Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Which Works Best?

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Which Works Best?

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay

Modern cars are increasingly smart, interconnected and capable of offering a multitude of entertainment services available to both the driver and passengers; we could almost say, on some occasions, that we are in front of a computer, or a smartphone, on wheels. Some of the models we used in our car tests are so feature-rich that they leave the occupants almost puzzled by the options available, without also considering the difficulty that can be encountered on some occasions.

Problems measured also in recent studies that have certified how having some basic physical commands can make the difference in terms of safety and reactivity. A good solution to mitigate these situations is to rely on Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and then perform a sort of "mirroring" of your device. This is an important point for those who are also looking for familiarity of use and for those who, for example for work needs, often find themselves changing cars and do not want to learn or configure a new entertainment system.

But what are the differences? Which system works best? In this study we will try to give you a general idea, both objective and, even subjective.

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Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: connection

While there are no particular differences in terms of compatibility, as far as connectivity is concerned, the scenario could become more interesting. Generally, the most common cars are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay “wired”, that is, they can be connected via cable. In fact, there will be a dedicated port in the passenger compartment to connect your smartphone to communicate with the car.

In these insights, dedicated to the Android and Apple worlds, we have already defined how to transform a "wired" system into a "wireless" one, but we specify that sometimes it is possible to find Apple CarPlay Wireless as basic equipment but not the counterpart without cable. The reason is unknown to us, but in some models we have been amazed by this functionality. | ); } Being able to connect your device with WiFi allows a more streamlined and orderly use, but at the expense of battery consumption that could run out during long journeys; here manufacturers, in general, provide induction chargers, commonly defined as wireless, precisely to overcome this problem. This accessory is not always available as a basic set-up, but for a few tens of euros we recommend evaluating it.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: interface

Although for the less experienced the interface of both systems may seem similar, there are important differences that also change what it is, in fact, the experience of use. Google frequently makes constant updates to Android Auto and a major change was recently announced that will upset the layout; currently, however, Android Auto only shows one application at a time, with no multitasking options. Apple
Apple, on the other hand, is more advanced from this point of view and, with iOS 13, allows you to manage music, navigation, suggestions, all in a single screen. Even if described in this way it might seem dispersive, we assure you that space management is decidedly superior at Apple. Furthermore, the resolution is also more correct, in some cars we have seen entire portions of the display unused with Android Auto (like on Hyundai!).

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: third party apps

Both platforms allow users to use the apps available on their smartphone; unfortunately in neither case it is possible to start all applications but only a small selection. Android Auto in this scenario offers greater compatibility, especially when it comes to messaging.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: voice assistant

If there is one element on which both developers still have to work it is related to voice assistants; the speech in this case is generic because the user experience, in our opinion, is not satisfactory in either case. The idea of ​​Apple and Google is to completely eliminate manual interaction and use only our voice; unfortunately, at the moment, the goal is still far away.

The major problems encountered concern learning and the slowness in elaborating answers or taking actions. Furthermore, the available voice-activated content is still small.

Gaps aside, Apple works slightly better for two simple points. The first concerns the graphics, Siri is less invasive and uses a transparent interface that does not cover the navigation information (albeit marginally). The second relates to interaction, as Siri can be activated by saying the classic words "Hey Siri" directly into the microphone integrated into the passenger compartment.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: updates and news

As anticipated in a previous paragraph, Android Auto updates are frequent and consequently also the correction of some annoying bugs. Unfortunately, not even with the latest version, Android Auto 8, will we see the radical change in the layout announced with the arrival of Coolwalk. Still on the subject of news, we know that Apple intends to completely revolutionize the system from the ground up as it announced at the last WWDC.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: screenshot

While taking a screenshot while driving remains a rare occurrence, both CarPlay and Android Auto offer the ability to capture and share if necessary. However, while the process is simple on the iPhone, it is much more complicated with Android Auto so much that you have to enter developer mode.

Surely none of you will give weight, as it should be, to this function, but in case of need it is better that you have an Apple device.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: who wins?

Deciding an absolute winner is never easy in these cases, especially since there are a series of subjective habits that could weigh differently on each individual. After trying both systems for some time, we believe that Apple CarPlay is superior in terms of both responsiveness and user interface. The idea of ​​being able to have a large display but not being able to fully exploit it is a "bug" that we struggle to digest completely, especially since it has been present for several updates.

On the other hand, Android has a slightly higher availability and compatibility with third-party apps and a management of notifications, in our opinion, better.

Android Auto vs Android Automotive: what changes

However, Android Auto is not the only solution designed by Google; some more recent cars, actually a very small number, offer the Android operating system designed and shaped exclusively for cars. If you are curious, at this address there is an in-depth study that can answer all the questions.

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