CarPlay Carplay...unimpressed but am I missing something?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by Italianblend, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Italianblend macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2011
    my wife just got a new car and it has car play. I was excited about it but I don’t see what the big deal is. You can ask Siri to text while you drive, but you can do that with any car with Bluetooth. It plays music but again ... Bluetooth. It can use Apple maps but if you prefer google, you’re out of luck.

    I really want to like car play but I just am not seeing what the big deal is. What do you use it for? Am I missing any cool features? Is it really a deal breaker for you? Help me like it! Thanks.
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    CarPlay is primarily more for those who have cars that either don't have an infotainment system (went aftermarket head unit, with CarPlay) or with a car with a poor infotainment system - CarPlay allows them access to functions otherwise unaccessible. But if you currently have ways to access/use text, navigation and/or music in your, CarPlay is not going to give much value or benefit...unless you really want that iOS UI on your head unit.
  3. Italianblend thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2011
    Thanks. Do we know if they are planning third party apps?
  4. canyonblue737 macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    It's not that big a deal, true. For me the primary advantages are:

    1. Simpler, cleaner interface than most car screen systems. It gets updated with new features too unlike a car company that never updates their system.
    2. Consistency between cars and car brands if you have multiple cars in the household with CarPlay.
    3. Significant enhancements to Siri vs. Bluetooth as you can "see" caller pictures, names of folks you are dialing, music choices etc.
    4. Several popular audio apps including: Overcast, iHeartRadio, Pandora, TuneIn and more have CarPlay apps.
    5. Maps on CarPlay interfaces very nicely with you iOS calendar app so that CarPlay often "knows" my destination (based on appointment for example, or common destination for time of day) and I don't even need to tell it. However Maps still, still, still on occasion gets locations wrong that Google Maps in my experience never does. I almost don't trust obscure addresses to Apple Maps.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 26, 2018 ---
    there are quite a few already. however they either don't allow mapping ones (like Waze or Google Maps) or those companies don't want to make one. most 3rd party apps are audio apps for podcasts and music.
  5. Hawaiian Starman macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2001
    Somerset West, South Africa
    Used it in my 2016 Ford Focus Titanium for 3 months, then went back to Sync 3. Perhaps this is a result of poor corrdination between Ford and Apple. Required USB cable (no bluetooth); Siri proved quite worthless attempting to access a number of playlists (simple names were not understandable); 3rd party apps have inferior GUI’s (eg Spotify, NPR); Apple Maps marginally useful due to inferior search function (Google Maps and Waze are so much better).
  6. joelw135 macrumors 6502


    Oct 15, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    I would love to be able to use Waze instead of the lame Apple Maps.
  7. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    Waze is the biggest thing you'd ever need on any of these systems.
  8. canyonblue737, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    canyonblue737 macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    An interesting article has popped up this week about Apple Maps vs. Google Maps vs. Waze. They tested a year of 120+ drives in San Francisco between the three and discovered the following:

    1. Google Maps created the fastest routes.
    2. Waze created the SLOWEST routes.
    3. Apple Maps was in the middle but had the most accurate time ESTIMATES, only 1% off (and actually slower than it took).
    4. Google Maps estimated times 6% faster than it actually took to drive.
    5. Waze estimated times 11% faster than it actually took to drive.

    The summary was Waze creates the impression in users they are faster because the estimates are always better than the competition, but the estimates are wrong and users seldom notice that. Waze also is by far the most aggressive with side streets etc. which may create the impression the driver is "doing something" to beat traffic when in reality a simpler route may have been better. All this adds up to an illusion that Waze is faster when it is actually the slowest of the three. Google had the best routes but told you that you will get there faster than you actually will. Apple routes were in the middle but the most honest about how long it will take.

