Google Maps Carplay Settings – 6 Powerful Features

Google Maps Carplay Settings settings page

Google maps for Apple Carplay is an extremely powerful tool allowing for quick navigation to your favorite destinations and accurate traffic reporting on the way.

These two simple features are the main reason why Google Maps is my favorite CarPlay navigation app.

But, with that being said, there are Google maps CarPlay settings that you’ve probably missed or want to learn more about, which is what we’ll be explaining in this article.

Main Google Maps Carplay Settings

The core settings we’ll be discussing are:

  • Route Options
  • Map Colors
  • Satellite Maps
  • Traffic
  • North Up
  • Volume


While we could discuss many more options, we’ll be focusing on the option included in the main settings tab.

This can be accessed by tapping the map screen to bring up the UI and then tapping the blue gear icon, which brings you to the setting page seen in the image at the top of this article.

Route Options

Google Maps CarPlay Settings Route Options
Google Maps CarPlay Settings Route Options

The route options setting allows you to choose to avoid common road types and transport methods that usually charge a fee.

These include avoiding motorways, tolls, and ferries.

While this is a handy tool, you should keep in mind that disabling these methods could result in much longer journeys without your knowledge should you forgot to turn it back on.

But, it could save you a few bucks in the meantime, where paid roads and ferries are common.


Map colors

Google Maps CarPlay Settings Map Colours options
Google Maps CarPlay Settings Map Colours options

The Google maps CarPlay map color settings allow you to change the color style of the map.

This means setting the map to the light “Day” color tone or the dark “Night” tone. These options make it significantly easier to view the screen in certain conditions without straining your eyes.

TIP: I would recommend using the “Automatic” feature to set the map color based on external light conditions and/or the time of day set by your device. 

Satellite Maps

Google maps carplay settings - satellite view
Google maps carplay settings – satellite view

This option allows you to view the map using a satellite view as you would see using Google Earth.

This option is a pretty cool feature, but it can make telling the road direction a little more difficult.

Another thing to consider if you select this feature is that it is like using significantly more data.

A study concluded that a 20-minute use of google maps uses 730 kilobytes of data, so the satellite view is likely to use even more. The study also found that Waze had the lowest data usage, followed by Google Maps. Apple maps used the most data, using over double Google Maps!


Google maps carplay settings - traffic view
Google maps carplay settings – traffic view

When the traffic option is enabled, as seen in the above image, it will display the estimated traffic conditions for each road on the map.

At first, when I enabled this, it was a little distracting and took some time to get used to.

It can be a powerful tool to avoid traffic once you get used to it, especially in busy cities.

NOTE: It’s worth understanding that it is just an estimate based on other road users using Google maps and historical data of traffic.

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend

The colors indicated by the Google maps traffic are as follows:

Green: No traffic delays.
Orange: Medium amount of traffic.
Red: Traffic delays. The darker the red, the slower the speed of traffic on the road.

North Up

The north up option, as it suggests, orientates your map to the north and will stay facing north while you drive.

I would never use this feature, but some people like the old-school style of orientating your map to the north. Personally, I find it difficult to navigate like that.


The volume setting allows you to control the voice’s volume level, giving you directions and route warnings.

This is a convenient setting, especially if you’re navigating in a city or route with frequent changes in the direction; it may be better to turn the volume fully off and just take note from the display.

Google Maps Wireless Carplay Settings

The setting for the wireless CarPlay version of Google maps is identical.

In fact, there’s no difference between any of the apps or features when comparing the wired version of Carplay VS the wireless option.

If you also want to make the most out of your wireless CarPlay you may want to consider getting the best apple carplay phone mount to make your car stereo experience even more seamless.

Final thoughts

Through this article, we’ve outlined the main Google maps Carplay settings and what the different options do, and how they can be useful. If you use Apple maps we also have an article on Apple maps CarPlay settings.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful, but another important part of your car’s stereo system is the audio settings. So feel free to read our article on the best car stereo settings to get the most out of your car stereo.

This way, you can successfully navigate using Google maps and play your favorite tunes at the best quality!




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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