Apple’s CarPlay vs. Android Auto

“Under the hood, CarPlay and Android Auto seem pretty similar. They’re both ‘casted’ interfaces that process and render a computing environment on a smartphone and then send that interface to the car display, basically using it as an external touchscreen monitor,” Ron Amadeo writes for Ars Technica. “The interfaces are wildly different though, with CarPlay sticking with the tried-and-true grid of apps, while Android Auto displays a notification dashboard and uses a tabbed interface.”

“CarPlay’s original name of ‘iOS in the car’ pretty much nails Apple’s goal here. CarPlay is basically the iOS smartphone/tablet interface enlarged 400 percent and simplified for car usage,” Amadeo writes. “The biggest change is the status bar, which morphed into a side-mounted bar showing the time, connectivity, and the on-screen home button. The icons are the star of the show here—they’re big, bright, obvious, and easy to hit. Other than the name, Android Auto doesn’t take much from its smartphone heritage. Android’s bottom system bar, which normally only houses the back, home, and recent navigation buttons, is now a tabbed interface for the various sections of Android Auto.”

Both interfaces are “trying to accomplish the same thing, and both do a great job of bringing a familiar, good looking interface to your car dashboard,” Amadeo writes. “Both are definitely 1.0 products though, and each could use improvement. ”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note to vehicle makers: If you don’t have CarPlay, you’re off our list of potential buys.

Ars Technica: One week with Apple’s CarPlay – January 22, 2016
Apple blocked Volkswagen from demonstrating wireless CarPlay at CES – January 8, 2016
Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep to offer Apple’s CarPlay in vehicles – January 4, 2016
Toyota, QNX, others adopt Ford’s SmartDeviceLink platform – January 4, 2016
Which Mercedes-Benz vehicles will have Apple’s CarPlay in 2016 – December 14, 2015
Apple’s CarPlay attracting vehicle buyers GM dealers say – December 14, 2015
The Verge reviews Apple’s CarPlay: ‘Miles better than your car’s interface’ – September 4, 2015
WSJ reviews Apple CarPlay: Siri’s finally on the right road – August 18, 2015
Hands on with Apple’s CarPlay in the new Corvette – August 10, 2015
2016 Honda Accord delivers Apple CarPlay – July 24, 2015
GM to roll out Apple’s CarPlay across 14 Chevy models this year – May 27, 2015
Apple’s CarPlay success shows the power of having a long-term strategy – March 15, 2015
Apple’s real CarPlay: Cupertino doesn’t need to build cars in order to reinvent driving – February 28, 2015
Ford drops reputation-scorching Microsoft Sync, enables support for Apple’s sought-after CarPlay – December 12, 2014
Apple’s CarPlay looks like the future of in-car infotainment – April 13, 2014


  1. Another article criticized the lack of tabbed functions (apps) in CarPlay, forcing you to hit a Home button before accessing another app. I have to agree; Apple already knows this isn’t a iPhone or iPad, and in a car having fewer button presses and transition animations is better.

  2. “The icons are the star of the show here—they’re big, bright, obvious, and easy to hit. ”

    They should make this interface an option on the iPhone and iPad for seniors. 90% of interfamilial demands for support would disappear. Heck maybe they already do and I just didn’t know.

    1. @Carsh Bandicoot wrote”Any interface that takes the user’s eyes off the road is dangerous.”

      This is true, but there has never been a car which PREVENTED you from looking at the dashboard for all of your music choices and for Nav.

      Carplay’s Siri (and android auto) provide far more choice without looking at a screen than ever before.

      Also for those drivers who, regardless of the risks, will absolutely continue using music and navigation via their phone, carplay is far safer than what they’re currently doing (self included).

  3. Have a Chevy Impala rental right now. Picked it because I was certain it would have CarPlay – it does not. I will not buy a car that does not have CarPlay and try to only rent cars with it. Once you use it (Had it in a Chevy Tahoe I rented last month) its really hard to be without it. Makes you realize just how bad and unintuitive Manufacturer systems are.

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