The future is here. While Apple’s self-made care are still a few years away, you don’t have to fret about Apple not taking out anything from the iPads, the Mac’s and the iPhones.
The new Apple CarPlay is perhaps aimed at what Apple is going to do next – enter the car market, and it does offer a lot of potential.
What is the Apple CarPlay?
In 2014, after a long phase of planning and development, Apple launched the CarPlay, that is the easiest way for iPhone users to access the data stored on the phone while they are busy focussing on the road ahead. It is a software that places itself on top of the car’s factory built infotainment system.
According to Apple, CarPlay helps users use their phone, while driving, without distracting them and is also more user-friendly than most of the original equipment manufacturer infotainment systems. If you are an Apple freak and the only place where the iOS is missing is on the dashboard of your car, then the CarPlay will take care of it.
Features of CarPlay – All That It Can Do
Car makers generally provide complicated software in their infotainment system that makes it difficult to concentrate on the road while you are trying to select the song you want to play. Such problems get eliminated with CarPlay.
However, this is a simple app, so you will be taken to the normal interface when you are trying to adjust the temperature or work on the settings of your car.
You can carry out all the functions that you do on your phone – making and receiving calls, sending and receiving texts, listening to music and even get directions. The user-interface is familiar and the icons will instantly be recognized by the users.
If you have the voice recognition technology in your car, then it is Siri that will help you carry out all the functions. If you don’t have this, the touchscreen enabled dashboard should help you navigate the software with all the controls and buttons. While your phone remains locked, CarPlay will be active.
Which phone will be compatible?
Those interested in CarPlay, will need to have an iPhone 5 or a higher model running on iOS 7.1 or a later version. With Apple recently introducing the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, most loyal Apple users have already upgraded. Additionally, the lowest model that you can buy today is the iPhone 5S, the successor of the iPhone model, so you really won’t have a compatibility issue unless you have been sleeping the past 6 years.
There are some cars that give you the benefit of a wireless CarPlay, otherwise, the iPhone will have to be physically connected to it through a lightening-to-USB cable.
Cars compatible with CarPlay:
There are numerous car manufacturers that are making models compatible with the CarPlay. From basic ones like Chevrolet and Ford to Porsches and Lamborghinis – most of them will work smoothly. However, while in some, the CarPlay feature is standard, you might have to pay a little extra in others.
To be precise there are 24 car makers with 114 models on the list that are compatible with this app.
It is important to note that Toyota has not given in to the temptation of CarPlay or even Android Auto that competes with it. For passenger safety and security, it still equips its models with its own navigation system. However, soon enough, once it is satisfied after conducting its own assessment of the CarPlay, it might change its mind.
While American makers have been very quick to adapt to the changing technology, the process has been slower in Europe.
Starting with CarPlay:
When you connect your iPhone to your car through the USB cable for the first time, you will have to go through an approval process so that the car can access your phone. Ensure you are parked somewhere and not driving at that time. Once done, you will be automatically taken to the CarPlay mode, or you will have to select it from the menu.
How the screen looks:
The screen along with the fixed icons will remind you of your iPhone. You will find the time and the network signal status on your left. Just below the stats, you will find a virtual home screen button. This button’s function is the same as that on the iPhone. Tapping on it will take you back to the home screen or press and hold it to activate Siri.
You can navigate through the app using the standard methods of tapping and swiping. However, the pinch-to-zoom feature is absent in Maps and you will have to make use of buttons to zoom in or out.
What makes it awesome?
There is a reason why everyone is going gaga about the CarPlay and that is the fact that non-Apple apps can be installed as well. Better known music and radio apps like Spotify are CarPlay compatible. Go to CarPlay on the App Store and a complete list of the compatible apps must turn up.
Third party apps, will come up on the second page of the CarPlay screen. Sometimes, you will have to complete the set-up on your phone before you find it on the screen of your infotainment system. When it comes to music and audio, currently, only third part apps are compatible with CarPlay.
For your own safety:
There are a few functions only that you can carry out through CarPlay. You cannot add or remove or re-arrange the icons that you see on the screen. The default setup only includes the following facilities – messages, now playing, music, maps, phone, audiobooks and podcasts.