large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What is Apple CarPlay?

If you’re not sure what Apple CarPlay is, or all the features that it offers, then read this article for a thorough rundown.

iPhones come with a litany of beguiling features, but what exactly is Apple CarPlay, and what does it mean you can do with your phone and with your car?

Apple describes CarPlay as being “the ultimate co-pilot” while you drive; essentially, it’s an in-car infotainment system that lets you use your iPhone safely while you drive.

Not all cars are compatible with CarPlay, but there are many models from prominent manufacturers which are. Compatibility means you can access some really useful features while you’re on the road, such as the following:

Picture of a Porsche Apple Carplay fixed in a car

Maps

With CarPlay, you can essentially use your iPhone as a satnav, guiding you around locations with ease. What’s more, it can actually tap into your calendar and contacts in order to predict where you’re driving to when you get in your car. You can also easily search for destinations to go to while you’re out on the move.

Phone

Unsurprisingly, you can use your phone as, well, a phone. The voice assistant Siri is there to help you make calls, return missed calls, and listen to your voicemail as long as you say the magic words.

Messages

Again with Siri, you can send messages or have received messages read aloud to you while you’re driving. You can also make specific commands to Siri such as sending your estimated time of arrival by message with just a simple voice command, in tandem with Apple Maps.

Music

You can play music from apps such as Apple Music via CarPlay, to keep you entertained during your trip. Once again, you can use voice commands to search your library so that your hands never leave the wheel while you’re changing song.

Calendar

With the Calendar app, you can see what’s coming up ahead in your day while you’re on the move. And if you’ve got a meeting then you can even ask for specific direction or dial in to the call via your phone without leaving your car.

What’s new with iOS 16?

With the launch of iOS 16, Apple announced “the next generation of CarPlay.” This is due to the feature’s deepening integration with the cars’ hardware; it will now be able to provide content across multiple screens, while CarPlay can tap into the vehicle’s data to display the speed, fuel level, temperature, and more alongside many new widgets designed for a car’s dashboard. Compatible vehicles will be announced late in 2023.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.