    Personally? I've used all 3 and think Waze is the best at telling road hazards, Google Maps is the best at actual routes, and Apple Maps is best at integrating with iOS and calendar addresses etc. I wish someone could combine the best of the 3 and CarPlay was more open to 3rd party mapping solutions.
  9. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    The benefit of Carplay is HUD initiated actions, not phone initiated actions. Not having to fumble with your phone while driving, that’s the whole point of carplay.
  10. TrueBlou, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    Depends on your infotainment system. My new car has got CarPlay, but 90% of the time I just use the manufacturers one.

    Mainly because with the built-in option I can connect my iPhone wirelessly to it via Bluetooth or WiFi (the car uses the Vodafone 4G network for it's internet and I've had no complaints with it). I'm connected to the car's WiFi hotspot as soon as I get in, with Bluetooth as a backup. For CarPlay I annoyingly have to plug it into a USB port.

    There's nothing I can do with CarPlay that I can't do with the manufacturers option just as easily. So it tends to win out for the pure convenience of not having to take my iPhone out of my pocket. With my phone in my pocket I still have access to my entire Apple Music collection and can control it with either the touch screen, my voice or steering wheel controls and the display integrated into the instrument panel. So there's no fumbling with a phone for anything.

    As I tend to use the instrument display and steering wheel controls, or my voice when I'm driving so as not to be too distracted from, well, driving. The CarPlay interface isn't so much use to me as it is to passengers.

    What I will say is, CarPlay has a slightly nicer interface. But that's about it for me. I guess it boils down to how good your manufacturers infotainment system is at performing the same tasks (or in some cases more tasks) than CarPlay.

    Oh, getting text/iMessages is much better when using CarPlay. Unfortunately it's also a reason not to use it when there's other people in the car with you. As I discovered on a recent journey with my dad in the car, when I got a text from the wife and it popped up on the screen. thank god his eyesight isn't so good nowadays. I won't repeat the text, there may be children here :p
  11. Bbeelzebub, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018

    Bbeelzebub macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2015
    I was sooooo excited to get my Mercedes in 2016 that had CarPlay. I don't think I've used it more than twice or thrice. The GPS Nav on the Benz is much better than Apple Maps, there is limited apps available for CarPlay really and although iMessage on the screen is nice, you really can't do anything more with it than you can on the regular Mercedes Benz infotainment unit. If you really want to have to have the full IOS experience on your dash, you need some aftermarket products to mirror the screen and then you can use Waze, G Maps, or pretty much anything you want on it, not just what Apple has allowed into an even more secured garden.

    Oh, and my infotainment unit from Mercedes even has a built in Web Browser and some of the same music apps that CarPlay has. Not to mention, Siri is automatically routed through my head unit if I really wanted to use it (I never do.) or on my wrist already with the Apple Watch.

    I do like the few music apps that are available on it, Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, etc... but again, the functionality is limited for safety reasons.

    Android Auto isn't as restrictive.

    I'll get a new Mercedes next year again, but I won't really care if CarPlay is not on it. I hear BMW is going to do CarPlay as a subscription model. LOL Good luck to them!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 27, 2018 ---

    They now have wireless CarPlay available, but really.... it seems silly when you think about the battery you're using to run things on the phone while driving around anyhow. I'd rather just USB it and let it charge. :shrug:
  12. TrueBlou, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018

    TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    I couldn’t believe it when I heard BMW were going to be doing a CarPlay subscription. Good luck to them, it’s really not worth it.

    I know there’s wireless now, my car unfortunately is wired only at the moment, unless they do an update.

    But even with wireless CarPlay and a wireless charger for the phone, I still think I’d be inclined to use the manufacturers option.

    When I was deciding on my trim level and so on, I made sure it had CarPlay, I really did want it. But having used it, meh.

    Unless I’m missing something which someone could enlighten me on, the manufacturers system just does it all anyway and in some ways, better.

    I even like that my car sends me an email every week with the status of all the main components, my oil level and condition, tyre pressures, fuel level, average mpg and so on. CarPlay doesn’t tie into any of that kind of information.

    If there was something CarPlay did that was considerably better, or that the manufacturers system didn’t have, then maybe I’d use it. But as it stands for me it’s just another feature I don’t use.

