The Google Maps competitor arrives on Android Auto with significant restrictions

The Google Maps competitor arrives on Android Auto with significant restrictions

This week, Russian company Yandex did the same thing, bringing its navigation software to Android Auto and therefore offering a car-optimized experience for those who connect their Android mobile devices to the head unit in the car. As you could easily figure out, the essential feature package is all there, so you’re getting the typical navigation capabilities that include voice prompts to help you figure out which way to go without looking at the screen, traffic camera and speed limit alerts, real-time updates on traffic, as well as support for offline maps to continue the navigation without an Internet connection.

Google’s decision to open up Android Auto to more third-party app categories has been met with widespread enthusiasm by users, largely because it paves the way for a larger app ecosystem that would include not only software released by the search giant itself, but also alternatives from around the world. And, in recent months, the number of applications joining the Android Auto party has expanded, particularly in the navigation sector, where more developers have begun to roll out alternatives to Google Maps and Waze.


  • Certainly, this shortcoming will affect its adoption on Android Auto, so most people would still stick with Google Maps and Waze, but even so, the debut of Yandex.Maps in the car is the living proof that more developers are finally interested in bringing their apps to the head units inside our vehicles.

  • In other words, Yandex.Maps sounds like a worthy alternative to Google Maps, though the biggest problem is that it comes with one huge limitation. It’s only available for Russian users, and the parent company explains that the Android Auto support requires a Yandex Plus subscription. This means you can’t use the app in your car unless you’re paying, but on the other hand, the current version listed on the Google Play Store features a 3-month trial to let you see what it’s all about without paying.