Apple said Monday that the latest version of its operating system will allow for third-party navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze to display through its updated CarPlay system.
The announcement came as part of Apple’s iOS 12 operating system debut at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in California. At the conference, Apple showed a screen that displayed icons for Google Maps, Waze, and Chinese-market navigation app Autonavi.
Apple said at the conference that it will release iOS 12 as a free upgrade to iPhone and iPad users this fall. It’s not clear if third-party navigation apps will be available immediately or if there will be any hardware restrictions. Apple also didn’t say if the third-party navigation apps will work with wireless connections, such as those used by several aftermarket manufacturers and available on certain BMWs.
Apple did confirm that iOS 12 will work on any phone that’s iOS 12 compatible—iPhone 5S and newer.
Previously, Apple CarPlay’s only navigation interface was through the Apple Maps app. Android Auto—Apple’s chief rival in mirroring cellphone tech on a car’s infotainment screen—already offers a Waze app in addition to its native Google Maps app.
Earlier this year, Ford used its baked-in SmartDevice Link software to allow Apple users access to Waze on certain 2018 model year vehicles, but Apple’s announcement today will make Google and Waze available for users of either cellphone brand.