Apple Music finally rolls out to Waze with best features possibly missing

Waze App
(Image credit: Future)

Waze is adding the long-awaited Apple Music integration for iPhones, which will allow you to control the service’s music via the app’s built-in player.

This new integration with the navigation app will let you play a song, pause it, or switch to a new track on Waze without opening anything else, and while keeping your eyes on the road. The update gives access to over 90 million songs on the platform, thousands of expertly curated playlists, and Apple Music Radio.

To add Apple Music, you only need to update your app, tap the music note icon, and then select the audio app. Accept the connection when Waze asks and you’re ready to start listening.

We did ask a Waze representative if all of Apple Music’s features will be available through Waze. Specifically, we asked if either spatial audio or Dolby Atmos would be available and if lossless audio would be compressed for Waze. Unfortunately, our questions were left unanswered. 

To be fair, the focus of this update is really on Waze and not about adding anything special from Apple. And neither company hinted at these audio quality features coming to the Waze app.

Analysis: Missing the best

Apple Music has been arguably been the last major audio streaming service to not integrate with Waze. Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and YouTube Music have been partnered up with Waze for years. More recently, though, Apple's shown a willingness to loosen its grip on Apple Music by integrating it with third-party platforms.

For example, Roku added Apple Music to its platform earlier this month (joining Spotify and Pandora), but it's an integration that also lacks spatial audio. PS5 players see the same thing: Apple Music integration but it doesn’t have the best features. Neither device supports Dolby Atmos either, so you can’t get that high-quality sound.

If the past is anything to go by, Apple Music on Waze most likely doesn’t have the high-definition audio features. Hopefully, Apple and third-party developers figure out a way to bring Apple Music’s hallmark features to these platforms. Otherwise, it’ll be a rather boring drive.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.