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Toyota's Scout Navigation App vs. Android Auto and Apple Car Play

We look at the ratings and functionality of Toyota's navigation app partner, Scout, and compare it to Apple Car Play and Android Auto's navigation ratings.

Toyota made a key decision with regard to the compatibility of its infotainment system a few years back by deciding not to adopt Android Auto and Apple Car Play. These apps enable users to connect their phones to a compatible vehicle's infotainment system and easily interact with the key functionality of one's phone. For those who have not tried them yet, yes, of course, there are safeguards such as limits on the interaction while the vehicle is moving. Those who have used these excellent apps know how well they work, and what the benefits are, but let us list a few here.

Apple Car Play and Android Auto Advantages
The biggest advantage is that all of the content you want is "free", meaning the app costs nothing, there are no advertisements, and no subscription. Furthermore, the information in your phone, such as your preferred routes, who you frequently phone, and your music, are all right there waiting for you. In the car, the navigation function is key to the success of these two apps. They can do a better job than in-dash navigation systems and cost nothing. There are also no "map update" charges, like there are with automakers' in-dash systems.

PC Magazine gave Google Maps a rating of Excellent and points out that Waze was acquired by Google and now its data and real-time traffic conditions are part of what drives Google Maps. Apple Maps is no slouch either and whichever team you are on, the chances are you use them all the time.

Scout GPS Link By Telenav

Scout is less well known. Why Toyota opted out of the app interface that almost every car buyer and almost every cell phone user wants is unclear. What is clear is the folks who use Scout are not very impressed. On Google Play, the current version of Scout earns just two stars. The vast majority of reviewers give it just one star. Apple's iTunes rating for Scout is similar.

The comments under our Toyota stories have started to reflect Toyota's Scout choice. One recent comment under an entirely positive story about the 2018's Camry sales success is typical. Graham wrote, "I spent some time in a 2018 Camry XSE at a local dealership. I'm afraid Toyota has lost me as a potential customer over their refusal to support smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay / Android Auto). One of the reasons I wanted a new car was so I could see Google Maps on the dashboard display, but you can't do this with the new Toyotas. Toyota uses something called Scout GPS for navigation. I was not impressed with the user interface (and read the horrible reviews on the iTunes Store). So, it will be a 2018 Accord for me."

Toyota has fought hard to earn a legion of loyal owners (and the author is one of them). Unfortunately, Toyota is putting buyers in a position now of having to choose between Team Apple or Team Google and an application with poor ratings and almost no brand recognition. Given the passion Google/Android and Apple users have for the products they now integrate so fully into their lives, it is an unfortunate choice to have to make.

For information direct from Toyota on the benefits of Scout GPS Link, please see the company's overview.


Howard Herman (not verified)    December 11, 2017 - 11:45AM

Camry makes navigation an unsolvable problem. Scout is absolutely the worst!!!!! Toyota will deserve and will have business loss!!!!!

Jay (not verified)    May 30, 2018 - 2:02AM

In reply to by Howard Herman (not verified)

I have been toyota user for 17 years; unfortunately I will never buy Toyota any more. This scout GPS has really made my experience the worst. It's absolutely trash. I genuinely hate this Navigation App.

Kevin Wright (not verified)    January 10, 2022 - 5:15PM

In reply to by Howard Herman (not verified)

I agree. The Toyota navigation system is very problematic and often times u workable. I have been a loyal toyota customer but plan to leave toyota behind in my next purchase. It makes no sense they can make such a great car, and disregard their customer complaints about their their costly poorly functioning navigation system.

Richard (not verified)    December 15, 2017 - 1:50PM

We purchased 2 2018 Camry SE Hybrids a week ago and yes Scout GPS is horrible, if it even works. The fact that you have to have the app open & plugged into the USB to show the map is rediculous. My wife's iPhone 7 in her car will connect to show the map about 50% of the time. My iPhone 6 has NEVER been able to connect in my car to show maps.

Plus side, I spoke with my friend at Toyota and he said they are going to be releasing Apple Car Play through an OTA update to all vehicles with Entune 3.0. He estimated it will be released by either the end of 2017 or early 2018. I did not ask about Android, but would assume it will be released as well.

John Goreham    December 15, 2017 - 3:47PM

In reply to by Richard (not verified)

That would be huge. I have asked Toyota is they have any official info this, thanks. FYI, Apple Car Play and Android Auto require plugging into a USB as well, but it's worth it. Alpine is working on a non-lug-in version, but no OEM has yet adopted it.

