Waze starts beta testing Apple CarPlay support ahead of iOS 12 release

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Google's Waze is preparing for Apple's public release of iOS 12 and CarPlay's support for third-party navigational apps, by allowing participants in its private beta program early access to the service via Apple's automotive platform.

Beta testers using iOS received a notification on Friday that an update to the Waze app would be available on TestFlight in the near future. Identified as "RC v." in a message posted to Twitter by Chris Harper, the version seems to be a release candidate, but it is unknown when it will formally launch to all users.

Arriving as part of iOS 12, which was recently confirmed to ship on September 17, the update to CarPlay will enable third-party apps that provide navigational assistance to function through the vehicle's infotainment system. The support effectively provides the same features found on the iPhone and iPad versions, but projected onto the infotainment unit's display, with the third-party tools able to offer features that Apple Maps does not.

In Apple's announcement of CarPlay's third-party navigation support at WWDC in June, the image of the CarPlay dash interface featured three apps, with Waze and Google Maps being the most well-known of the trio. Unlike Waze, there is no word on when Google Maps for iOS will include iOS support, but it is possible for the popular service to issue an app update soon after iOS 12's launch to enable it.

For Waze, the confirmation of a release candidate beta on TestFlight is a good sign that it will arrive in the near future, though again there is no indication for when it will be.

Along with enabling other navigational services in CarPlay, Apple is also replacing its externally-sourced mapping data with its own in-house data for Maps. The new data was originally limited to users in the Bay area, before rolling out to the rest of California then to the rest of the United States.

Other smaller performance updates have been found in relation to audio apps, with AppleInsider testing revealing quicker start-up times regardless of audio app.