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Apple CarPlay Refresh

(Not sponsored by them… yet 😉)

Apple CarPlay was released in 2014 and allows you to mirror a scaled-down version of iOS on your car’s infotainment system. If the function is enabled on your iPhone, you connect the device to the car either by cable or Bluetooth. CarPlay is available on iPhone 5 and later models. The current version of Apple and CarPlay opens on the information screen, allowing you to use a small selection of applications. You can go to music, messages, phone, and maps, just to name a few. By opening them directly on your car screen, the thought is you won’t be tempted to touch your phone while driving. As you might expect, you can also take calls and reply to messages using Siri.

CarPlay is the most popular in-car software in the world, ahead of Android Auto and any manufacturer’s standard software.

Apple claims that 99% of US cars support CarPlay and that 79% of Americans would not buy a car without it. I believe that the back half number will be greater after people experience CarPlay for the first time. (And by support, they mean your car already has the software to use Apple CarPlay, just maybe not the interface or apparatus to deliver it to your infotainment center).

With the 2024 refresh, CarPlay is planning a complete redesign from the ground up. The biggest difference between the current version of CarPlay and the new version is how it takes control of the car. Instead of working with your car’s existing software, the new and improved version of CarPlay replaces it. In addition to CarPlay applications, Apple’s software experience also extends to all other car displays. It upgrades the dashboard with custom speedometers and any other gauges of your choosing. You can also place widgets on the dashboard, such as the weather report, stock market, and even your calendar to-do list. The car’s sensors transmit all the information related to driving, even when your iPhone is using apps. Your phone does not store or track vehicle data (allegedly).

Apple strives to create a more familiar experience in the car with the new CarPlay, which reminds you of your everyday actions on the iPhone.

SharePlay is also on its way to Apple CarPlay. Instead of sharing content via FaceTime, other iPhone users can play music and other audio content directly through the car. One thing that came out back in 2021 that most people did not realize is how a decent number of cars allow you to put your digital key in the Apple wallet. On top of that, you can text someone that key and control their access to your newer car. And by control access, I mean speed limiter, time in the car, or merely allowing them full access.

You might be wondering when this is happening.

To that, I say sometime this year (hopefully). If you happen to have an Aston Martin or a Porsche, you will be getting the first crack at this new update. Everyone else has to wait outside the club. Unless you drive a Tesla or a BMW, they are simply not allowing Apple access to their entire systems and will be running their own software packages.

February 2024


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