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Sunday, March 7, 2021

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You can now use Waze on CarPlay’s home screen instead of flipping between apps while driving

If you use Waze and ever needed to take your eyes off the road to control your music alongside your maps, a new update is starting to roll out that should let you spend more time driving and less time fiddling with that touchscreen. MacRumors is reporting that Waze has started rolling out Apple CarPlay Dashboard support, which will allow you to see directions on CarPlay’s home screen, alongside media controls, calendar events, and more. When I heard about it, I ran out to my car and sure enough, Waze’s directions showed up on the home screen.

Screenshot of Apple CarPlay with Waze directions on the left half and top right of the screen, and media controls in the bottom left Your Waze directions and music controls, all on one screen.

The company started beta testing the feature late last month, but CarPlay Dashboard has been around for Apple Maps users since the launch of iOS 13 (though it’s only been open to third-party developers since iOS 13.4). The integration is a win for driving safety, as the golden rule for car UI is basically “look at and touch the screen as little as you possibly can.”

Before this update, if you wanted to change the song that was playing, you’d have to go to the Music app, press the next button, then make your way back to Waze. That could be anywhere from 3 to 6 taps on the screen, depending on if Waze was in the app launcher on the side. That’s a lot, especially if you’re going 70 miles an hour. Now, you can have both Waze, the next turn you need to take, and the music controls on the same screen, and changing the song will only take one tap.

In keeping with the safety theme, the update also includes lane guidance, a feature that lets you know in advance what lane you should be in for your next turn or freeway exit. This should help reduce those “I have to be four lanes over in a quarter mile” moments that trip me up on occasion. Happy (and safe) driving!

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