72 hours with Apple’s CarPlay

“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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  1. I am contemplating swapping out the non-CarPlay Harman Kardon navigation unit that comes with the new 2015 Subaru Forester when I pick it up this Friday and heading immediately over to have the top of the line Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX unit installed that does CarPlay.

    Any reason I shouldn’t?

    Does anyone know if Carplay will be upgradeable later?

    1. Depends what you mean by upgradable. As she says it upgraded the software as on the phone. No doubt it will do so as long as the hardware can handle it which should be again pretty comparable to other Apple products. Only question I guess is the technology in the player itself but as the phone is doing most of the heavy work one would hope it is pretty future proof though there may be done limits eventually with certain new functionality that may be introduce in CarPlay as with older iPads and phones for example.

  2. I’d love to use CarPlay in my Tesla. The Tesla is unfortunately Google centric. Probably because Elon is such a buddy with Google founders.

    Right now my plan is to attach an iPad air 2 on top of half of the huge Tesla screen and then use Apple maps and Siri for everything. BUT would love CarPlay to startup on my iPad. Anyone know if that can be done?

    1. That would be interesting wouldn’t it, certainly offers a cheap way for CarPlay to be introduced into cars especially as an after sale option. Have seen iPads built into dashes before CarPlay was ever announced so this would be an interesting option.

    2. I doubt you can have CarPlay start up on your iPad, because CarPlay is integrated into the car’s software system. CarPlay is mostly hooks for your iPhone to connect with and display in a limited manner certain apps. There is no CarPlay app for the iPhone.

  3. I’ve been trying to read as much as possible about swapping out my in-dash MS SUCK system in my Ford Cmax. There are a few things that are stopping me from running out and doing that today …

    1) I listen to Sirius a lot while I’m driving. I think the Sirius unit is separate from the MS SUCK system. If it is, I need to know if a Pioneer CarPlay system will integrate with the current Sirius unit? Or if I need a completely new Sirius unit to connect to the Pioneer CarPlay unit?
    2) Will my installed backup camera work with a Pioneer CarPlay unit?
    3) Does someone make an Apple CarPlay badge to replace the POS MS SUCK badge that’s currently stuck on my dashboard?

    1. If you know someone with a cnc machine (who will take cash to avoid copyright considerations :D), they could run you up a nice little Apple Logo badge…ahem…it’s quite easy. If you make a mold of the badge you want to cover, they can form the base to cover exactly the original…ahem…it avoids covering trim which fades and thus would show when you remove it.
      You could also produce a basic version with a 3D printer.
      Ahem!…all purely hypothetical of course.

    1. CarPlay itself is basically an App! It is driven by an iPhone on the hardware of the car + the hardware of the iPhone. It IS an Apple App.

      You were maybe expecting an Apple App to…..what?…..use Google Apps?


  4. Honestly, all I really need in my car is interchangeable Bluetooth or lightning wired connection, which I already have, but would love if the useless button on my steering wheel could activate Siri, and all the scren needs to be is an AirPlay mirror of the iPhone screen. It doesn’t need its own interface if you have Siri. Siri alone is already a good enough interface. Don’t make this too over complicated or add junk that doesn’t provide a seamless experience or more than a driver would need. Otherwise it’s just going to be a distraction on the road

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