Drivers using Apple CarPlay have been warned of a bug that makes navigation apps including Apple Maps “unusable and dangerous” while driving, and it turns out the bug could be more widespread than first thought.
The issue is related to GPS, which “continually bugs out and completely breaks navigation via Apple Maps, Google Maps, or any other navigation app,” rendering users unable to navigate while using CarPlay and a connected iPhone.
9to5Mac’s Chance Miller first reported the issues a few days ago, and says it’s a problem “I’ve been experiencing on and off for nearly a year.” Turns out “a lot of CarPlay users” are also facing the same problem, so what’s going on?
Wrong turn for CarPlay?
Miller says his issues are affecting his Ford Mustang Mach-E, but that the problem isn’t exclusive to either that model or Ford in general. “The bug is simple,” Miller writes “When connected via CarPlay, the GPS functionality is unreliable. This manifests itself in a handful of different ways.”
Issues listed include the GPS connection totally freezing and ceasing to update while driving, or that it ”freaks out” and shows the car driving through a field or river rather than the highway. The GPS indicator also sometimes switches to a larger circle. All three render turn-by-turn navigation unusable.
This is an issue that has reportedly been going on for almost a year, other affected vehicles listed include Volkswagens, Toyotas, BMWs, other Fords, and more.
Miller says the only existing workaround he’s found is to begin navigation on your iPhone before connecting it to your vehicle, which “significantly reduces” the chances of it bugging out. Unlocking your iPhone and opening the navigation app can also sometimes alleviate the issue, although picking up your iPhone while driving is of course dangerous (and usually illegal).
The report warns that the problem is not only inconvenient (missed directions etc), but also dangerous, with CarPlay navigation failing “in chaotic traffic”. The combination of being stuck without navigation guidance and the distraction of an issue on the dashboard is one motorists should try to avoid at all costs. So if you’re having similar issues, the aforementioned workaround (starting navigation before connecting, not using your iPhone while driving) should be useful.
Ultimately, a more permanent fix from Apple seems needed to alleviate the problem, and we’ve reached out to the company regarding this issue.
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