Once upon a time, there were expensive and standard navigation systems only on cars of higher category. Then there were those who bought and installed with support to be inserted on the dashboard of the car. Then came the smartphones that have revolutionized and invaded our lives without ever abandoning us, not even in the car where, in addition to distraction, they offer valid support for navigation. In fact, today you can do without the navigator using the APPs present with navigator function, always updated in real-time with traffic conditions, and ready to recommend an alternative route. With the arrival of the connection through the Apple CarPlay just a simple USB cable to project the functions of the iPhone on the display screen in our car.
How is it possible? In fact, many latest generation cars support the mirroring function through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay applications. The first allows you to use Android phones while the second is aimed at iPhone owners. In this guide, we focus on CarPlay, the system released by Apple in 2014 and which allows you to use your iPhone behind the wheel in total safety, without ever being distracted from driving.
What is Apple CarPlay?
Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto (released by Google) in addition to giving us driving directions, allows us to call, send and receive messages and even listen to music and even read a book. It also allows the use of Siri, the voice assistant developed by Apple. CarPlay is also compatible with apps developed by car manufacturers.
With the update to iOS 12 of September 2018, it is now possible to display other applications from external developers on the car screen in addition to the classic telephone functions, messages, podcasts and a few other functions previously present. With the update, it is also possible to have Google Maps, Waze, Whatsapp, Amazon Music, TomTom and Sygic on the car display.
Apple CarPlay compatible cars
All major car manufacturers are integrating Apple CarPlay into their cars: there are already more than 400 compatible car models, and more are to come. If your car does not support Apple CarPlay, you can decide to replace the stereo system and install an aftermarket compatible one such as those from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony.
iPhones compatible with Apple CarPlay
The Apple CarPlay compatible iPhones range from 5 upwards (with iOS updated to version 7.1 or later) and are:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
- iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
How to install Apple CarPlay APP
Apple CarPlay does not need any installation because the software is already present in the car and the configuration with your iPhone takes place via USB cable or wireless connection (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), without having to install any additional application.
To use CarPlay you need to activate Siri on your iPhone and if the vehicle supports it, your mobile phone and the car communicate via the original (or certified) Apple Lightning cable. Alternatively, if the car supports it, the wireless system can be used. To configure CarPlay, press and hold the Voice Control button on the steering wheel. Otherwise, take your iPhone and go to Settings> General> CarPlay> Available Cars and select the vehicle. In most car models, CarPlay starts automatically. If this does not happen, the system must be started manually, by pressing its icon in the on-board system menu.
How Apple CarPlay APP works
After seeing how to install CarPlay on the car, let’s see how it practically works. To use it, you must first have an active internet connection. The phone, unlike Android Auto, once connected to the car also works while driving. In this case, the actions performed via the iPhone display are reproduced on the machine display. You can also change the order of the icons on the touchscreen. This can be done through the phone’s General Settings, on the CarPlay screen.
CarPlay is controlled directly on the car’s touch display or via voice commands by long-pressing the button on the car’s steering wheel to activate Siri. Alternatively, just like with the iPhone, Siri is also activated with the simple voice command “Hey Siri”.
To access any CarPlay function, simply say “Hey Siri”, followed by the command you want. For example: Call (name) or Call (number) or also Call back last number and What messages are there on the answering machine?
Messages on Apple CarPlay
To read and write messages on Apple CarPlay you can listen and dictate. Just ask Siri to read the incoming messages, and dictate the response as well. If an audio message is received, CarPlay plays it through the car speakers. WhatsApp can also be used on the system.
Maps on Apple CarPlay
To use the maps on Apple CarPlay, the operation is similar to that described above: first “Ehi Siri” followed by the command. Let’s take an example: Hey Siri, give me directions to (place), or even take me home and find a gas station. CarPlay also allows you to use Waze and Google Maps.
Music on Apple CarPlay APP
Apple CarPlay is compatible with tons of music apps installed on the iPhone, including Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Audible, VOX, NPR One, Clammr, Downcast, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher, Audiobooks.com, and At Bat.
If you have come this far, now you have understood how to use most of the functions of the iPhone in the car in total safety and above all without distractions while driving.