Replacing Google Maps With Waze on Android Auto Could Soon Become the Only Option

Let’s be honest about it: while Android Auto users can choose from a plethora of navigation apps, some of which come from famous companies like TomTom and Sygic, Google’s very own solutions continue to be the most popular.
Google Maps dark mode on Android Auto 8 photos
Photo: Google
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Google Maps, for instance, is currently the number one navigation solution on Android and Android Auto, while the Google-owned Waze is often considered the runner-up, especially because it’s powered by outstanding real-time traffic data.

Unfortunately for those who rely on Google Maps for their navigation experience, switching to Waze could soon become the only option.

And it all comes down to the continuously-increasing number of glitches that Google Maps is hitting on Android Auto.

As the world’s number one mobile navigation solution, Google Maps must undoubtedly offer the most stable, reliable, and flawless experience from the moment drivers jump behind the wheel to the one when they arrive at their destination.

Google Maps on Android Auto
Photo: Google
Starting recently, however, Google Maps is slowly turning into a major struggle behind the wheel, as for some reason, it no longer seems to feel at home on Android Auto. Google Maps, therefore, ended up hitting all kinds of bugs that made way too many people think of switching to an alternative. And as said, Waze is most often the first choice.

Not a long time ago, it was discovered that Google Maps launched in the dark mode by default on Android Auto, therefore ignoring the user settings and other data such as the current position of the headlights.

Using Google Maps with the dark mode during daytime is obviously pretty difficult, especially in direct sunlight, so it’s easy to see why people have been trying all kinds of workarounds in the last few weeks. Fortunately, Google has apparently become aware of this problem quite fast, and while it has remained tight-lipped on everything, it shipped a fix in the latest stable build of Google Maps.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everything in Google Maps is running properly on Android Auto. The satellite mode, which is one of the most popular layers that drivers enable when starting the navigation, has been broken for nearly a month, with the application freezing and eventually crashing on Android Auto.

Fortunately, a workaround does exist this time, as disabling the satellite mode altogether does the trick and lets you use Google Maps in the default mode. It goes without saying it’s not the most convenient workaround, but with Google not saying a single word about a potential fix, this is pretty much the only option unless you’re ready to switch to Waze.

Google Maps on Android Auto
Photo: Google
Also a few weeks back, Android Auto users came across another problem with Google Maps, this time blocking the navigation from starting when the phone is locked. Google Assistant appears to understand the voice command correctly, but when it attempts to launch Google Maps and set up the navigation, the whole thing fails.

It’s hard to say if Google Maps, Android Auto, or Google Assistant is the culprit this time, but I’ve seen users claiming that everything works properly with other navigation apps. This seems to suggest that Google Maps is the one to blame, but once again, Google is the one that should look into the problem and figure out what’s happening.

At the end of the day, what seems to be pushing some users from Google Maps to Waze is not only the plethora of bugs that are hitting the world’s number one mobile navigation app these days, but also Google’s Apple-inspired secrecy. Without the search giant acknowledging bugs and promising fixes, users are left all alone in their struggles with Google Maps bugs, and more often than not, giving up on the app entirely is pretty much the most convenient way to go.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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