“If all you want to do is play music from your phone in the car, cheap and easy solutions abound, from a regular audio cable, to picking up a head unit with Bluetooth,” Susie Ochs reports for Macworld. “Fancy in-dash ‘infotainment’ systems promise more, combining music, navigation, and hands-free communication. But the few I’ve sampled have had clunky interfaces that made me go right back to performing those tasks with my phone—yes, I’m that jerk futzing with her phone at stoplights until you honk at me to go.”

“Apple’s CarPlay software is intended to bridge the chasm between your iPhone and your car stereo, letting you access Maps, Messages, Music, and more, including compatible third-party apps like Spotify, Beats Music, Rdio, and iHeartRadio. CarPlay has a lot going for it—all the data it needs is on your iPhone already, and the Siri integration can be a godsend, letting you reply to incoming texts without taking your eyes off the road. But in a few cases I found myself reaching for my iPhone when the touchscreen and Siri weren’t getting things done—just like I would have done before upgrading to CarPlay,” Ochs reports. “But navigation and hands-free communication work well, and it’s nice to have an Apple-designed interface on a car stereo. Since it’s so easy to update the software and apps on your phone, CarPlay should keep improving. It’s already better than other infotainment systems I’ve tried — and a lot safer than trying to use my phone while I drive.”

More details, screenshots, and video in the full article here.

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