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How to use Apple CarPlay



How to use Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay is a system that allows you to connect your iPhone to the infotainment system in your car. Many of your favorite apps are mirrored onto your car’s dashboard screen so that you can use them safely while you are driving without getting distracted by using your iPhone. Here’s the definitive guide on Apple CarPlay covering how to use Apple CarPlay along with some other useful information.

The main purpose of CarPlay is that you no longer need to take your hands off the steering wheel of your car to use your iPhone’s essential features and apps.

Apple loves being the leader in innovative ideas and CarPlay is no different. The original concept of CarPlay was a collaboration between Apple and BMW in the U.S.A.

It was known as “iPod Out” and it allowed drivers to see and hear analog video and audio from certain iOS devices. This led the way for what we see today as a car-specific interface for apps. In 2013, “iOS in the Car” was released and in 2014, Apple CarPlay was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show.

How to use Apple CarPlay

First, you need to check if your car and iPhone support Apple CarPlay.

Apple CarPlay Requirements

There’s a huge list of cars that support Apple CarPlay. Simply put, most of the car manufacturers have started implementing Apple CarPlay in their 2016 and later models of vehicles.

How to use Apple CarPlay

For cars that are older than 2016, or do not support Apple CarPlay, you will need a third-party infotainment system if you want to use Apple CarPlay. This is a pocket-friendly approach to using Apple CarPlay rather than buying a completely new vehicle.

Phone-wise, this is an Apple product so it only works with iPhones. You will need one of the following models:

  • iPhone 5, 5c, 5s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, S6 Plus
  • iPhone 7, 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus
  • iPhone X, Xr, Xs, Xs Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max

Basically, you will need an iPhone 5 or newer. For the latest CarPlay features in iOS 14, you need to have a phone that supports the newest software update (so iPhone 7 and newer).

How does Apple CarPlay work?

It’s easy to understand how CarPlay works. The best part about this is that you won’t have to install any new apps to get use CarPlay. There are two ways to connect your car:

  1. In most cars, you can use Apple CarPlay via a USB port, connect your iPhone to your car’s USB port.
  2. If you have a newer model car, you can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth as well.
how to use apple carplay

Pairing Up

Option 1: If you have a compatible car and iPhone and want to use Apple CarPlay wirelessly:

On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay.

You will now need to add the car as your known device.

To add the car for the first time, turn your Bluetooth on and then look in “Other Devices” at the bottom. Select the car and follow any pairing instructions that pop up.

Option 2: With a USB cable, it’s pretty straightforward. Plugin your phone and the CarPlay interface should load on the car screen.

Note: Your phone will have limited use on the handset while it’s connected to the car. For example, when navigating, you can only use the map on the car screen.

How to use Apple CarPlay

This is the fun part. Once you’re connected, you will see a home screen that looks like a bigger version of your iPhone home screen with all available or compatible apps. Also, with iOS 14, CarPlay now offers wallpaper displays instead of a solid background.

how to use apple carplay

Aside from all built-in Apple apps like Music, Maps, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and texts and phone calls, you’ll see other apps that are CarPlay-supported. That includes other navigation apps like Google Maps. You have to download apps on your phone first to use them in the car.

The iOS 14 update added new categories of apps for the first time including parking, food delivery, and charging stations for electric vehicles. Most media apps, like Spotify, synchronize seamlessly from where you left off while listening on your phone.

Using Siri with Apple CarPlay

To use Siri, there’s usually a voice control button on the steering wheel of the car. Push it and the same UI that comes up on your phone when Siri is activated will appear on the car screen. You can ask Siri for directions to a location or to compose a text to someone — just like you would on your phone.

Relocating CarPlay

Sometimes you will drop out of the CarPlay screen and end up back at the car company’s default interface. You do not need to worry, you are still connected to CarPlay if you didn’t unplug anything. You just need to find the CarPlay icon and it will take you back to the CarPlay interface.

how to use apple carplay

Powering off

Once you have arrived at your destination, it is easy to disconnect. Just turn the car off as usual and your phone will return to its usual state. Or you can unplug the USB cord. But if you need to hear the end of that podcast you were listening to, you need to keep the car on and the phone connected. Might as well take advantage of your car’s audio system.

Customize CarPlay Display

You can also customize the CarPlay display from your iPhone by simply heading over to the Settings > General > CarPlay, then In the My Car section tap on your Car name, now under Car Page, tap on customizing and drag-drop the apps accordingly.

how to use apple carplay

Common FAQs related to Apple CarPlay

Most people still have doubts regarding Apple CarPlay. They search all over google to clear their doubts. We have included a list of commonly asked questions regarding Apple CarPlay so that you do not have to keep scrolling through google for queries related to your specific issue. You can clear all your queries here:

What apps can I use with Apple CarPlay?

It is true that you won’t be able to use all the apps in your iPhone with Apple CarPlay as you can with other systems. You also have to keep in mind that this isn’t a system to use your iPhone as you normally would. For instance, you can’t watch videos because it is distracting and that could cause an accident.

