Apple CarPlay: Everything vehicle owners need to know.

Apple CarPlay: Everything vehicle owners need to know.

Apple CarPlay is the company’s solution to the issue of utilizing mobile apps while driving, two activities that don’t typically mix well. Because your phone has many helpful features and apps that can help you while driving, and because CarPlay works with Google’s Android Auto, you can access them without endangering other drivers.

Simply put, CarPlay beams the apps from your phone onto the infotainment screen in your car, replete with hands-free operation and a user-friendly interface. This means you may navigate, make calls or send texts, manage your music, and do much more without endangering other drivers.

What can you do with the driving-friendly app, and how does it operate? Here is all the information you require regarding Apple CarPlay.

Every iPhone released since the late 2012 launch of the iPhone 5 supports CarPlay. Up to the most recent iPhone 14 range, this includes more affordable gadgets like the iPhone 5C and iPhone SE of the first generation.

You cannot utilize CarPlay if you own an Android phone, iPad, or iPod.

When it was introduced in 2014, CarPlay was a very specialized software, but it has since become widely used in the automotive sector. Given this, it will be difficult to find a car manufacturer that doesn’t offer CarPlay in some capacity and much harder to find a modern vehicle that doesn’t have it.

Almost all major automakers support CarPlay, which is currently available in more than 600 vehicles. Which automakers and models accept CarPlay are listed in Apple’s rather extensive Apple Car vehicle list(opens in new tab). However, confirming CarPlay functionality for any vehicle you’re considering purchasing is always a good idea.

Tesla is a clear exception to this trend because it doesn’t allow Android Auto or CarPlay. Instead, the manufacturer of all-electric vehicles provides its high-end connectivity package, which includes navigation, streaming, and remote control of some systems. While CarPlay is free and uses your existing data plan, this does cost $10 a month.

As more vehicles run on the new Android Automotive OS, they also turn to Google for their software requirements. Android Automotive is a built-in feature of the automobile, unlike Android Auto, which is an app similar to CarPlay. 

The good news is that even if your car uses the Android Automotive OS, CarPlay will still function. You can plug your iPhone in and use it as usual if the automaker supports it for that specific model like Polestar does with the Polestar 2.

Can I install CarPlay in my current vehicle?

There are numerous methods for retrofitting CarPlay into a car, but some are trickier than others. The simplest option is to get a standalone display that works with CarPlay and doesn’t need to be retrofitted into your car significantly.

It’s important to note that Apple does not offer a specific driving mode on iPhones or a single CarPlay app, in contrast to Android. There is a Driving Focus mode that disables phone distractions while driving, but no mode enables you to use a CarPlay-like interface on your phone.

Gadgets like Intellidash Plus allow you to connect to your phone and use CarPlay. Though you’ll need to find a spot to put the screen so it’s both helpful and doesn’t obstruct your view of the road, it’s the same as if you bought a car with CarPlay built-in.

Alternatively, you could always replace your car’s factory-installed display/navigation system with an aftermarket device if you prefer something more streamlined.

Additionally, it depends on your ability to improve your car, which isn’t a given. Additionally, remember that many aftermarket devices demand a double DIN slot, although many older vehicles might only have one. There are single-DIN CarPlay units available; however, the selection you have is entirely based on your vehicle.

Prices vary here, but you should expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. A Pioneer DMH-1500NEX costs under $500, but more sophisticated models like the wireless Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR or the 10.1-inch Pioneer-WT8600NEX can cost up to $1,500.

Of course, installation costs must also be taken into account because you should leave this type of work in the skilled hands of a professional. Realistically speaking, it might be worthwhile to get a separate display to avoid the hassle.

How do you install CarPlay on your iPhone?

There are two ways to connect your iPhone to CarPlay, with the simplest being to use a Lightning cable to connect it to the USB connection in your car. After you connect, CarPlay will appear on the screen of your vehicle, and all of your compatible apps will be updated.

Wireless CarPlay is supported by several automobiles. When CarPlay initially starts, if you have one of them, your phone will invite you to set up a wireless connection; this will happen automatically on subsequent drives. Here is a look at how to configure Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

It should be noted that Apple does not maintain a current list of vehicles that enable wireless CarPlay. Therefore, research or use a third-party wireless CarPlay adapter before purchasing a vehicle.


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