Top Alternatives to Apple Maps and Apple CarPlay

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person using apple carplay display

If you have a car that comes with Apple CarPlay, you’ll be able to use it to navigate to any destination of your choosing. The default app you’ll be using is Apple Maps, but that isn’t a great fit for everybody. Luckily, you’re able to use a different app entirely if it’s not to your liking. Google Maps is considered to be one of the top alternatives, and it’s probably the most recognizable of the bunch. However, that doesn’t make it the best.

Different people have different needs, and there are plenty of different apps to choose from. Some apps are better at pure navigation than others, such as Waze when compared to Google Maps. However, not everyone values that the same way, so there’s no clearcut favorite here. At the end of the day, they’ll all do the same thing and that’s take you to where you’re going — but they have different ways of doing so. Here are your options.


waze app on phone

Waze is one of the best navigation apps on the market, and if you’re looking to get from point A to point B, this is a great choice. Waze will automatically update your route as better ones become available, ensuring you’re going to reach your destination as fast as possible. It’s simple to use, and if you’re using it simply for traveling then it’s tough to find a better option.

There are some drawbacks of the app when compared to some of the other options, however. If you’re using Waze to discover restaurants in a new area, it’s not going to be very good for that. You aren’t able to see reviews for these spots, so it’s tough to tell exactly what you’re going to be getting yourself into. You have access to other apps that can give you this information, so you can just use Waze for the navigation it provides and different ones for everything else.

Google Maps

person holding phone with google maps

Google Maps is a very well-known app, and it’s something that comes on Android devices by default. If you’re driving a car equipped with Android Auto, it’ll be the default there too. Even if your car utilizes Apple CarPlay, you can opt to ditch Apple Maps for Google Maps, and there are many reasons for doing so. Just because your car has Apple CarPlay doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the Apple ecosystem, and the Google UI might feel more familiar to you. Google Maps integrates itself nicely with your Google account, and that’ll definitely be the move if you have an Android phone.

As for what this app brings to the table, it’s a jack of all trades. You’ll be able to get from place to place and also read reviews of new places all within one app. While it doesn’t always give you the most up-to-date routes or shortest trips like Waze does, it’s good enough for most situations. 


apple carplay display

TomTom is a huge name in the GPS world, and although people have largely moved away from having a separate GPS unit mounted in their car, the name lives on through an app. It works perfectly with your Apple CarPlay, so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about there. If you’re used to using a different navigation app, you shouldn’t run into any problems here as it’s easy to understand. All you have to do is punch in your destination and follow what it tells you to do.

It’s a very no-frills type of design where you simply see your car on the road moving toward where you’re going — in a nice 3-D display no less. TomTom comes with a monthly subscription, but it does its best to make it worthwhile. You’ll be able to see the best gas prices and EV charging stations, so it does have a lot going for it there. There is a free trial available that’ll let you hop in and see if you like it before you pay up.


road during sunset

Roadtrippers is a bit of a dark horse pick here as it doesn’t boast the household brand name that other options have. That doesn’t stop it from being a very effective alternative to Apple Maps. Like TomTom, has have a subscription you’ll have to pay for. However, there are some reasons for that. You’ll notice you can add all sorts of stops along the way if you’re taking a long road trip, and that’s where the aptly titled Roadtrippers app flourishes. You don’t have to spend any money if you have a total of three stops, but any more will require a membership. Subscribing will give you up to 150 stops in total, meaning you can visit just about anything you can think of.

This app comes with a free trial for seven days. If you’re getting ready to travel the country, there’s no harm in downloading Roadtrippers and seeing what it can do. A downside of the app is it’s currently only focused on the United States and Canada.

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