    Perhaps once I’ve more fully explored available apps I might change my mind, but thus far I’ve not found any apps that would convince me to use it. In fact I’ve only found 9 apps to add to it, none of which I need. Does anyone know how to find more apps easily?

    Kind of like watching videos on the screen in the front, useless to me if I’m driving, but fine for the passenger. CarPlay falls into that category for me.
  13. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    I can talk to you for a full week about why the UI on my Civic's infotainment screen sucks (Garmin nav included). I use CarPlay all the time. (and with no subscription! F U BMW)

    I don't mind that it requires a wired connection, too, because the car ends up as my phone charger on most days.

    Here's a neat CarPlay trick:
    [map on the screen] "Hey Siri, zoom out" ... [ding] Zooming out [map zooms out one step]
  14. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    I like because I didn't have to buy a navigation system with my car - I just use the Apple one with CarPlay. I also like being able to voice respond to mesages.
  15. ColoArtist macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Denver, CO
    Big deal for me in that I've got an older car, one in which the radio not only didn't do Bluetooth, it didn't even have a AUX jack.

    Many moons ago, back before there were iPhones, I installed an adapter for an AUX port to play music from my iPod. Amazingly enough the adapter continued to work with iPhones and worked okay with my iPhone X. It even charged the phone.

    However, without Bluetooth, I had to plug and unplug the phone when I wanted to use the radio.

    I could have replaced the adapter with one which did Bluetooth, but CarPlay, with all it's goodies sounded very tempting to me. Navigation, phone, messages, contacts, iTunes, pairing...what was on my phone was what was on the radio. Plus I wanted a backup camera too. I was tired of the plugging and unplugging routine, so I went all out and went wireless with an Alpine iLX-107. No plug and play...just play. ;^)

    So I can see how someone who already has a Navi unit with Bluetooth and a backup camera might not see a big improvement going to CarPlay. But for me it was a quantum leap.

    Besides, its more Apple gear, only for the car this time.

    I'm getting spoiled fast.
  16. Bbeelzebub macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2015

    The only site I've found that is carplay focused is, Most of what they post is about new units, etc.... They do tell about new apps that are carplay compatible, but you can find the list on Apple's official site too. There just aren't a lot of apps.
  17. gjamesm42 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Not sure what you were expecting. I would never buy a vehicle without carplay.
  18. RichardMZhlubb Contributor


    Nov 26, 2010
    Washington, DC
    I don't have CarPlay in my car, but I bought my daughter a new car this weekend that has both CarPlay and Android Auto. I drove it to work today and used Android Auto with my Pixel so I could use Waze, but I gave up about half-way to work because I found the interface very confusing and difficult to deal with. I switched to CarPlay and found it a far better experience. Just being able to change audio sources, maps, etc, through the car's touch interface instead of on the phone is a huge benefit while driving.
  19. randomplaydo macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2014
    I'm now out of the CarPlay game since a tree fell on my car a couple weeks ago and the replacement doesn't have it as an option. BUT, I still love it for a few reasons - especially now that I'm without it.

    The text messaging thing is a big deal because I can very quickly go through multiple separate messages that have come in and listen to and respond to them all. I get texts very often from various people through the day so this is (was) a biggie for me.

    Also, the convenience of telling Siri "take me to Home Depot on Main Street" is something I can't do any other way with that level of ease. My new navigation is superior in the way it routes and the connection it has from the external gps antenna, but entering addresses is annoying as hell.

    Also, now that I'm using bluetooth I can once again hear the loss of sound fidelity - especially as I listen to lossless streaming on tidal. Plugging in using the lightening cable gives as full resolution as is possible and avoids the lossy compression introduced using bluetooth.

    Also, with other apps, just having them within two touches is great. Listening to my podcasts and being able to quickly jump into the app, scroll to the right show and hit the new episode was amazing. I've honestly fallen behind in podcast listening over the past two weeks because it's annoying to do it on my phone.

    I got spoiled and I do miss it.

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18 February 25, 2018