Like most other drivers, I enjoy listening to music while on the road. I also prefer using Google Maps app on my iPhone because modern car GPS systems are often cumbersome and sometimes plain ugly. For that very reason, I can’t wait to finally own a car with Apple CarPlay but that’s not going to happen for a few years and, for now, I’m stuck with using GPS on my phone.
Recently I came across an article (read it here) about the partnership between Waze and Spotify. Both companies will update their apps allowing drivers to seamlessly control Spotify playlist while in Waze and see Waze alerts while browsing Spotify app. Having to tap less icons to control both the music and navigations apps separately would presumably introduce less distraction and make driving safer. In the animation below, you can see that the proposed UI is going to be simple and attractive.
That said, for now this new feature would only be available on Android devices which made me wonder if a similar UI is available on iOS. After poking around on my phone, I found that the tray (or sheet, or overlay, or whatever it’s called) that slides from the bottom of the screen, housing sharing, Bluetooth, WiFI controls, etc. is actually a carousel, where the second “page” is dedicated to the music app you’re using at the moment. Although I won’t be able to pause the music directly in Google Maps (or Waze), I can easily bring up and control Apple Music from this overlay, as shown in the animation below.
But the true beauty of utilizing a native UI to jump back and forth between apps is in its universality, since music can be controlled pretty much from anywhere in iOS (as you can see in the another animation below, showing back and forth between Waze and Spofity.)
Which begs two questions: a) would this Waze/Spotify UI partnership be even necessary on iOS and b) does Android currently offer a similar native solution for easy switching between apps. If not, perhaps it should.