Ford Sync 3 Infotainment System Adds Waze, but Only for iOS

The feature is part of Ford's Sync AppLink.

Ford is adding Waze to its Sync 3 infotainment system, but the popular app can only be accessed through an iPhone for now. Drivers have to download the Waze app onto their phones before they can use it in their cars.

Waze has become an indispensable navigation tool for many drivers thanks to its ability to predict traffic—and find ways around it—like Han Solo navigating an asteroid field in the Millennium Falcon. Google-owned Waze made its first appearance on car dashboards last year, when it launched through Android Auto.

Ford’s Waze integration is part of Sync AppLink, the platform Ford developed for in-car apps. While the app still runs on a driver’s phone, AppLink “projects” it onto the car’s dashboard screen, and lets the driver use the car’s built in controls (including voice control) to run it, just like apps accessed through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

To use Waze, Ford drivers will need Sync 3 with software version 3.0 or later, and a phone running iOS 11.3 with the Waze app already downloaded. Ford did not say when Waze would be available to Android users through Sync AppLink, but many Sync 3-equipped Fords support Android Auto, so in theory users can access it that way. Ford’s decision to add Waze to Sync AppLink is the latest volley in the battle over car infotainment systems.

CarPlay and Android Auto have proven popular, but certain automakers like Ford and Cadillac, which recently launched a standalone Spotify app, seem a bit hesitant to turn their dashboards completely over to Apple and Google. Volvo, on the other hand, is going in the opposite direction. It plans to offer Android-based infotainment systems with Google apps built right in.