How to Add Waze to CarPlay

Ditch Apple Maps and switch to Waze navigation

A woman sitting in the driver's seat of a car, tapping on a navigational screen on the dashboard

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Via Apple CarPlay, it's useful to be able to use your iPhone and Apple Maps as a navigation tool while driving. It's not perfect, though, so it's convenient to be able to use third-party navigation tools like Waze. Here's everything you need to know about how to add Waze to CarPlay, and some useful tips on how to use it. 

Your iPhone must be compatible with iOS 12 to support third-party navigation apps in CarPlay. That includes the iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6 range, iPhone 7 range, iPhone 8 range, and the iPhone X and above.

How to Add Waze to CarPlay

Waze is a community-driven GPS and navigational app that does a great job helping you avoid traffic jams, as well as find the cheapest places to buy gas. It's pretty simple to install and add new apps to CarPlay.

  1. Install Waze 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 system and Waze should now be available as an icon on the dashboard. 

    Apple CarPlay screen

    Occasionally, apps needs to be manually added. From your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, tap your car's name, then tap the + next to Waze to add it.

How to Use Waze on CarPlay

Waze involves minimal setup to get started. Here's what you need to know to begin using Waze immediately.

  1. Open Waze on CarPlay.

    Waze opening home screen on Apple CarPlay
  2. Switch to your iPhone and tap Get Started on the Waze app.

  3. Agree to accept Push Notifications and to Allow Access to the Microphone. 

  4. You're now ready to use Waze.

What Can I Do With Waze? 

Waze works much like other navigational apps, but it has some useful extra features included. Here's an overview of what it's capable of.

Speed Tracking

When looking at the map screen, the left hand side highlights what speed you're traveling at. It also tells you the speed limit of the road you're on.

Waze app on Apple CarPlay displaying the map screen

Search for Cheap Gas

Want to find the nearest gas station? Most navigational apps provide that as standard. Waze goes one step further by allowing you to view all the local gas stations nearby, along with how much the gas is. Prices are updated regularly by other Waze users.

Waze iOS app displaying advanced information including gas station prices

Detailed Journey Times

Besides telling you how long your journey will take, Waze also suggests better times of day within the hour to travel. It plots the average traffic during that time of day to determine the best time. 

Report Tools

You can report accidents, hazards, or heavy traffic so other users are forewarned about any issues along their route. This keeps the app up to date with what's going on while traveling. 

Waze report feature

What Can't Waze Do?

Waze is a very useful navigation app, but it does have some issues Apple Maps doesn't suffer from. Here's a quick look at its limitations.

Siri only supports Apple based apps, so always open Waze manually to use the app. 

  • You can't set it as your default navigation app: Because of Apple limitations, you can't set Waze as the default navigation app in your car. If you ask Siri for directions, it will still automatically open Apple Maps. 
  • Limited POI details: Waze is a little rudimentary with its map details unless you zoom in extensively, meaning it's not quite as good as Apple Maps for at-a-glance browsing.