Waze for iOS is finally coming to Ford cars

Photo: Sean O’Kane / The Verge

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.


If you try to run Waze (on your phone) while playing Spotify through CarPlay it makes Spotify audio quality like that of a phone call. Great that I can get Waze on my car now but then if I use that I lose CarPlay’s great Spotify app. And you have to disable CarPlay for Waze to even show up as an option so you can’t go back and forth

Disabling CarPlay to get this feature is the absolute worst.

Thanks Apple for making these great decisions for me. All this time I have been wanting Waze to work with my iPhone’s CarPlay mode but clearly I must be crazy and reckless; it’s so much safer to fiddle with my iPhone and its tiny keyboard while mounted on my car’s air vent.

Am getting real fed-up with Apple "knowing best" all the time; Carplay restrictions, HomePod only works with Apple Music, no google movies on Apple TV, no iTunes movies on Android. etc.

That’s what happen when you get too complacent. I think Apple needs a little burn and wake-up call so they can dial down their arrogance and get back to making great products that we love and can actually use.

^ this. I love their devices, hate their restrictions. Not being able to use the map app of your choice on CarPlay is just asinine.

Did you ever think you love their devices because of the restrictions? Saying yes to everyone essentially says no to the end solution.

Asinine comment.

One of the main reasons i do not use carplay! I like the idea ans concept have it in my car but rather have my phone on its magnetic mounted charger (mophie) and use waze with Spotify or Sirius XM app. When Apple allows Waze I will try again…

This has actually been available for the last two months. It just wasn’t advertised heavily. It works ok, but you’re iphone must be unlocked and waze open. In the end it is a bit laggy and the voice control is spotty, though that doesn’t matter much once you are moving so long as you like Waze.
Personally I find it to demanding of my attention and it doesn’t provide any better routing than Apple Maps in my area.
(Waze tends to make some odd routing decisions compared to Apple or a Google. It is often a couple of minutes slower)

You have to disable CarPlay entirely to run Ford’s Sync apps. That will put a pretty big damper on adoption. (a) people tend to like CarPlay and won’t want to turn it off, (b) it’s not made very clear anywhere that you have to do so and it’s not terribly obvious how to do it anyway. A lot of people will give up and go back to Apple Maps after not figuring out how to make Waze work.

On the other hand, the threat of people disabling CarPlay should be a pretty big wake-up call to Apple that they need to allow 3rd-party maps in CarPlay. Here’s hoping they announce that at WWDC in a few weeks. I’m usually happy enough to use Apple Maps around Los Angeles but I know it’s significantly Less Good outside of California.

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