Waze Launches on Ford's SYNC 3 Infotainment Systems Through iOS AppLink

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At CES in January, Ford discussed a new partnership with crowdsource navigation app Waze that aimed to bring Waze onto the touch screen of SYNC 3 vehicles through Ford's AppLink. That partnership has been fully realized today with Waze users worldwide now able to connect their iPhones to AppLink via USB and mirror Waze on their infotainment system.


This allows drivers to access their favorite Waze features when following a route, searching for a nearby gas station, and even reporting traffic accidents, all while their iPhone is safely stored and locked. Voice guidance and commands are available as well through a Ford vehicle's speakers and microphone system.

The SYNC 3 integration includes recent Waze app updates like "Talk to Waze" for voice controls, route support for carpool lanes, more accurate arrival times, and more. Waze's crowdsourced navigation features are fueled when users open their smartphones and begin driving, with people typically using iPhone mounts and other products to safely drive without holding their devices.

Ford executive Don Butler explained how partnerships between carmakers like Ford and GPS apps like Waze further improve the safety of driving thanks to reducing potential smartphone distractions.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to access the smartphone features, apps and services they care about most in the car, without having to pick up their device,” said Don Butler, executive director, connected vehicle platform and product, Ford Motor Company. “With Waze, our customers get the benefits they’re accustomed to with the added luxury of experiencing them on a bigger screen.”

To access the new feature users will need SYNC 3 software version 3.0 or greater installed in the vehicle, as well as iOS 11.3 and the up-to-date Waze app downloaded on the iPhone. Ford encourages customers to head to its website for more details on Waze integration.

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
If nothing else CarPlay needs to allow unrestricted mirroring so we we aren't dependent on Apple's "generosity" to fully utilize the device we paid for the way we want. If the app is good enough for approval in the AppStore then it should be available across all devices. Apple's insistence on closing the CP ecosystem to only those apps it wants to separately approve is ridiculous.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
I get that Apple is concerned about 3rd party apps on CarPlay but it's past time for them to open it up. I love using CarPlay but it just feels so intentionally hobbled. I hope this is the year that it gets some attention.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

If nothing else CarPlay needs to allow unrestricted mirroring so we we aren't dependent on Apple's "generosity" to fully utilize the device we paid for the way we want. If the app is good enough for approval in the AppStore then it should be available across all devices. Apple's insistence on closing the CP ecosystem to only those apps it wants to separately approve is ridiculous.

That defeats the purpose of CarPlay -to try to reduce distracted driver situations.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Tried it, works, switched back to CP (which has been pretty flawless for me, even the early pre-production versions).

If the app is good enough for approval in the AppStore then it should be available across all devices. Apple's insistence on closing the CP ecosystem to only those apps it wants to separately approve is ridiculous.

That defeats the purpose of CarPlay -to try to reduce distracted driver situations.

I believe there's a good solution that's a compromise between your two posts: provide CP with an "open" publishing model like the AppleTV (probably the best comparison as it's a smaller market, with apps that clearly compete with Apple), however, provide very specific design guidance, and careful curation to limit apps that introduce anything that's potentially hazardous (again, smaller market, easier to curate).

There's no need for Apple to limit competing apps on their hardware platform (CP = iPhone), in fact, it's counterproductive - it's the same buyer motivation for an AppleTV (resulting in a hardware sale, more buy-in to the ecosystem) when the device allows them access to non-Apple content (Amazon PV, Vudu, Google/YT).

- Open up the SDK, provide a "store" (really just a CP compatible indicator/filter in the main app store ...)
- Document very specific requirements (they already do this ...)
- Curate carefully considering the use case of CP (reduction of distraction, more hands free automation)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

I don’t see Apple ever allowing Waze in CarPlay. Three reasons:


* Waze is owned by Google and Google has a directly-competing in-car solution.
* Apple wants iOS users to use Apple Maps, not other map apps. They aren’t investing all that money into maps refinement and street view mapping for nothing.
* Waze encourages FAR too much driver interaction while driving. If you regularly use CarPlay like I do, you know that Apple went to great pains to keep interactions simple and to a minimum. The two companies aren’t going to see eye to eye on the acceptable level of functionality and interaction.

3 thoughts about this:

Waze is owned by Google. And because of this, the desire to restrict goes two ways. Apple as you said wants you to use Apple Maps. But Waze in service to their owners, does not want to offer the best experience on a iPhone within CarPlay. They have Android Auto for that.

Apple likely does not want a large number of CarPlay apps at this time due to the number of icons issue. If they allow you to add apps to the CarPlay screen (like you can with your phone) then you'd be back to "distracted driver". I hope people will remember that Apple is in a liability situation within CarPlay. If they allow you to do something in CarPlay and you become distracted while driving and have a accident- Apple could be liable. I am sure that is part of any CarPlay decisions.

As for Waze, the best answer for us as customers I believe would be for Apple to offer Waze like services within Apple Maps.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Won't work on Sync 3 unless you manually switch off CarPlay. You can have CarPlay or Sync 3 apps. Not both.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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