latest offering, they’re jumping straight into the deep end. Both Ford and Hyundai offer CarPlay upgrades in certain vehicles, but no other auto maker is offering the upgrades for so many different models and years.

Image Credits: Courtesy Mazda Newsroom

CarPlay Navigation

Clever Calendar Hack for Apple CarPlay

CarPlay is great for music and the like, but there’s other uses as well.

Reddit user thewizleon posted earlier this year about a clever hack to integrate your Apple Calendar and Maps app so you can easily pull up saved locations. It’s such a nice little piece of advice we wanted to share it here.

Here’s the issue: You’ve added appointments and events to your Calendar throughout the day. You get in your car, ready to drive to your next meeting, but have no idea where to go. What to do?

thewizleon notes:

I’ve always wanted the calendar app to be CarPlay so I can pull up my next job, click it and get directions straight to Apple maps. Sadly this isn’t possible, however I have noticed there is a (sort of) solution.

Instead of looking up your destination every time or saving half the info in Apple Calendar (time/event) and half in Maps (location), here’s a helpful trick: Add the location directly to your Calendar events. Just make sure that the Calendar knows it’s a location (it’ll show a map of the location if everything is right).

That’s all you have to do. Next time you get in your car, wondering where to drive, tell Siri to open Destinations in Maps and voila! all your event and meeting locations for the day will be listed right there. Pretty cool, huh?

Streamlining your life like this is always a blessing. This neat little trick is great for those of us who are driving around all day and don’t want to constantly re-find where we need to go. A+ thewizleon!

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

Nissan Apple CarPlay: Everything You Need to Know

Apple CarPlay allows you to easily access your iPhone without taking your eyes off the road. With distractions a major cause of accidents while driving, this could truly save your life one day. Plus, it’s just so easy to use!

Currently, Nissan offers CarPlay in 10 models, and is adding more every year. Let’s take a look at these models, as well as how to setup and use CarPlay in your Nissan.

What Nissan Models Include Apple CarPlay?

Nissan first started supporting Apple CarPlay in 2017 Maximas and Micras. As of December 2018, Nissan currently offers Apple CarPlay in 10 different models:

  • Maxima (2017 – )
  • Micra (2017 – )
  • Murano (2017.5 – )
  • GT-R (2018 – )
  • Kicks (2018 – )
  • Leaf (2018 – )
  • Rogue (2018 – )
  • Altima (2019 – )
  • Titan (2019 – )
  • Sentra (2019 – )

Nissan does include CarPlay in most trim levels, but not all. Typically, carmakers save CarPlay for the higher trim levels, though that depends on the model. Apple CarPlay needs an infotainment system to function, so some of the base models can’t support it.

The 2018 Leaf, for example, only includes CarPlay in the SV and SL trim levels, not the basic S. Overall though, CarPlay comes in all trim levels for many of the cars above. The Murano supports Apple CarPlay across all trim levels. The 2018 Rogue also comes with CarPlay in every model, as does the Maxima and Altima.

How Much Does CarPlay Cost?

CarPlay is absolutely free! After purchasing your vehicle, there’s no monthly or yearly fee to continue using CarPlay, so sit back and enjoy!

I Don’t Have CarPlay, Can I Get a Nissan CarPlay Upgrade?

If your Nissan doesn’t support CarPlay, you might be wondering if you can get an upgrade. Unfortunately, Nissan doesn’t offer any CarPlay retrofits at this time.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options! While Nissan doesn’t offer any CarPlay upgrades, there are quite a few aftermarket headunits that support Apple CarPlay. Check out our list of best headunits with Apple CarPlay to get an idea of what’s out there.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at your options. There’s budget options all the way up to premium headunits with wireless CarPlay, something no manufacturer has yet to incorporate!

How to Setup and Use Your Nissan CarPlay

Setting up CarPlay in your new Nissan is actually quite easy:

  1. On your iPhone, Go to Settings > General and ensure both CarPlay and Siri are turned on. There’s no CarPlay app to install, as iOS already has everything you need for CarPlay to work.
  2. Connect your iPhone via a lightening cable to USB 1.
  3. A screen will appear on your in-dash screen asking if you’d like to connect to Apple CarPlay. Touch Don’t Show Again and then Yes. You’re done!

After setting up CarPlay the first time, every time you connect your phone, you’ll see a simplified version of your iPhone’s menu mirrored on your car’s infotainment screen. You’ll find all your apps that are pre-approved to work with CarPlay now on your screen.

While driving, you can use the touchscreen to open an app, or hold down your steering wheel’s voice command to engage Siri. You can also hold down the white home button on the touchscreen to engage Siri.

