What are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? Frequently asked questions

There’s a good reason why Apple CarPlay and Google Android’s put their nails in the coffin of the automotive platform’s own smartphone platforms: They work. Before the release of the platforms, automakers had a hard time marrying their car touch screens and knob information and entertainment systems and smartphone screens. Such media playback interfaces have been and continue to cause confusion, frustration, or malfunction.

Introduce CarPlay and Android Auto, which use software to largely reflect what’s on the driver’s device – in an improved and relatively secure self-centered way – on a car’s infotainment screen. They include applications and interfaces that device owners already know and display the same on every dashboard – whether Bentley or Buick.

What type of phone do you need for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 in the future, without the need for a separate application. Android Auto, on the other hand, requires an application for Android 9 or later devices, while Android 10 and later devices do not require a separate application.

Which apps are available for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

Both platforms include native applications for known features such as phone calls, messaging, music, maps, audiobooks and podcasts, and leverage their parent company’s voice assistant for hands-free functionality. They also integrate popular third-party applications for streaming music, messaging services, navigation, parking, shopping, sports, and even EV charging.

More than 600 vehicle models now offer CarPlay and more than 500 are now compatible with Android Auto. The platforms are also available at aftermarket headquarters and in 2018, Mazda added CarPlay support to vehicles from the 2014 vehicle onwards through an upgrade installed by the dealer for vehicles equipped with the Mazda Connect system.

Some automakers were initially, and until recently, reluctant to allow Apple and Google into their dashboards – Toyota was strongly opposed to the automatic sharing of owners’ usage data with Apple and Google. At the time of writing, Tesla is the only major automaker to have avoided the platforms and stuck with a proprietary system.

What is the difference between wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

In most cases, a device must be connected to the car’s smartphone’s built-in USB port. (This port may be marked as such on your car or marked with a white border.) But with the introduction of iOS 9 in September 2015, more than 20 automakers are now offering wireless CarPlay, and Android had already cut the cable. in March 2015. (Some automakers only offer wireless CarPlay.)

Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto cannot use Bluetooth connectivity and instead require a vehicle connection via Wi-Fi. No, this does not mean chewing the data limit for a Wi-Fi hotspot in the car. As platforms require data, they need this more robust connection to the car’s infotainment system.

One downside of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless is that the Wi-Fi connection drains the device faster battery. Of course, you can always connect the device to a USB port for charging only and if your car has a wireless charging device and CarPlay and Android Auto wireless enjoy the best of both worlds.

Are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto updated?

Aside from their simplicity and familiarity, one of the biggest advantages of CarPlay and Android Auto over the automotive smartphone integration platforms is that they are regularly updated through software updates. While a handful of automakers offer over-the-air software updates for their entertainment systems, updating your smartphone while you sleep and getting new and improved features is not as easy and seamless as it is for everyone except Tesla.

For example, along with the addition of wireless capability, the iOS 9 update allowed car companies to develop applications that allow passengers to operate vehicle-specific features, such as air conditioners. Subsequent updates added features such as support for third-party navigation applications such as Waze and food ordering and parking applications.

With the release of iOS 13 in 2019 came one of the biggest changes to CarPlay: a split-screen Dashboard feature that can display maps, media information and calendar items at the same time. It also added a Settings app that lets users switch between light and dark mode, adjust the album art on the Play Now screen, and enable Do Not Disturb feature.

Last year CarPlay added availability to unlock a car and start the engine with iPhone for some 2021 models. The feature also allows you to share digital “keys” with family or friends and will even work for up to five hours after an iPhone runs out of battery.

Android Auto is also constantly updated. Google initially did not allow third parties to integrate mapping applications with Android Auto, blocking the platform for its own Google Maps and Waze. But third-party mapping applications such as Sygic and TomTom AmiGO are now available.

In late 2016, Google added the option to run Android Auto as an application on an Android device. In this case, it means through an integrated Android Automotive operating system, which so far operates only a few vehicles, especially the Polestar EV.

In early 2018, Google announced the addition of Google Assistant to Android Auto, while in July 2019 the platform revised the UI. Last summer, Android Auto received a major upgrade that added the ability to customize the startup screen directly from your phone, a fast AZ scroll feature for large song lists and contact lists, and the integration of EV charging, parking, and navigation apps.

What are the limitations of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Neither system completely replaces a car’s “native” infotainment system. If you want to listen to radio, whether terrestrial or SiriusXM, you need the car interface. The same if you want to change different functions of the vehicle. Navigation apps like Google Maps are also data-driven so they can search for a new destination and map a route – if you’re in a service-free area and have not pre-loaded map data (most do not even know you can do it). this), you will not have a navigation system. This is one reason why automakers continue to offer native navigation systems, although some, such as the new Mercedes systems, offer augmented reality on-screen or on-screen augmentation that you certainly would not have with Google Maps.

What Apple CarPlay can or cannot do also depends on the car. Some people block CarPlay from seeing playlists in the music app while the car is in motion, for example, requiring you to select something using Siri. Others, however, keep everything at your disposal at all times.

What is the difference between Android Auto and Android Automotive OS?

We have already described Android Auto, but you will see more and more the term Android Automotive, which is not the same thing. Instead of just providing an interface to control your smartphone through the car infotainment system, Android Automotive is actually the whole infotainment system. It is essentially an operating system created by Google and which car brands can customize with their specific designs or “skins” that can control everything that a car’s native system would normally do. So consider changing a radio station or adjusting your driving mode settings. Android Auto is still essential for communicating and controlling smartphone applications, and although CarPlay was not yet compatible at the time of writing, it will do so in the future. You can see more about Android Automotive and its early adoption at the GMC Yukon 2022 below.

Leave a Comment