If your car supports Apple CarPlay and you do not like Apple Maps, it is easy to use Google Maps for detailed turn-by-turn directions and navigation in your car instead. How to use it.
First, make sure you have Google Maps installed on your iPhone. It is available for free in the App Store. Then activate CarPlay by connecting your iPhone to your CarPlay-compatible vehicle. Locate Google Maps on your CarPlay screen and launch it with one touch. What you do next depends on where you want to go.
How to get directions in Google Maps via CarPlay
Once Google Maps is running, it can provide directions by voice to almost any location. First tap the screen until you see the “Add Destination”; button at the top. Once it is displayed, press it.
Then you will see a menu that allows you to choose how you want to add a destination. Although there are six keys here (plus a keyboard key), there are really only four basic ways to enter a destination.
- Recent searches: This displays a list of recently searched destinations for you to choose from.
- Gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, cafes: If you click on one of these, a list of related companies that match the category description is displayed. You will be able to tap the one you want to visit.
- Voice search: This allows you to search for a destination with your voice.
- Keyboard search: By tapping the keyboard icon in the upper right corner of the screen, you can search by entering a destination name using an on-screen keyboard.
For example, if you press the “Voice Search” button, you will be asked where you want to go.
Say the name of a destination aloud. It can be an address (ie “4403 Denmark St. in Tampa”), the name of a landmark (such as a park, a monument or a famous building) or a company.
For example, if you say “McDonalds”, Google Maps will provide a list of the nearest McDonalds restaurant locations. You will see a similar search results list if you search with a keyboard or also browse by category type. Tap the specified location you want to visit.
Then Google Maps shows you an overview of the route on the map and how long it takes to get there. To start the route, press “Start”.
As you drive, Google Maps will give you song-by-turn directions through your car’s speaker system. You will also be able to see your location as you move on the map. Your vehicle is represented by the blue triangular icon inside a circle.
As you drive, you will see an estimated time of arrival, the remaining time until you reach your destination and the remaining distance in the lower left corner of the screen.
If you want to add a stop to your route at any time, you can press the “Add stop” button at the top of the screen. To cancel the route, press the “Exit” button in the upper right corner.
The three buttons in the lower right corner of the screen do the following (from top to bottom):
- Browse map: By tapping this, you can freely move your view of the map up, down, left or right so that you can see the surrounding area without having to drive there.
- Mute: This mutes the voice that gives turn by turn directions.
- See route overview: This allows you to see an overview of the entire ongoing route on the map.
Once you arrive, Google Maps alerts you with a voice and the screen changes. Tap “End trip” to clear the trip from Google Maps.
After that, you can go into a new destination and start over (or simply get out of the car and eat a cheeseburger).
To change Google Maps settings on CarPlay
To change Google Maps settings when using CarPlay, tap the car’s touch screen until you see a blue gear icon, then tap “gear”.
A “Settings” menu will then appear.
We briefly go over what each option in the Settings menu does.
- Route options: This allows you to indicate that you want to avoid highways, tolls or ferries while Google Maps suggests potential routes.
- Map colors: This changes the color of the Google Maps interface. The options are “Day” (a white theme), “Night” (a dark theme) or “Automatic”, which automatically changes from Day or Night theme depending on the time of day.
- Satellite map: This option switches (turns on or off) satellite map images. This image shows real overhead photography of the world around you, but it consumes extra mobile data during use and may be slower to charge in some places where your cell signal is weak.
- Traffic: This switches between the traffic status overlay. When activated, you will see local traffic conditions superimposed on the roads with colored lines. Green means that the traffic flows smoothly, orange means something crowded and red means that the traffic moves very slowly in that area.
- North up: This changes the map orientation from a “behind the car” orientation where the map rotates around your vehicle to a “north up” orientation where the map is always oriented north up.
- Volume: This allows you to adjust the volume of the voice that provides turn by turn directions and warning warnings.
If you want to change any of these settings, press the corresponding button in the menu. When you are done in Settings, press the “Back” button to save your changes. Safe travel!