When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) revealed its CarPlay feature, the company said it would include support for just four third-party apps—Spotify, Stitcher, Beats Music and iHeartRadio—at some point this year. Of course Apple will also support all of its apps, including iTunes Radio and Apple Maps. But will the company allow Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), the king of maps, to make an app for the CarPlay platform? That’s certainly a good question.
Apple still faces off with Google
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Maps were once on iOS products, but then Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) pulled them and replaced them with its own maps. That was a disaster because of all the problems with the app, and many iPhone users switched back to Google by downloading Google’s separate app onto their iPhones.
Mashable‘s Karissa Bell believes that more third-party developer apps will make their way onto the CarPlay platform, but of course there’s no way to know if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s maps will make it on there. There is certainly a chance that it could happen, but users will probably have to accept less functionality than with Apple Maps because of course Siri is integrated with Apple Maps in the iPhone. We wouldn’t expect anything less in CarPlay
Google already beats Apple in cars
But Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) really doesn’t have anything to worry about from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of putting its operating system in cars. The search giant is already ahead of Apple in this respect. More than six of the world’s top automakers, including Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203), Mercedes and others, already have Google Maps APIs or some other form of the search giant’s GPS services inside their vehicles.
Currently Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is the only one which uses Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Maps for turn-by-turn directions. However, Hyundai and Kia both have the Google Places API integrated into their cars. That API uses the same database as Google Maps. Hyundai, Kia, BMW and Toyota all utilize Google’s Send to Car feature, enabling drivers to search Google Maps for directions and send them to the navigation system inside their cars.
Google could have more in store for cars
We may learn more about what Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has planned for cars at its I/O conference in June. The search giant already announced that it was partnering with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Hyundai and Audi to put its Android operating system in cars. Since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has just announced a partnership with GM and other automakers, it is essentially playing catchup to Google.