Apple Maps Satellite View CarPlay: Is it Possible?

Apple Maps Satellite View CarPlay - featured image

Are you interested in using Apple maps satellite view in CarPlay?

Maybe so that you can see the building or terrain around you? Or just a personal preference?

It’s not possible to use Apple Maps and satellite view via CarPlay. This feature isn’t available. However, the Google Maps CarPlay app allows satellite view while driving, which is a great alternative.

Continue reading this article to find out some more reasons why satellite view isn’t available via CarPlay and some potential alternatives that you could do if this is a must-have feature.


Why is Apple Maps Satellite View isn’t available in CarPlay?

There hasn’t been an official statement from Apple as to why CarPlay doesn’t allow satellite view, but we can speculate why this hasn’t happened yet.

Surprisingly, this hasn’t been added yet as there are lots of requests on the Apple forums and Reddit, asking if this is possible such as:

“Yes I too as well as many people I’ve talked to do not use Apple Maps in their cars due to the fact of the cartoon Graphics. Please update to satellite view. I’d like to use Apple Maps as it does have features that my car uses that google Maps does not.” – AndroidHater

“I found a few posts from last year that said satellite view for CarPlay/Apple Maps wasn’t available yet. Is that still the case? I can switch to satellite view on my iPhone but not on CarPlay.” – Trip7919777440


1. Not Development Yet as a Funcatnality & Not Popular Enough 

The reason this isn’t a feature yet is possibly a range of factors, such as it not being a popular feature or isn’t used extensively in the iPhone app for Apple to warrant adding it.

If Apple has plans to add it, it looks like it’s not a priority for the moment, but nothing is stopping them from adding it in the future, so it works the same as the iPhone app, as seen below.

apple maps satellite view

2. Higher Data Usage

A significant drawback of using the satiate view is that it will considerably increase your CarPlay data usage because the map will be much more detailed than the standard view.

According to MyGPSTools, satellite mode can demand at least 900 KB of data. At the same time, if you’ll actively move around, the data usage will further increase.

Additionally, satellite view may struggle when you are in an area with low cell service. This isn’t an issue in a city where 4 or 5G is available, but in the countryside, this can be a problem with loading maps and directions data. So to avoid this, Apple may have intentionally left this out.


Apple Maps Satellite View CarPlay Alternatives

If you’re still in need of using satellite view via CarPlay, here are some potential alternatives you could use to get as close to this experience as close as possible:

Use Google Maps

google maps carplay satellite view

The Google Maps CarPlay app allows for satellite view natively within CarPlay. 

So if you’re willing to switch over to Google maps, you’ll be able to see satellite overviews while you drive.

Additionally, Google Maps is my top recommendation out of all of the CarPlay Navigation apps available, so it’s a great free option if you are willing to give it a try.

Getting Satellite View via the Google Maps CarPlay App

To get Satellite View via the Google Maps CarPlay, simply:

  1. Open the Google Maps CarPlay app
  2. Tap the screen to bring up the hot bar, followed by tapping the cog (⚙️) to bring up the settings screen
  3. Then as seen in the image below, click the map view to switch it between the default and satellite view
  4. When you click “Back,” your map should then show the satellite version

google maps carplay setting page for changing map type

This is just one of the many Google Maps Carplay settings, which you can choose from to customize your experience.

Use the 3D view in the CarPlay Apple Maps

apple maps carplay home page

Apple has a sort of hybrid version of the satellite view by offering the ability to view the map in 3D. 

What this does is show the buildings around you in a 3D height-rich format. 

This is obviously not as detailed as satellite view but does add a lot more depth to the map, which can be helpful in places with lots of buildings, such as cities.

You can toggle this by tapping the “2D” icon in the top left

Don’t use CarPlay

Lastly, you can opt not to use CarPlay and use your phone instead, mounting using a vent or dash mount. This way, you can use the default Apple maps app off your iPhone.

You will then be able to switch between the various map views, which includes, Explore (default), Driving, Public transport, and Satellite, as shown below.

apple maps switch map view page

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I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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