Everything You Need To Know About Apple CarPlay

  • You’ve probably spent quite a lot of money on your car. First, there was the upfront cost of buying a vehicle. Then there was the expense of insuring it, taxing it, and paying for ongoing servicing, repairs, maintenance and MOTs. After all that, of course, is the most regular cost of all – fuel.

    But how often do you treat yourself to something that’s car-related and useful? A set of Ford Kuga roof bars, a Mitsubishi luggage carrier or a Mazda 2 rear view camera seem like the kind of accessories that will make driving more enjoyable, but what if you really wanted to invest in something special? Enter Apple CarPlay…

    What is Apple CarPlay?
    Apple CarPlay is the ultimate co-pilot. It allows you to access your beloved iOS technology in the car via your vehicle’s touchscreen display, meaning you can interact with your telephone, music, maps, messages, audiobooks and podcasts whilst driving. It’s a safe and legal solution to using your favourite Apple technology in the car, as CarPlay is totally hands free.

    What else is so great about Apple CarPlay?

    Apple CarPlay can be used by activating Siri voice control. All you have to do is press and hold the voice control button in your steering wheel. For instance, Siri will read, send and reply to text messages for you, and all you have to do is dictate.

    This function is particularly handy if you need directions from Apple maps, and you can even access third party apps through it like Spotify. CarPlay also works with the knobs, dials and buttons in your car, which means you can control things like volume without having to touch your iPhone. Other apps are compatible too, but safety is paramount – so don’t expect to be able to browse Netflix through your car’s interface!

    Will Apple CarPlay work in my car?

    Unfortunately, because it relies on specialist technology, Apple CarPlay won't work in any old car. However, many manufacturers are already on board with CarPlay, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, LandRover, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Volvo and more. To check out a full catalogue of cars that are compatible with Apple CarPlay, take a look at Apple’s current list.

    What iPhones are compatible with Apple CarPlay?

    Currently, Apple CarPlay is available on iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 plus, 6s, or 6s plus. You just need a ‘lightening port’ (that’s the bit you plug your phone charger in to), as you’ll need to hard-wire your iPhone into the car via a cable.

    How much does Apple CarPlay cost?
    The cost of Apple CarPlay entirely depends on how much you want to spend on a compatible car. But, if you’re not in a position to buy a new vehicle, or don’t want to replace your existing one, there are some aftermarket solutions available right now. For example, the JBL Legend CP100 is an affordable way to add CarPlay to your car, just by installing their radio – it’s equipped with a touchscreen that allows your car to benefit from Apple CarPlay.