Waze will soon launch in beta for Android Auto allowing users to access the service from their vehicles from the Android Auto application that can be installed on Android smartphones. This is a beta version launch of the app meaning that any users who wish to check it out will be able to do so, though Waze was technically available in beta form for the Android Auto platform as early as last month when they started sending out invites to the beta version of the Android Auto app. The difference here is that now anyone will be able to use it without having to receive an invite from Waze, so essentially this will be an open beta instead of a closed beta like before.
Right now, the beta launch will not be accessible from the built-in Android Auto units that can be found in some vehicles that support the platform, meaning that while soon coming to everyone, users will still have to plug their device in to use Waze instead of Maps. Eventually there will be a wireless version of Waze for Android Auto that won’t require users to plug in their device, but even then Waze states that partners will still have to enable it on their end, which means that some units may not be compatible after Waze makes the app available.
Nevertheless, those who prefer Waze may find that plugging in their device is a small price to pay to gain access to the service through Android Auto. In addition to an Android Auto beta launch, Waze will also add the ability to see live gas prices on the map if you do a search for gas stations, which should make finding the lowest prices for refueling that much easier. There is currently no estimated time of arrival for the beta launch but “soon” should mean that it will be here within the next couple of months, and perhaps before then. It’s unclear if those who have already been invited to the beta as of last month will have to do anything or if they can simply continue using the app as normal.