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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!


  1. Ola amigos, falo do Brasil, e na sorte também percebi a compatibilidade do Waze, tenho uma central AVH 2780, e o aplicativo esta 100% compatível inclusive com as funções de toque, apenas atualizei tudo no celular e o resto aconteceu automaticamente.

    1. Olá amigo.
      Tenho um AVH-7780TV e passou a funcionar também. Só que para a música e fica só com o áudio do Waze, mas já está bom, pois eu uso muito o Waze...

    2. Tbm tenho um AVH-7780TV mas não consegui fazer funcionar. Como vc fez?

  2. I can report the same issue with latest waze version and AVH-X5650BT. The head unit has turned into just a secondary display with no control function whatsoever. On a side note, today (jan 28) Pioneer updated the appradio app, and after installing this update i can say nothing has changed. I really hope Waze solves this.

    1. UPDATE: Waze 4.2.0 updated today (feb 8 - 2016). Some functionallity has returned with AVH-X5650BT. Will do some more tests.

    2. UPDATE 2: The limited functionality I experienced worked only on the first time I used iPhone with latest waze and latest Appradio with AVH-X5650BT. I have tried everythig I can think of since then and have not been able to replicate it. Once again there is no functinoality or conrol what so ever through the AVH-X5650BT touch screen. AVH-X5650BT is once again just a big screen to display waze and hear navigation instructions.

    3. UPDATE 3: Waze updated to version 4.3.0 on mar 16 - 2016
      Some basic functionallity is back. All you have to do is wait for the phone to promt you to allow appradio to acces the phone. Accept, and only after that conect the cable. If you do so you will be able to pan, zoom in and out and other basic functions.

    4. UPDATE 4: updated IOS to 9.3 on mar 21 - 2016
      All described in UPDATE 3 still works fine.

    5. Hi,

      how would the appradio prompt pop up unless you connect the cable first? I don't get it. Please explain in detail.

    6. hello,
      A few seconds after the phone links with the head unit via bluetooth I get prompted. The setting in the head unit is to conect to the iphone via bluetooth not via cable. This is as per Pioneer´s instrucctions for Appradio mode. The message says:AppRadio wants access. I´m asuuming some how the phone and/or the head unit know that they´re compatible, and don´t know that some apps like waze no longer work well.

    7. UPDATE 5: updated to waze on may 2nd. All described before this comment stopped working.

  3. There's a V4.0 of Waze that's just had its screenshots leaked on Android Police today so a new version is imminent.

    My AppRadio 3 is junk and used as a bluetooth unit only. The screenburn on am AMOLED screen is bad and can't kill the screen when outputting. These AppRadios need to die an (un)dignified way as Pioneer just hasn't got it right after all these years.

  4. Just updated to version 4.9.0 and is working again! Actually, it never worked better. I'm using an AppRadio 3 (SPH-DA210)

  5. Waze works again after the 4.9.0 update. However, whenever I switch to another app (Appradio launcher or Appradio Live) and return to Waze via the windows button on the radio (AVH-X5850BT), The screen on both the radio and phone turn black and I have to force close Waze and reopen. This is with both my iPhone 6 and iPad 3. I have an older AVH-X5550BT in my other car and I do not have this problem using my old iPhone 4S (connected via CD-IU201S).. Waze always loads back after switching from AppRadio Live. I also noticed that the interface is faster on the AVH-X5550BT and 4S. Switching between music player and maps on AppRadio Live is much faster than compared to the AVH-X5850BT and iPhone 6. It should be the other way around since the iPhone 6 is faster right? Any idea what the problem might be?

  6. Downloaded wade 4.9 still not showing up on my pioneer Avh-x5800 bhs. Help!!!!

  7. I pestered them enough on the Waze support forum and they brought it back. Now the touch areas aren't right, but really you people have to go to the forums and make your voices heard if you want support!


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