If you want to listen to the radio or use your car’s native navigation system, just press the physical Home button and you’ll move back to your car’s infotainment system. To return to CarPlay, click Info on the touchscreen, then choose Apple CarPlay.

Here’s quick video from Nissan to show exactly how to setup and use CarPlay:

Troubleshoot Your Nissan CarPlay Not Working

Is your Nissan Carplay not working? Tech doesn’t work sometimes, but hopefully it’s an easy fix. Whenever Apple puts out an update to their iOS, CarPlay seems to inevitably break or glitch for some.

If CarPlay isn’t working for you, try these steps:

  1. Are you plugged into USB 1? That’s the only port that works with CarPlay
  2. Are you using an Apple-approved USB cord? If not, that could be the problem.
  3. Is CarPlay and Siri turned on in your iPhone?
  4. Hardstart your iPhone and restart your car.
  5. Update to the latest version of iOS

If CarPlay still doesn’t work in your Nissan, check your owner’s manual for firmware updates to your infotainment system.

What Can I Do With CarPlay?

CarPlay lets you use your iPhone without taking your eyes on the road. Basically, it’s a safer, easier way to use your smartphone while driving. Instead of constantly squinting at your phone, trying to text someone back or play new album, just tell Siri what you want to do.

Via CarPlay, you can listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, take notes while driving, call and message friends, and a bunch of other stuff – all while looking directly at the car in front of you. Obviously, you can’t play games or read an eBook with CarPlay, but that’s kind of the point right? A safer driving experience.

Check out our ongoing list of CarPlay-supported apps to see everything you can do with your Nissan CarPlay!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Nissan Media Newsroom

CarPlay Apps CarPlay Navigation

The State Capitol Test: Which Map App Wins?

Maps are Great Mmkay. Now Let’s Get to Testing Them.

Now that we’ve got choices (plural!) for maps on CarPlay, the testing and evaluation floodgates have opened and we at CarPlay World couldn’t be happier.

We love this [CarPlay] stuff.

When Google Maps and then Waze became available with iOS 12 in September, we settled into a fairly constant mindset of switching between them every few days to pick the best for our specific manner of driving and locating destinations. See our Apple Maps vs. Waze comparison to get an idea of how we approach maps/mapping/getting to where you’re going in CarPlay.

How do you test the three mapping apps for accuracy? Why, you say a destination and watch them work. The goal is to have as few distractions and as little further human input as possible — after all, you are driving.

It’s not the Journey, it’s uh… The Destination

Colorado State Capitol
200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203

This test is so easy. For humans. For computers however,  phones included, “state capitol” — our search phrase for this test — is hard… it’s not a “proper noun” business, like for instance “Starbucks”. My phone and these mapping apps have to do some extra work. In this case, they have to know which state I’m in before they can do the rest of the mapping calculations. And they have to know I’m looking for the state capitol… that I’m looking for a single location.

Apple Maps: Pass

Understood the request? Yes

Remembered the request? Yes

Result: Passed

After the dictation, I was given a choice screen to pick the correct destination. Subsequent “state capitol” voice commands didn’t elicit this choice — it just became my destination. Nice.

By remembering my request, we avoid — excuse the pun — an extra “round trip”. Next time, Apple Maps won’t offer me a choice, and I don’t need to involve myself in choosing. Remember, I’m driving.

Waze:  Fail

Understood the request? No

Remembered the request? N/A

Result: Failed

Waze just didn’t get it. Literally, I heard “I didn’t get that” or some variation repeatedly while saying “state capitol”. It was all for naught. To a passerby I probably looked like a lunatic: enunciating “state capitol” loudly and clearly, over and over, to my car’s interior.

I tried speaking normally at the first go. “I’m not sure I understand”. STATE CAPITOL. “I didn’t get that.” STATE. CAPITOL. “I’m not sure I understand.” Etc.

The closest I got with Waze with the evil “state capitol” verbal driving directions test

I tried about ten times, then gave up and used “Colorado state capitol”. That worked. I used the same test environment as the Apple Maps test: driving around 25 MPH, no music playing, normal road/traffic noise, windows up. I even tried when stopped at a light to eliminate the already very low ambient road noise. 

After failing (after eight attempts it obviously wasn’t a matter of how I delivered the words), I relented and gave Waze the “Colorado state capitol” gimme, and that worked.

Google Maps: Fail

Understood the request? No

Remembered the request? N/A

Result: Failed

Google Maps acted a lot like Waze in its failure. It’s probably no coincidence, because Waze became a Google company in 2013. Five years is enough time to cross-pollinate them so they use the same engine, or at the very least, use many of the same methods to do their work. Which is why we see them fail similarly.

