How to Add Google Maps to CarPlay

Ditch Apple Maps and switch to Google navigation

A person sitting in a car interacting with their CarPlay infotainment system

simpson33/Getty Images

Apple Maps is a useful part of CarPlay, allowing you to easily use your iPhone as a Sat Nav, but it's not perfect. For those times when you'd rather use Google Maps on CarPlay, here's everything you need to know about how to get it set up and working. 

Your iPhone needs to be running iOS 12 to support third-party navigation apps in CarPlay, meaning your iPhone needs to be an iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, an iPhone 6 model, an iPhone 7 model, an iPhone 8 model, an iPhone X model, or above.

How to Add Google Maps to CarPlay

It's generally simple to install and add new apps to CarPlay. Here's what you need to do.

  1. Install Google Maps to your iPhone via the App Store.

  2. Connect your iPhone to your car's CarPlay system.

  3. Open CarPlay on your car's infotainment dash and Google Maps should now be available as an icon. 

On rare occasions, Google Maps needs to be manually added. From your phone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay. Tap your car's name, then tap the + next to Google Maps on the list to add it. 

How to Use Google Maps on CarPlay

Google Maps on CarPlay works a lot like regular Google Maps, but there are some key differences. Here's an overview of the main parts to the app. 

Map Screen

Upon first opening Google Maps, you're able to see where you're currently located. Tap the E in the top left corner and you can enter a destination or access other settings. You can also pinch to zoom in or out to look at different areas of the map.

Google Maps on CarPlay's map screen

Satellite View

Google Maps offers a satellite view feature that Apple Maps lacks. You can see the road and area you're driving around from above, which can be useful in certain situations. 

Add Destination Screen

Tap Add Destination and you can look up gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, coffee shops, or search for a specific destination. It's also possible to look through your recent Google Maps searches. 

Google Maps on CarPlay's Add Destination screen

Download Offline Maps

If you know you're traveling somewhere that has a spotty signal, you can choose to download maps to view offline via the Google Maps iOS app. 

Have saved lists on Google Maps? You can import those to CarPlay, too. 

Settings Screen

Here, you can change whether Google Maps informs you of traffic issues in your area, change the color scheme, choose to avoid freeways via route settings, as well as change the volume of the instructions. 

Google Maps on CarPlay's Settings Screen

What Can't Google Maps Do?

Google Maps is a useful alternative to Apple Maps, but there are some limitations to what it's capable of doing. Here are some key features it currently lacks:

Always open Google Maps manually so you can use it instead of Apple Maps.

  • You can't set it as a default app: It's not possible to set Google Maps as the default navigation app, so if you ask Siri (which only supports Apple-based apps) for directions, it will still automatically open Apple Maps. 
  • There's no Google Street View: Google Street View is one of the most useful additions to the browser version of Google Maps, but you can't use it via CarPlay.