Users of the Apple ecosystem have plenty of conveniences at their disposal that the manufacturer has implemented. In many ways, they apply to the ecosystem, but they also interact with third-party devices, including cars. What is worth knowing about Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay for iPhone

Apple CarPlay – introduction

Apple is famous for providing its hardware with very long technical support. It is no different when it comes to CarPlay. The solution still works even on such old smartphones as iPhone 5, which debuted in 2007, so already fourteen years ago!

Originally, the solution proposed by the Cupertino company did not have too many supporters. After all, streaming music – in newer cars – could be supported by Bluetooth or a special FM transmitter, which only required setting a specific frequency. Why change it?

You can argue that, of course, but you have to think of the solution from Apple in slightly different terms. The company didn’t want to make it easy to integrate a car with a phone in the typical sense, but rather sought to make smartphone functions accessible in a sight-free way to relieve the driver of the need to use the phone while driving, which in many countries is treated as an infraction and may result in a fine.

So how does Apple CarPlay work? Let’s think of it as a multimedia system. The idea behind the manufacturer is to transfer functionality from key applications (phone, contact list or navigation) to the car. This is the main distinctive feature of this platform.

What can Apple CarPlay do?

The manufacturer has approached the analysis of the driver’s needs in a fairly comprehensive way, but at the same time in a way where we do not delve into too far-reaching technical issues. Well, because what do we really need in our car on the road?

Usually it is enough to know the destination point and the route leading to it, right? The manufacturer made the same assumption. So navigation plays a key role. But what if our car is already on the road? It would be nice to listen to our favorite music.

This is another area where the solution from the company with the bitten apple logo will be perfect. It is compatible not only with Apple Music, but also with other officially supported apps, including Spotify, so we have the comfort of choosing our favorite artists. We no longer have to rely on our favorite radio station to offer us exactly the songs we want. Want classical music? You can turn it on. Dreaming of a tour with punk-rock classics? There you go. Click and it’s on!

Importantly, we can rely on both Apple-created apps and replacements. Not a fan of Apple Maps? No problem! Nothing is stopping you from using Google maps. Interesting thing is that over time there has also been support for more apps, including some messengers or weather apps. This means that the ecosystem that Apple has created continues to grow and new features are added.

How does CarPlay work?

A lot of people worry about how Apple CarPlay works and fear that setting it up is a very difficult and complex process. Fortunately, the opposite is true. It’s a simple and intuitive procedure that won’t take us more than a few minutes.

Depending on the interface our car has, we just need to connect the device to the vehicle. Here you can choose either a Bluetooth wireless connection or the USB-Lighting cable that Apple always includes with its smartphones.

Now the setup will take a few minutes. Once it is completed – depending on what interface our vehicle has – a message should appear on the screen that the vehicle has been paired with your phone.

Now we can control navigation, as well as music or compatible apps from our phone, the vehicle’s menu or other Apple hardware that is an integral part of our ecosystem, such as Apple Watch, whose crown can be used to adjust music volume.

Can I equip my car with CarPlay? How much does it cost?

The good news is that the app is available for free. How do I download Apple CarPlay? It also usually comes pre-installed on the manufacturer’s newer smartphones, so users don’t have to spend extra time searching for it and downloading it from the AppStore. This is another convenience for drivers.

As of today, cars of almost all major manufacturers on the market are compatible with the solution offered by Apple. It is estimated that over 500 vehicle models are compatible with Apple CarPlay.

What is important, Apple CarPlay is not only for the top shelf vehicles. You can use the platform in cars from the middle or lower price range without any problem. What to do if our vehicle doesn’t support this standard and we really want to integrate it with our phone?

Fortunately, it is possible to overcome this obstacle quickly and with relatively low costs. You just need to buy a radio that will be compatible with this standard. The good news is that you can also find such radio receivers for older cars with 2DIN connector.

Most of the major companies have devices that are compatible with the Apple standard. Apple CarPlay for newer vehicles is already a standard. Even if you decide to buy a vehicle that is a few years old, you can be sure about the compatibility with this standard. Cars bought after 2017, regardless of whether it is an A2, A3 model or a representative of the prestigious A8 family, will easily be able to connect with the Apple CarPlay. The same also applies to vehicles from the Q family, TT, as well as the new generation of e-tron vehicles, which attract the interest of an increasing number of customers all around the world.

Check out our selection of Apple CarPlay for Audi modules.

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