For a long time, most Google apps on Android phones have been available on iOS, but not vice versa. However, the iOS 14 update brought some leniency to Apple’s closed ecosystem. You can now use Google Chrome and Gmail as your default apps, which is something you couldn’t do with lower iOS versions. While Apple’s update is promising for the future of cross-platform integrations, you still can’t use several apps. If you need a hint, Google Maps is one of them.


Google Maps is packed with features that Apple Maps doesn’t have, such as the turn-by-turn feature that caused a rift between Google and Apple in 2012. There’s still hope if you prefer to use it as your go-to app for directions. In this post, we show you the major workarounds to make Google Maps the default map app on iPhone.

What is the default map app on iPhone, and why can’t you change it?

Apple Maps is the default map app on iPhone and has remained so since the iOS 6 release when Apple replaced it with Google Maps. The company’s decision followed Google’s refusal to give them rights to the voice-directed turn-by-turn navigation feature in 2012. Before then, iPhone users relied on Google Maps for directions.

Today, if you download Google Maps and try to use it as your default app, it won’t work because Apple devices don’t support it. In contrast to Google’s open source Android OS where anyone can make modifications, Apple uses a closed software ecosystem and has full control over what apps you can install. Most third-party products are incompatible with its OS.

Since the Apple-Google dispute, the iOS 14 update is the closest Apple comes to letting you use Google programs. The update lets you change your default browser and email client to the Google equivalent. You will have to jailbreak your phone if you need to use any apps outside those two. Jailbreaking is a procedure we don’t recommend as it’s against Apple’s policy and voids your warranty. In the worst-case scenario, you could brick your phone.

How to change your default navigation app to Google Maps on iPhone or iPad

The closest method to making Google Maps your default navigation app is to install Google Chrome or Gmail, then make one of them your default email and browser apps. Since all Google apps integrate and share data, you can open map links in Google Maps via any of the two apps. Having a Google account is necessary to use any of the apps. You can’t sign in and access the full functionalities if you don’t have one.

The steps used in this procedure were performed on an iPhone running iOS 16. You can repeat the procedure the same way on devices running iOS or iPadOS 14 and 15. For lower OS versions, a software upgrade may be necessary.

Change iPhone’s default mail app to Gmail

  1. Download and install Gmail from the Apple App Store if you haven’t.
  2. From your phone’s app menu, tap the Settings app.
  3. Scroll up and tap Gmail.

  4. Tap Default Mail App.
  5. Select Gmail.

  6. From your phone’s app menu, open Gmail. You must sign in if it’s your first time using the app.
  7. Tap the menu icon in the upper-right corner.
  8. Select Settings.

  9. Tap Default apps.
  10. Under the Navigate from your location and Navigate between locations sections, select Google Maps. Then, when you tap a map link in Gmail, it automatically opens in Google Maps.
  11. Tap the checkbox beside Ask me which app to use every time to choose between Apple Maps and Google Maps when you tap map links.

Change iPhone’s default web browser to Chrome

When you set Chrome as your default browser from your phone’s Settings menu, every map link you tap within the browser opens in Google Maps automatically.

  1. Download and install Chrome from the Apple App Store if you haven’t.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Scroll up and tap Chrome.
  4. Tap Default Browser App.

  5. Select Chrome. Then, when you tap a link on your phone, it automatically opens in Chrome instead of Safari.

How to use Google Maps via CarPlay on iPhone

CarPlay is an Apple-developed integration system that enables you to control key functions on your iPhone from your car’s built-in display. You can start your car, use the map, receive and make calls, and dictate messages. CarPlay supports Google Maps, but not as your default map service. If you ask Siri for directions, the voice assistant always opens Apple Maps. You must launch Google Maps when you need to use it in your car.

Downloading CarPlay is unnecessary as the feature comes with supported iOS versions. However, you need to connect your phone to a supported vehicle to use it. Depending on your model, you can connect to CarPlay with a USB cord or wireless connection.

CarPlay supports iPhones running iOS 12 or higher versions and Google Maps from version 5.24 or above. The system also works with select car models.

  1. Download and install Google Maps on your phone if you haven’t.
  2. Start your car.
  3. Connect your phone to your car.
    • If your car supports a wired CarPlay connection, plug in your Apple Lightning USB cable to the CarPlay port. The port should have a tiny white smartphone symbol next to it.
  4. A prompt pops up with three options: Enable, disable, or always enable CarPlay when your phone is connected to the car via USB.
  5. Once enabled, CarPlay automatically launches on your car’s built-in display. Your display mirrors the supported CarPlay apps on your iPhone, including Phone, Messages, Music, and third-party apps like iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Google Maps.
  6. Tap Google Maps to open and use it.
    CarPlay on a car display screen

Plan your trip and enjoy the ride

Google Maps offers robust features for getting to destinations faster and ensuring you never get lost. You can share your ETA with friends and family, use offline maps when you’re far away from civilization, and save your parking spots. Google Maps also lets you enjoy one feature that is only now appearing on Apple Maps after a decade: Multiple stops. You can plan your route with more than one destination if you need to make an unexpected trip or have many errands to run. But that’s not all. There are over 10 tips and tricks you need to try on Google Maps to make transportation a breeze.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here