CarPlay is an iOS-based vehicle entertainment system that allows drivers to control their iPhone functions using a dashboard-mounted interface. It is an app for your car that turns it into a second-screen experience for your music, navigation, and phone within the car. It's built into the dashboard of all new cars equipped with Apple CarPlay this year.
When the system was first introduced, it was only compatible with a handful of models; but now, there are more than fifty new cars on the road with CarPlay and aftermarket radios made wiith the CarPlay feature by every manufacturer.
CarPlay works by connecting your iPhone to the car's touchscreen display through a USB cable and then running apps through the vehicle's built-in Wi-Fi system or cellular data from your smart phone. The display features a touch screen that allows you to access buttons within apps, as well as manage settings.
CarPlay uses Siri to offer you more ways to use your iPhone in the car. You can control music, get directions, call contacts, and send messages using only your voice. And when you're parked, CarPlay can display what's on your calendar or allow you to send a message from any app on your iPhone — even if that app isn't installed on your vehicle.
How to use CarPlay
Using CarPlay is quite simple: Just plug your iPhone into the Lightning port in the middle of your dashboard, then connect it to your car using Bluetooth. From there, you'll be able to use all the features that are available on an iPhone without having to reach into pockets or purses and pull out a phone every time one is needed. Some of the newer radios you can connect without wires using the network settings on your iPhone and the radio, you don't even need Bluetooth!
You can connect CarPlay to your car via USB or Bluetooth if needed or depending on the radio you can just go wireless. If you have a USB port in your car, that's usually how you'll connect it. If not, then you'll need to use Bluetooth unless your car has an AUX input jack that allows connection with external devices via Bluetooth (which is rare).
Once connected, the first thing you'll see when connecting is a prompt asking if you want to pair your phone or just let it act as a remote control for media playback from apps like Spotify or Rdio. Choose either option and follow through with the pairing process until your phone shows up as an option under "Apps" in CarPlay settings.
Ways in which you can use CarPlay
You can use CarPlay in several ways. First, you can mirror your iPhone's screen so that your car's display is a smaller version of the phone. There are also audio controls for volume, track selection and phone calls.
You can also use CarPlay to make phone calls from your car. Just raise your voice above a whisper and press the button on the steering wheel. The microphone works well when you're driving, but it can be hard to hear overwind noise or other sounds in your car.
CarPlay is not just limited to phones; it also works with apps like Maps and Spotify. Apps will become more important as more cars come equipped with CarPlay support and people start using them more frequently while driving. What is your favorite CarPlay app that you use?
We love Google Maps, Spotify and Apple Music.