Top Navigation App Launches on CarPlay, Android Auto Support Also Coming

If you ask someone to recommend a good navigation app with Android Auto and CarPlay support, the most common suggestions typically come down to Google Maps and Waze.
Sygic's truck navigation on CarPlay 21 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Sygic
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And it makes sense. Google Maps and Waze dominate the navigation space with the most advanced feature package and a freeware license. Furthermore, Waze also offers a crowdsourcing engine that nobody could copy despite several attempts from multiple companies, including Apple.

However, it doesn't mean Google Maps and Waze are the best choices for everybody. The growing number of alternatives proves there's still room for improvement, and Sygic is one of the companies providing advanced software that can fully replace the market leaders.

Its GPS navigation is already the preferred choice for a growing number of drivers, and now the company is going after a niche whose potential has so far been ignored by Google.

Sygic announced that its GPS Truck & Caravan Navigation application is available on CarPlay, with Android Auto support to be added soon.

Why the world needs truck navigation

Google Maps satellite mode navigation
Photo: autoevolution
While Google Maps and Waze help users go from where they are to where they want to be faster, safer, and more conveniently, they are only aimed at standard passenger vehicles.

Many people misuse these apps and rely on their navigation when driving larger vehicles, such as lorries and motorhomes. Due to their exclusive focus on passenger cars, they don't take into account essential vehicle details. As a result, if you drive a lorry, Google Maps will send you on the same road where it sends a passenger car, meaning that you might end up on a residential street where your vehicle doesn't fit.

Large vehicles stuck on narrow roads have become a common sight lately, as drivers don't know Google Maps and Waze lack a truck navigation mode. They launch the app, input the destination, and follow the provided directions blindly, without even worrying that the suggested route is dangerous.

Sygic's software fills this gap and offers navigation specifically for truck and caravan drivers.

Sygic GPS Truck and Caravan Navigation

Sygic truck navigation on CarPlay
Photo: Sygic
The application has all the features a lorry driver would need, so when setting up the vehicle profile, you can configure everything from vehicle dimensions and maximum speed to emissions and cargo specifications. Eventually, the application takes all this data into account when looking for routes, so you'll know for sure that you won't end up in an embarrassing and dangerous situation.

For example, one common problem with standard navigation apps lacking a truck navigation mode is tunnel and bridge navigation. Google Maps could send you on a bridge without knowing that your vehicle is subject to certain height and weight limitations, simply because the application believes you drive a passenger vehicle allowed on all types of roads.

Sygic doesn't do this, as it always looks for routes where your vehicle is permitted based on the provided data. As a result, you must always double-check the provided specifications, as Sygic's solution can only calculate routes based on your data.

Additionally, the software also comes with a series of extras, including offline maps, real-time traffic data, speed camera alerts, speed limit notifications, and dynamic lane assistance.

CarPlay and Android Auto support

Sygic truck navigation on CarPlay
Photo: Sygic
With this new update, Sygic's truck navigation software makes its way to CarPlay, making it more convenient for drivers to interact with the app. The navigation instructions are presented on the infotainment screen, along with essential information, including the highlighted route, the speed limit, the ETA, the distance to the destination, and next-turn guidance. The application works similarly to Google Maps, but you get truck-specific information, including the weight limit for nearby roads.

The navigation instructions are routed to the car's speakers, so you'll hear the turn-by-turn guidance in the cabin clearer, which we all know how important it is in a truck.

You won't have to do anything special to get the CarPlay support in the app. Update the application to the latest version and connect your iPhone to the head unit to run CarPlay. CarPlay should show the Sygic GPS Truck & Caravan icon in the app drawer when it launches, letting you fire it up as you do for Google Maps and Waze.

The parent company says support for Android Auto is also coming, though no further specifics were shared. It looks like the ETA is 2023, so the update should go live by the end of the year. I expect a similar feature lineup to be available for Android Auto users, too, but the full information will be shared by Sygic when the update is ready.

Meanwhile, the company claims its application sees its download count go through the roof. It already has over five million users, and the integration of CarPlay and Android Auto support should support the growth, as more people will give up on other navigation solutions specifically because the application can now run on the infotainment screen in their trucks, being able to replace traditional GPS navigators.
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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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