Kinda promising…

Both apps got in trouble not in hearing or parsing my phrase, but by failing to understand that I was looking for, simply, the Colorado State Capitol building. This isn’t a display, UI or mapping problem, it’s a “deep” AI problem.

But can we stop to get beef jerky?
After the cheat word “Colorado” is given…
CarPlay Navigation

Apple Maps: 3D View is Nice But Rare, and Speed Limit Notifications… Where?

Apple Maps’ 3D button works great in the few areas it works. For a tech nerd like me with a passable map fancy, Apple Maps’ 3D view is really cool. I mean, who doesn’t want to see buildings rendered in surprising detail as you move between them. It’s just cool.

The trouble is, few places in my city are rendered in 3D. 

How to turn on Apple Maps’ 3D feature

A mile from downtown Denver, on Lincoln (major thoroughfare) nothing got 3D-ed. It takes literally being at the center of the city to get some 3D-ness. How is your city? Feel free to contact us using the “Submit a Tip” section on the right (on desktop) or at the bottom (on mobile).

Confusingly, the 3D button isn’t always available. In fact it’s nearly entirely absent, whether you’re following a route or just watching your position. 

No Speed Limits! Whoo! Wait…

Are speed limits notifications disappearing? Seemingly at the same time that iOS 12 debuted, the frequency of speed limit notifications in Apple Maps seems to have gone down.

Apple Maps helpful speed limit notification, onscreen

On arterials where I used to see them often, they no longer appear. I have and have had “Speed Limit” selected in Settings -> Maps -> Driving & Navigation. It was so bad I actually checked that.

iOS 12 speed limit notificaiton

And looking for some sort of objective metric for this report, looking through the last 6 weeks of CarPlay screenshots (of which I have about 100% more than the average iOS user) I see a much smaller percent that have a speed limit badge than I did before iOS 12. Hm. We’ll keep an eye on this moving forward.

CarPlay News

Mazda Now Offers CarPlay Retrofits, But When Will It Come to the US?

UPDATE: Mazda announced late in November that they now offers CarPlay upgrades in the US across their lineup. Check out our update on the CarPlay retrofit for details.

Mazda’s now offering Apple CarPlay retrofits in both Canada and Australia for vehicles all the way back to MY 2014. But they’ve yet to release any similar plans for the US. When will this awesome retrofit come to US soil?

Mazda Canada Now Retrofits CarPlay in 6 Models

Back in September 2018, Mazda Canada announced that Apple CarPlay would come standard in all 2019 models (save the MX-5). Mazda also announced that, if you recently bought a 2018 Mazda6 or a 2019 CX-3 before the new production change, you can have CarPlay installed in your vehicle for $250 CAD – a steal for an OEM piece of equipment.

Mazda’s awesome CarPlay offerings don’t stop there though. They also announced that they’d offer Carplay for all existing vehicles equipped with the Mazda CONNECT infotainment systems for a cost of $443 CAD. While 2x as much as for the vehicles above, that’s still not a bad price for a dealer-installed piece of equipment.

Mazda first introduced their CONNECT system across their entire range in 2014, so if your Mazda is MY 2014 or newer, you’ve got Mazda CONNECT. This includes the Mazda3, Mazda2, Mazda6, MX-5, CX-5, CX-9, and CX-3 (itself introduced in 2016).

Will Mazda Offer This Retrofit in the US?

Unfortunately, in the US things are a bit different. Mazda has already announced they’ll include CarPlay in the 2019 CX-9, but they haven’t yet spilled the beans whether or not they’ll offer the CarPlay retrofit for all the models above.

With Mazda offering the upgrade in both Canada and Australia,we can only assume (or hope) it’ll eventually make it to the US. One good sign: Mazda itself admits that Mazda CONNECT is basically the same the world over.

We really can’t see any reason they wouldn’t offer this CarPlay retrofit in the US – unless they have a deep loathing for their customer base.

Mazda isn’t completely quiet on the home front though. As of November 2018, they have confirmed that they’re offering a CarPlay retrofit the 2018 Mazda6 – and for free!

2018 Mazda6 Owners Can Already Get a Free Retrofit

If you’ve already got a 2018 Mazda6 – you’re actually in luck! Starting in September, Mazda dealers across the US began offering CarPlay/Android Auto retrofits at no cost. The free retrofit is only available for certain trim levels, so if you opted for the Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, or Signature, you’re good to go.

Mazda first announced this awesome deal back in a Julypress release. For the retrofit, you must bring your Mazda6 into adealer and the procedure includes both hardware and software upgrades and takesabout two hours to complete.

So if you’ve got a 2018 Mazda6 (of one of the trim levels above) but don’t have Apple CarPlay – go to your dealer today and get it for free!

Image Source: Courtesy Mazda Media Library