Waze is finally coming to Apple CarPlay’s new multiscreen dashboard. This is sure to come as welcome news to devotees of the Google-owned navigation app, who have been waiting for over a year for it to work with the much-improved, upgraded version of CarPlay.
A tipster who is beta testing the new feature sent us this image of Waze operating in CarPlay’s new Split View function. Apple rolled out the new dashboard as part of last year’s iOS 13 software update, but it was limited to only work with Apple Maps at the time. Previously, CarPlay required bouncing between different screens to see a track name while getting directions to a destination. With Split View, you can see a map, what’s currently playing on the car’s stereo, and the next piece of guidance to your destination all in one place.
Apple eventually released iOS 13.4 earlier this year, which introduced the option for third-party companies to add support for the dashboard mode on their own mapping apps. It took Google until August 2020 to implement support for Google Maps. And now it seems like Waze (which is also owned by Google) is soon to follow.
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A spokesperson for Waze wouldn’t confirm the beta testing, so we’re not sure when the navigation company plans to officially announce the rollout. “We actually don’t have anything to share right now. Will be sure to keep you posted if/when we do,” the spokesperson said in an email. Waze has 140 million monthly active users who drive more than 24 billion miles (40 billion kilometers) every month. The company was founded in Israel in 2008 and was later acquired by Google in 2013.
The beta also features the first support for lane guidance in Waze for iOS, the tipster said. This handy feature recommends what lane you should be in when you’re entering or exiting a freeway, for instance. It’s also helpful when navigating complicated intersections or highway mergers. The tipster described the ability to use Waze in CarPlay’s new split-screen dashboard as “really smooth” and a “game-changer.”
Like many companies, Waze has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has emptied roadways around the world and sent many cities into lockdown. As sheltering in place and working from home become the new norm, fewer people are using Waze for their daily navigation needs. Fewer eyeballs on the app means less advertising revenue for the company, which led to Waze laying off 5 percent of its global workforce, or around 30 people, in September. More recently, the company’s CEO Noam Bardin announced that he would be stepping down in early 2021.