Apple CarPlay: how it works and how to make it wireless

Apple CarPlay: how it works and how to make it wireless

Apple CarPlay

A small distraction, such as looking at your smartphone screen while driving, is enough to cause an accident; in our tests we often mention the presence of services such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but what exactly are they and how can they help us driving?

Apple CarPlay

CarPlay is the standard developed by Apple to connect your iPhone to the car; similar to Android Auto, it shares the screen of your smartphone and shows only compatible apps on the infotainment system. The functions can be imparted using the commands available in the passenger compartment or, alternatively, the voice assistant Siri. CarPlay, like Android Auto, does not replace the infotainment system of the car to which it is connected.

To use Apple CarPlay it is necessary to connect the smartphone to the car using the appropriate USB cable or wirelessly. Once the connection is made, Apple CarPlay allows you to view different applications on the screen of our car, including those for messaging, navigation, entertainment and many others. Not all applications are available and compatible, but the offer is currently quite wide. To interact with Apple CarPlay it is possible to use, as mentioned, the controls in the passenger compartment, the touchscreen system of the display or, alternatively, by giving voice commands via the Apple Assistant (which is activated by pressing the appropriate button, if present, or by saying the fateful phrase "Ok, Siri").

Apple CarPlay requirements

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_motorlabs_d_mh2_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl- th_motorlabs_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_motorlabs_d_mh2 "); } In order to use Apple CarPlay it is necessary to have a compatible car and above all an appropriate iPhone model. The devices currently supported are all those marketed after the iPhone 5: iPhone 13 Mini / iPhone 13 / iPhone 13 Pro / iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini / iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11 / iPhone 11 Pro / iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS / iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 / iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s / iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c / iPhone 5.

As anticipated, it is possible to connect to Apple CarPlay in two ways: with or without cable. In the first case, you use the standard Lightning cable with which you generally recharge your iPhone, in the second case you rely on wireless connectivity but it must be a function expressly supported by your car. Similar to Android Auto, not all USB ports in the passenger compartment will be compatible with Apple CarPlay; check the icons present carefully or, alternatively, check the functionality of your car by consulting the car's use and maintenance manual.

To understand if CarPlay is available, you need to start the car's infotainment system and touch the app called car-connect or connect-app.

How to use Apple CarPlay

Once started, Apple CarPlay shows a list of compatible apps installed on your iPhone; the graphic interface is intuitive and allows you to start applications in a few simple steps. Unlike Android Auto, which uses a horizontal division of the screen, Apple has preferred to dedicate a column to basic functions and application selection, while the remaining portion of the screen is dedicated to the application currently in use. Present the notification menu that allows you to read received messages and possibly reply using the text menu or Siri voice commands.

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As mentioned, it is possible to rely on the assistant voice Siri to read the messages but of course it is necessary to enable some permissions, in more detail:

settings> Notifications; tap Read notifications aloud; tap CarPlay, then activate the Read messages option. From here, you can also decide when you want Siri to start reading messages; tap Back to manage which messages Siri reads. Tap Messages, then select Direct and urgent messages or All notifications; to activate the reading of messages from the car display: CarPlay settings> Read messages; activate the Read messages option; select Reading options to choose whether the messages will be read or not at the beginning of the car journey.

Apple CarPlay compatible apps

The first versions of Apple CarPlay supported a small number of applications, fortunately the system has evolved and compatibility is now greater. The list includes numerous apps, such as: Google Maps (navigation), Waze (navigation), WhatsApp (messaging), Telegram (messaging), Spotify (listening to music), Amazon Music (listening to music), Google Play Music ( listening to music), Tidal (listening to music), Podcasts (listening to podcasts), Audiobooks (listening to audiobooks) and Audible (listening to audiobooks).

Apple CarPlay compatible cars

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_motorlabs_d_mh4_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_motorlabs_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_motorlabs_d_mh4"); } The cars compatible with Apple CarPlay are constantly growing and a list of all the offers currently available compatible with the system is available on the official Apple website. It is therefore not unusual to find Apple CarPlay present as standard, while the wireless version is rarer. While some manufacturers leave free choice on the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Wireless, others, such as BMW, make only the Cupertino system available as standard.

If the car is not compatible, it is possible to remedy by purchasing an infotainment system aftermarket and installing it in the appropriate housing on the dashboard of your car; while some cars still offer single or double-din slots, more advanced solutions may not allow installation.

Apple CarPlay how to make it wireless

Similarly to Android Auto, it is also possible for Apple to establish a wireless connection and transform CarPlay into the more practical wireless variant. To do this, if the infotainment is not compatible and no updates are available from the manufacturer, you can purchase a dedicated dongle such as CarLinKit. It is basically a plug and play device that, in a few simple steps, will allow you to connect to your car using wireless connectivity. This kind of dongle can be found on the market for between 120 and 150 euros.

As mentioned, using wireless connectivity there is a risk that the iPhone's battery could run out quickly; we therefore recommend the use of wireless mode in the case of short journeys such as, for example, the home-office journey.

Apple CarPlay does not work

If you have followed the procedure but cannot connecting your iPhone to the car or it suddenly stopped working, maybe you ran into some bug. Here are our tips for finding a solution immediately:

check the connection: if you have a cable connection, try connecting again with a new USB cable and another compatible USB port, if present; if you have a wireless network, check that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled in the iPhone settings. check startup: if it does not activate automatically, look for the CarPlay logo on the display of your infotainment system; restart the aut o: if you have reached this point, it means that you have already checked all the intermediate steps and therefore excluded the most common problems. restart the iPhone: similarly to the solution suggested in the previous point, check the health of your mobile device and restart it if necessary; check the version of CarPlay: always check that both systems, mobile and infotainment, have the latest version available in the AppStore; Restart Network Settings: Numerous network-related issues have been reported with iOS 15 related to settings. The most common bug relates to connectivity and fortunately it is very easy to fix. To do this, go to the settings screen of your iPhone> General> Reset Network Settings. CarPlay unstable: if your CarPlay is subject to continuous crashes, the solution is easier than expected. To put an end to this annoying problem, it is necessary to disable the EQ settings on the iPhone. If the option is already disabled, then it is advisable to try to repeat the operation; check compatibility: as mentioned in some previous paragraphs, in order to use Apple CarPlay it is necessary to have a compatible car and above all an appropriate and updated iPhone model; dissociate the car: do you want to remove the combination with the car you have in the concession but do not know how to do it? To disassociate the iPhone, all you have to do is go to the Settings> General> CarPlay> [Name of your car] menu on the iPhone and click on Forget this car; activate CarPlay: from iPhone, Settings> General> CarPlay> Available cars to select your car from the available list.

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