Jorge-Luis Jauregui (not verified)    July 27, 2019 - 2:10AM

In reply to by Richard (not verified)

I have a 2018 XSE and on June 2029 took advantage of Toyota’s Nationwide offer to install Apple Play to my car. Price? ZERO!! Shooed thre dealerships for it. One was trying to charge me $150, another $85 and finally Toyota of Berkeley kindly did as a complimentary installation.

Barry (not verified)    December 24, 2017 - 2:09PM

I’ve had four Toyota’s so far. Loved every one of them, including the latest, a Highlander AWD. But Toyota have lost me as a customer due to the lack of support for Car Play, and their dreadful software which is so bad it beggars belief. My next car will be a BMW or a Volvo. And once I’ve made that shift, and become accustomed to a different kind of car, what’s going to induce me to go back to Toyota, I wonder?

Bill M (not verified)    January 1, 2018 - 2:49PM

We bought a 2018 Camry hybrid 2018 on December 29. The dealer told us Scout navigation is the wave of the future. If that’s true, we will all be lost in a very short time. We love the car, but hate, hate, hate the cheesy Scout navigation app. It freezes, then won’t reload constantly. If you’re thinking of buying a Toyota, I would keep looking. We’ve been loyal Toyota owners for many years. We’re done.

Sudhakar Ghantasala (not verified)    January 7, 2018 - 8:43PM

In reply to by Bill M (not verified)

Not sure, who these people are at Toyota not to adapt Car Play and Android Auto! I wanted to get 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid XLE, changed my mind noting that they don't support Car play, though I drove only Toyotas for the past 25 years !!! 8 Toyotas and 2 Hondas in family. No more Toyotas as we can't use our iPhones effectively...

Shelley (not verified)    June 20, 2018 - 11:20PM

In reply to by Bill M (not verified)

I agree with you fully and I want then to replace it with a different GPS
I think I should see a lawyer for telling me it’s a great GPS
I bought a 2018 xse and it has the worst GPS ever!!!!!!
Apple has the best!!!!
It took me to a dead end twice
Tells me I am at home and shuts off when I am not at home!!!!
I never want another Toyota if they do not change it in my car. I spent a lot of money
I have been a Toyota girl for a long time. Not now
I will speak to someone and found out why Toyota lied to me and gives me the worst GPS in the world

Shelley (not verified)    July 27, 2019 - 9:07AM

In reply to by Bill M (not verified)

Yes it’s free to install Apple play had it done a month ago. Love the GPS
So glad they did this I hated Scout navigation so much
Call them up and have them put in Apple play ASAP
Stupid salesman to say that about Scout navigation
I have xse 2018

Felicia McKnight (not verified)    January 19, 2018 - 8:11PM

I purchased a 2018 Toyota Camry. I absolutely hate the Toyota Entune App and Scout. The app never works. Every other day I receive an error message. To get rid of the message I'd have to uninstall the Entune App on my phone, then reinstall it. It works for a few days then the same thing again. I also do not like the Scout app. I'd rather the maps app on my phone or waves. I'm really disappointed with Toyota. For the cost of these vehicles we deserve to have apps that work and are compatible with our devices to remain hands free whether it's droid or apple. Toyota needs to do better.

Stephanie Sherman (not verified)    May 24, 2018 - 7:54AM

Scout is awful, and I can't believe Toyota would choose to go with such a lousy product! The navigation system in our 2018 Camry is pretty much useless. It freezes, it tells us to turn on non-existence streets, it gives a short distance warning before we are to cross all traffic lanes and leave the expressway, etc, etc. We've been loyal customers of Toyota for the past twenty years. This is the last Toyota we'll purchase unless Toyota fixes this navigation system. I wish we would have never purchased this 2018 Camry!

Ken perkins (not verified)    May 25, 2018 - 9:09AM

If you buy a Toyota make sure you have a paper map with you. Toyota navigation sucks. Toyota could not have possibly tested scout navigation or they decided sell the vechicle and screw the customer with a useless navigation system. Scout will stop working or will say can not connect with the system try again latter. That does you a lot of good if in traffic and have no navigation cause it stopped working. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and buy a Garmin or some other navigation system

Ken perkins (not verified)    July 23, 2018 - 7:05AM

Toyota is beating a dead horse if they think that scout gps has any good qualities. Toyota owners should unite and tell Toyota we are done and that Toyota has lost us as future Toyota buyers. There must be lawyers who are toyota owners who are upset with Toyota and start a class action suit to get toyotas attention?

