After announcing that t was coming at CES and showing us a beta version in late January, Ford is finally rolling out Waze integration with its SYNC 3 infotainment system. iOS users with a SYNC 3-equipped car will now be able to “project” or “mirror” Waze onto the infotainment system, giving them full access to Waze’s maps as well as all of the crowdsourced information about traffic, hazards, and police alerts that the app is known for.
To make it work, users need the Waze app and have to be on version 3.0 (or greater) of SYNC 3, with their phones running iOS 11.3 (or later). Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t run through CarPlay; Apple still wants you to use Apple Maps there. Instead, it runs on SYNC 3 via Ford’s AppLink, which is kind of like Ford’s own version of CarPlay.
Like with, say, CarPlay, the Waze app will still be running on your phone in this situation. But the mirrored version that shows up on the infotainment screen doesn’t feel any worse off because of this (at least based on what I saw when it was running in beta at the beginning of this year). The only issue I had when I fiddled with Waze back then was that the experience was a little buggy, which is not surprising for a beta.
Otherwise, the icons are big and colorful, the interface was simple to navigate, and it even works with voice controls. Bringing Waze to the bigger screen for iOS users — something Android Auto users have enjoyed for a while now — helps add more choices to the mix. It’s also another small part of the effort Ford’s making to try and elevate its tech-forward image. The company also announced a deeper integration with Amazon’s Alexa earlier this year. On the driving side, it recently unveiled its driver assistance package, which will debut on the 2019 Edge SUV.