Time to Ditch Google Maps? Android Auto Users Will Soon Earn Money While Driving

MapMetrics on Android 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google Play Store
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The navigation space keeps growing, and while Google Maps and Waze remain the top choices, users worldwide get more and more alternatives with unique and innovative features.
If you've never heard of MapMetrics, you'll probably want to give it a try after checking out its feature lineup. Its main selling point is the navigation engine, which provides users with crypto rewards as they use the app. The more you run MapMetrics, the more money you earn, and if you connect your wallet, you can see your earnings in real-time.

MapMetrics has recently confirmed support for Android Auto, with the parent company explaining that it's already working on making it happen. It's too early to tell when the feature could launch, as the current focus is "figuring out how we can have Android Auto and the GPS connected at the same time," but eventually, the app will land on infotainment screens running Google's in-car experience.

The application is fitted with essential navigation capabilities, including offline support. It means you can navigate without an Internet connection, so if you drive in spotty areas without a cellular signal, MapMetrics will continue to provide turn-by-turn guidance to the destination.

One of its key features is the focus on user privacy. The parent company guarantees that your location and data remain anonymous, so all drives are private.

MapMetrics proposed a unique approach in the navigation world, but some users who tried the app complained in the review section on the Google Play Store that their rewards don't show up despite running the app for a while. Others claim the crypto wallet gets updated regularly, but it sometimes takes time before the funds are transferred to the account.

Google is also working on big updates for the Android Auto experience. Not long ago, the company started experimenting with another important facelift, adding 3D buildings to the navigation screen on Android Auto. The 3D buildings use transparency, so they don't block the navigation route, though this visual effect also makes them more challenging to see. The parent company will probably continue to refine the new experience before it announces the broad availability, especially as it receives feedback from the first people who try it out.

The feature is still in the testing phase, as it's only available in limited regions and for a very small set of users. It showed up on Android Auto earlier this month for a handful of users, seemingly powered by a server-side switch (it means that installing a specific Google Maps version wouldn't provide you with the 3D interface). More information should surface in the coming weeks, as Google's test makes progress, but I expect the search giant to also bring the same visual facelift to CarPlay.
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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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