Apple CarPlay: do you need it?
We live our lives together with our phones, even in the car. It is a fundamental need to stay in touch with our people, our work, our music and the news.
This is why Apple CarPlay for iPhone users have become so popular since its debut in 2014 in the Ferrari FF. It is now standard or available as an option in over 60% of new cars on sale in the United States.
Read our guide to Apple CarPlay to find out how it can simplify your driving life, how to set it up and more.
What is Apple CarPlay?
Apple describes CarPlay as a system that “gives you the ability to safely use what you love about your iPhone while you drive”.
It uses either a Lightning cable or, with many 2022 and later cars, a wireless connection to allow your phone to interface with your car’s infotainment system.
You can get it on America’s cheapest car (the Chevrolet Spark) and on pickup trucks, cars and SUVs of all sizes and in all price ranges.
Android users are out of luck. Android works with a similar system called Android Auto, covered in a future article.
What does Apple CarPlay do?
Apple CarPlay lets you make calls, send text messages using voice commands, listen to text messages (Siri will read them to you), get step-by-step directions, control your music and more , all without touching your phone.
It integrates with your car’s touchscreen and audio controls on the dashboard and steering wheel. It also responds to voice commands.
How to configure Apple CarPlay?
With a wired connection
To configure CarPlay with a wired connection:
- Start your car: Switch on your vehicle to begin.
- Plug it in: Insert a Lightning cable into the USB port of your car and your phone. Your vehicle may have multiple USB ports, some of which can charge only one phone and others can accept data from only one. You will need a data connection. Look for the one marked with a phone icon or a CarPlay icon.
- be connected: Wait for your car’s infotainment screen to recognize your phone.
- Expect prompts: Accept all prompts on the car screen asking you to agree to connect to the phone.
- Log in on your phone: Accept all the prompts on your phone screen asking you to agree to connect to the car.
At this point, CarPlay should connect to your iPhone. It should start automatically every time you plug your phone into the car in the future. You have to repeat the process every time your car battery is disconnected.
With a wireless connection:
To set up CarPlay with a wireless connection (note: some cars are equipped for wireless CarPlay. Check your car owner’s manual to be sure).
- Start: Start your car.
- Hold down: Press and hold the voice command button on your steering wheel.
- Select settings: On your iPhone, select the Settings application.
- Click on: Then click on General, then CarPlay.
- Consult the list of cars: Find the list of Cars available. Select yours.
- Test the connection: Once the phone says it is connected, test it using the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri.
What apps can you use on Apple CarPlay?
Apple constantly updates the list of apps that work with CarPlay. At the time of writing, it includes:
- Navigation apps include Apple Maps and Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, TMap, 2GIs, KakaoNavi and Navitime.
- Music applications such as Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, LiveXLive, Radio Disney, Tidal and SiriusXMRadio connect to CarPlay.
- News and entertainment apps like Apple’s Podcast and News apps, Audible and other audiobook apps, Downcast, Stitcher, NPR One, and Vox.
- Messaging apps like Apple’s Messenger, Line, Telegram and WhatsApp.
- Electric vehicle charging applications like Plugshare and Chargepoint.
- Food ordering apps like dunkin ‘. Please note that Apple recently added food apps as a category, so we expect the list of compatible food apps to grow soon.
- Parking applications like SpotHero.
- Shopping apps including Amazon.
- Meeting applications like Zoom.
How do I deactivate Apple CarPlay?
To turn off CarPlay with a wired connection, simply unplug your phone
With a wireless connection, CarPlay will try to connect every time you start your car. To stop this process you will need to access your phone Settings application, go to General, so Carplay, and find your vehicle in the Cars available listing. You can then select Forget that car to disconnect CarPlay.
What cars have Apple CarPlay?
Almost all of the major automakers now include Apple Carplay as standard or optional equipment across much of its lineup. Whether you’re buying a Mitsubishi Mirage or a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Apple CarPlay is available in your price range.
Apple maintains a shopping list if you want to search for a particular model. If you don’t see the car you’re interested in, keep in mind that manufacturers will likely add CarPlay to the next model year of many vehicles that currently don’t offer it.
What to do if your car doesn’t have Apple CarPlay?
You don’t need to buy a new car to get Apple CarPlay. The functionality can be added to a small percentage of newer vehicles that don’t have CarPlay. Mazda and Hyundai, for example, offer a simple download that can add it to most 2014 and newer vehicles for a fee.
But, for most cars, you will need to replace your car stereo to add CarPlay. Aftermarket stereo stores can offer you dozens of replacement systems with CarPlay capability for vehicles with and without an integrated touchscreen.
Do you need Apple CarPlay?
You don’t need Apple CarPlay or any other entertainment system in your car. Americans have driven vehicles for over a century without this convenience.
But we recommend CarPlay or similar Android Auto system for most drivers. Our phones have become so integrated into our lives that it is difficult to put them down, even when we are driving. But, for our safety, we need to stop looking at them and touching them when we are driving (we know you know this, but it’s worse than you might think – a recent study showed that the average driver can go the length of three football fields without realizing it when reading a short text).
If you can’t stand not checking your text messages in traffic, CarPlay can help when you ask Siri to read them.
CarPlay remains optional on certain cars. But, for the 2021 model year, over 275 car models in the United States offer CarPlay as standard or available as an option in over 60% of mainstream vehicles, excluding ultra-low volume cars. and impractical.
When all of the 2022 model year cars are introduced, that percentage will likely be higher. If this trend continues, the chances are very good that your next vehicle will be equipped with CarPlay. It can help us all feel safer while driving.
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