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Navigation app Waze is integrating with Android Auto

Cars are ripe for operating systems, and adding the app could give Google’s solution a boost.

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Google’s Waze navigation app is integrating with Android Auto, Google’s hands-free smart car operating system. That should make the car operating system more attractive for potential users who are in the market for new cars.

Android Auto has more than five million users according to the Google Play store. Its users already have access to Google’s more basic navigation app, Google Maps.

Waze for Android Auto will have basically all the same capabilities on the car dashboard screen as it does on mobile. Drivers will be able to ask the app to help navigate to a selected destination, and Waze will return routes optimized with crowdsourced information on traffic congestion, closures and accidents.

Waze has a bit of a cult following among its users, so connecting it to dashboard screens running Android Auto could make the operating system more attractive to drivers who already use Waze, which could also benefit Android phone sales.

Waze is not yet integrating with Apple CarPlay, though the mobile app works on iPhones.

The new Android Auto version of Waze won’t show ads, the way the mobile app does, but adapting the app to a car operating system means there’s one more type of screen where ads could be shown down the road.

But the car version won’t do everything Waze tools can do on mobile. For example, the Waze carpooling app is not part of the integration. Voice commands will also be limited to telling the car app your destination. Users won’t be able to verbally tell the app about accidents on the road or congestion. That information has to be input manually.

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