Shelley (not verified)    July 23, 2018 - 1:08PM

In reply to by Ken perkins (not verified)

Yes it’s terrible
Mine took me to a dead end !!!
Do not understand why they do not have Apple play
If I knew about this awful GPS I would of never bought a Toyota
I had to hook up a old gps Garmin that I had since the 90’s and did a better job then Scout
I wish I can use my iPhone map
They should of told me about this aweful gps
Waste of my money ;(
I hate it

Bonnie Frainier (not verified)    August 19, 2018 - 1:48PM

I have had my car 4 months and Scout is an absolute disaster. There is a new app in the past few days but definitely not an improvement. I was on Rt 6 in IL. but the map told me I was on Southwest Hwy. WRONG! The app is unreliable and cannot be trusted! This is not the first time Scout has made mistakes. This is not my first Toyota but definitely the last!

Mark Thompson (not verified)    October 22, 2018 - 4:56AM

My 2019 Avalon XSE has apple CarPlay. I admit, it makes the car so much more enjoyable because I can continue a song list or podcast from house to car, and apple maps already controls my driving in other car and motorcycle-so integration with familiar platform is key. Love it. And love my Avalon.

Jane (not verified)    June 12, 2019 - 4:09PM

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Hate this app and won’t buy another Toyota as long as this is their nav system.

Shellry (not verified)    June 12, 2019 - 11:23PM

Finally getting rid of Scout and they are installing Apple Play and Alexa will be in my car tomorrow!! So excited. Goodbye to the worst GPS I ever had and should of never been in a Toyota

Bryan Jones (not verified)    August 4, 2019 - 1:13PM

I just paid cash for my toyota Corolla xse, all warranties etc, to find out scout isn't compatible with my android, TOYOTA needs to fix this situation, seeing reviews that suck on both iPhones and android. Was my second purchase of new cars from same dealership, and I found out about this as we were pairing my phone to the car, getting this information AFTER the check was signed and paid in full.

John Frasca (not verified)    November 4, 2019 - 1:17PM

I wholly agree with all the other negative comments about Scout GPS. I've used Garmin for years, and I find to be far superior, both audibly and visually. The Garmin clearly shows what lane(s) I should be in, well before I need to be in those lanes. It also announces in detail, and well in advance, where and when I should exit onto a new roadway. There's no comparison in the detailed maps of the Garmin vs. Scout, which I find to be quite primitive.Toyota definitely missed the mark on this one and should rethink their decision with moving to Scout.

Peter (not verified)    December 26, 2019 - 7:01AM

I purchased a 2019 Camry as I had loved my past two Camrys but never again. The GPS system is garbage. In fact it is dangerous. When you need to add new routing you cannot do it while driving as it is too complicated. I guess this is why no other company chose this type of a set up. I have resorted to a simple Garmin GPS that is light years ahead of Scout for $300.00! Thanks Toyota.

Jim (not verified)    January 16, 2020 - 2:45PM

We recently bought a 2019 RAV4 XLE. Without knowing we accepted the basic instruction given to us by our salesman. After making several trips and constantly having problems with the Scout GPS, we have decided we will never buy another Toyota if it is installed. The system constantly breaks connection, loses the previously set course, and make you completely restart the system. I feel the loss of navigation, on a 12 lane highway in Atlanta, GA a major safety risk. I was told by the Toyota Customer Service, that Scout is not the only Navigation system that Toyota has, but it is the cheapest. There is supposedly a Premium Navigation that is available, but the dealerships are option for the cheaper Scout system. Most likely my last Toyota ever!!

Steve Sanchez (not verified)    April 21, 2021 - 2:50PM

2018 Camry XLS. I put my Garmin above the dash for speed and direction. Use it for maps when i need them. Tried to load Android App and every approach is a dead end. Considered Scout but reviews condemned it. Toyota needs a retrofit for Android App or a link from android phone to the display screen to show Google maps.

Abysmal decisions by Toyota. Long time Toyota customer but it is failing its customers. Worse is the Toyota management showing distain for its Customers.

Heidi Roy (not verified)    August 1, 2021 - 3:28PM

I am glad I read all the negative comments on the Scout systems. We just bought the new Corolla Hatchback and have not set up anything ...........and plan to use the old GPS or plug in our phones. Toyota that is sad did not expect failure like this from you.