The default iPhone apps that are compatible with CarPlay include Phone, Calendar, Music, Maps, Messages, Now Playing, Podcasts, and Audiobooks.

The biggest messaging app for CarPlay is WhatsApp. If you want music apps, you can download Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify, among others. We all know that Google Maps is probably the preferred navigation app for most but you can also use Waze.

What are the best CarPlay Features?

The Interface: The interface that comes with CarPlay is pretty good. With its split-screen feature, You can have your map navigating you to a site on the main part of the screen but then on the right-hand side, you can set the interface up to see your ETA, calendar events, and even what song is playing.

Hey Siri: All of your apps can be controlled using your voice and calling “Hey Siri”. If you press and hold the voice command button on your steering wheel or the CarPlay home button on your dashboard screen, you can ask Siri questions, or ask her to do things like play music, listen to radio stations, or navigate to a location.

You can make phone calls and send messages too.

If you have Apple’s HomeKit, you can even ask Siri to open your garage door. Siri and Apple Maps together is one of the best ways to navigate.

User-friendly: Apple CarPlay is very simple to use, even if you are new to Apple. The interface is simple, each app icon is large enough to make it easier to keep your eyes on the road. Many of the third-party apps you download are also available on the screen.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is a service created by Apple that is featured in most modern cars. It is also a feature on most modern car infotainment systems that can be fitted into older vehicles. This allows you to control your iPhone and view apps and media on your device through the screen in your car. It is very similar to the Android Auto service, except it is designed solely for use with Apple iPhones.

The display of the Apple CarPlay service mirrors the display of your own iPhone once your phone has been connected. Because of this, it is very easy to control and use.

Initially, you will have to connect your iPhone to the Apple CarPlay system using Bluetooth or a lightning cable. But once you are connected via Bluetooth the connection will switch over to Wi-Fi so that the Bluetooth does not ruin your phone’s battery down.

One of the most popular features of Apple CarPlay is that it comes with a navigation system that removes the need for an external Satellite-based navigation system. The navigation system on Apple CarPlay comes with moving-map functionality meaning you can track your process on your journey, and ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Apple CarPlay is very popular because it offers the ability to use a lot of different apps, and it is very easy to use.

What does Apple CarPlay do?

We’ve already mentioned that Apple CarPlay has a navigation option, but there are lots of other things that this system can also do. Apple CarPlay was designed to reduce the number of people who use their phones while they drive, or at least ensure that the way in which they use their phones is safe.

Apple CarPlay allows you to access all the apps on your iPhone which are viewed as safe to use while you are driving. This removes the need for you to actively use your phone while driving and makes the road a safer place.

In the social world that we live in, it can be difficult to detach from your phone, so Apple CarPlay allows you to send and receive texts and other messages while keeping your focus on the road.

As well as using Apple CarPlay to find your way to your destination, and keep in touch with friends and family, you can also use it to make your journey more enjoyable. Apple CarPlay allows you to stream music using services like YouTube Music, Spotify, and Pandora.

Is there a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay?

No, in most cases, there are no monthly charges for CarPlay. However, this doesn’t mean that the service is free. You might have to pay for Apple CarPlay, you might not. It all comes down to the manufacturer of your vehicle and whether they include Apple CarPlay as one of the features in their car.

As we have said, companies like Ford and Honda include CarPlay in all of their models. As this is standard procedure, you will not have to pay anything extra to have this feature on your car. You aren’t necessarily getting it for free because the cost is included in the price of your vehicle, but you also aren’t paying anything extra on top of this service.

Other companies, including BMW and Mercedes, do not include CarPlay in their models. You can have it installed, but this will cost extra on top.

Some companies will charge you a large single installment payment for this service, while others will charge for the service monthly. This is why, in some cases, there is a monthly charge for CarPlay.

One company that definitely charges monthly subscription fees for CarPlay is BMW as they offer the service free for the first 12 months if you want it, but then charge you a monthly installment after that. So in most cases, there is no monthly charge for Apple CarPlay, but it is always best to check with your car dealership.

Can you add Apple CarPlay to any car?

Yes, you can add CarPlay to any car. However, this is not an easy process. If you want CarPlay in your vehicle, then the easiest way to do this is to buy a new car that has this skill enabled. Of course, this will not be economically feasible for everybody, which is why you can also add CarPlay to an existing vehicle by using an aftermarket infotainment system. These are designed to replace the stock car stereo that is installed in a vehicle when it is first sold. Replacing the stereo system in a vehicle has always been a great way to update an older car, and this is also how you can add CarPlay to an existing car.

To do this, you will need to buy an infotainment system that comes with CarPlay enabled. These systems tend to be towards the higher end of the price scale, but they are still considerably cheaper than the cost of buying a new vehicle. Some brands that produce this style of stereo are Kenwood and Pioneer, so this is a good place to start your search.

Once you have your system you can then take your vehicle to a garage where you can get the system replaced. After it has been fitted, all you need to do is connect your phone to the stereo and your CarPlay will work as new.

We hope this Apple CarPlay guide was useful and you’re now clarified on how to use Apple carPlay.

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