After nearly a decade since its introduction, the ETA drive times app is now making its way into Apple's CarPlay. The app, which serves as a useful location dashboard, does not compete with other navigation apps but instead aids trip planning by displaying travel times and traffic warnings for various destinations across multiple transportation modes.
Although it seemed like a logical step to include ETA in a vehicle environment, rules set by Apple prevented ETA's co-founder Anthony Harrison from integrating the app into CarPlay. It wasn't until last year that Apple eased the CarPlay entitlements, allowing a broader range of apps, including ETA, to be featured on the platform.
Over the years, the developers have continuously updated ETA, incorporating new platform improvements, updated design guidelines, and embracing various iOS and watchOS updates. Despite these enhancements, the app has maintained its original simplicity and single-purpose utility, which has attracted a loyal user base that prefers ETA over traditional map apps for initiating travel plans.
Even though the app's App Store ratings may have suffered due to bugs and user errors, the developers have been responsive to users' concerns, and its longevity speaks to its success. ETA has garnered over 100,000 paying customers since its 2014 launch, and uniquely, the app charges an initial fee of $4.99 without requiring subsequent subscription fees.
ETA's CarPlay-enabled version offers similar functionality to its iPhone counterpart, displaying favorite destinations, travel times, traffic conditions, and calendar-integrated appointments and meetings. Users can start navigation by tapping on a location, which then activates their preferred navigation app. With the long-awaited inclusion of ETA in Apple's CarPlay, drivers can now take full advantage of the app to enhance their travel planning and overall driving experience.