Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Did Waze Really Drop Pioneer AppRadio Mode Support?
When it comes to navigation apps, Waze is perhaps one of the most popular choices. Whether you've been using it on your car's Pioneer head unit equipped with AppRadio Mode, or on your smartphone itself, Waze gives users plenty of relevant information.
Google owns Waze and has integrated some of the best features of the app in the native Google Maps app. But seems like about a week ago, the AppRadio Mode support in Waze was dropped by Google. I was first made aware of this by one of our readers, Alfonso.
When I launched AppRadio Mode on my Pioneer AVH-4100NEX to check this out for myself, I saw Waze still appears on the homescreen. So has Waze really dropped AppRadio Mode support?
Firstly, Alfonso sent me this screenshot of EC Touch, another AppRadio Mode compatible app...
As you can see, according to the service message, Waze has dropped AppRadio support and this has nothing to do with EC Touch, which had a Waze shortcut available for launching the app.
Here's what I found...
I launched the AppRadio app on my Pioneer AVH-4100NEX and when I scrolled through the app list on the homescreen, there was Waze at the end of the list...
I tapped on the icon but the head unit asked me to launch a compatible app instead.
So maybe Waze did drop support.
But there's more. In the Waze settings on my iPhone, I found an option to 'Control Waze from car unit.' This setting was turned off. So I turned it ON and relaunched the app on my iPhone like it asked me to.
I launched Waze from AppRadio Mode again and this time the Waze interface showed up on the head unit. Voila, right!? But wait!
Although Waze shows up in AppRadio Mode, there are no touch controls to use it from the head unit. You can only see the Map with your current location. If you have started navigation on your smartphone, you should be able to see this on the head unit, but you can't use the app using touch.
Back in November last year, Waze had a major issue crop up for AppRadio Mode users. The new ETA panel feature seemed to occupy too much real estate on the Waze interface, rendering the app difficult to use.
So, even though the last two Waze updates didn't mention anything about dropping AppRadio support altogether, it looks like Waze is no longer usable in AppRadio Mode, even though it shows up as a compatible app. No touch controls available on the head unit.
Oh, Waze! You will be sorely missed!
Ponder on this...
Maybe Google is planning on bringing its Google Maps application to car dashboards with full touch controls. I really hope this is the case, and maybe that's why AppRadio Mode support for Waze was dropped. Google Maps is already the default navigation option for Android Auto.
I also hope this isn't a sign of Google slowly phasing out Waze in favor of a full-fledged Google Maps application with all of Waze's features. However, the tech giant has never hinted at doing this.
Note: I have only tested the iOS version of Waze with AppRadio Mode. I cannot confirm at this time if Waze for Android has similar issues on Pioneer head units.
Thanks, Alfonso, for the heads up!
By AppRadioWorld at 5:00 AM