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If you’re a loyal iPhone user, you probably know about Apple CarPlay. The Apple standard is a must for iPhone fans who want to use their smartphones hands-free in the car. Are you shopping for a vehicle with CarPlay? Learn about two major Apple CarPlay problems before you sign on the dotted line. 

What is Apple CarPlay?

In-dash apps on Apple Carplay
In-dash apps on Apple Carplay | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Despite the safety risks, many people use their smartphones while driving. For instance, they use their phones to listen to music or navigate. The key is to know how to use your phone safely. That’s where Apple CarPlay comes in

According to Make Use Of, Apple CarPlay lets you connect your iPhone to your car and then display a simplified version of the iPhone interface on your infotainment screen. That allows you to access specific apps in the car while avoiding distraction from other apps. You can use Siri to give commands and never take your eyes off the road.

Many late-model cars already include smartphone systems, but they aren’t standardized. CarPlay allows drivers to have the same system across vehicles. 

However, the tech giant must still address two major Apple CarPlay problems. 

Apple CarPlay problem #1: Automakers are slow to adopt features 

“While most vehicles now support CarPlay, auto manufacturers have a penchant for neglecting new features,” Apple Insider reports.

For example, automakers are slow to adopt wireless Apple CarPlay. The company debuted this feature in 2016. Still, most new vehicles do not support it and require a wired connection. It was not until the past year that mainstream vehicles began adopting this feature. 

In addition, automakers have been slow to support CarPlay through the vehicle’s infotainment system display. They prefer consumers use the vehicle manufacturers’ operating systems instead of ones controlled by Apple. There is more money to be made in upselling their own features.

In addition, Apple doesn’t seem to be pushing hard for its products to be supported. However, there’s hope that the overhauled CarPlay experience promised for later this year will improve CarPlay functionality in more affordable vehicles.

CarPlay problem #2: Apps are not the best quality


Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto: Which Is Better?

iPhone users are accustomed to a certain level of design in their smartphone apps. However, many apps through Apple CarPlay are overly simplified and pared down. That isn’t entirely an Apple problem but an issue with some third-party developers. 

Apps must be easy to use without distracting the driver — safety is the top priority. But the tech giant created CarPlay to save consumers from the subpar experiences provided by automakers. How do low-quality CarPlay apps fix this problem? They don’t. 

“It is more about Apple. It needs to update its UI guidelines and resources for CarPlay apps,” Apple Insider says. “Apple has done very little to enhance CarPlay apps over the years, instead slowly adding new device categories such as fueling apps or getting emergency support with iOS 16.”

But upgrades are coming in 2023

According to Business Insider, Apple announced it would release a new version of CarPlay with the iOS 16 update in the fall of 2023. This version will offer expanded functionality across vehicles’ dashboards. 

Cars with digital dashboard displays will be able to use Apple CarPlay to read and display real-time data. That can include speed, RPM, fuel, mileage, etc. Drivers will also be able to customize the design of their dashboard with themes, layouts, and widgets. They will also see CarPlay expand into commands like climate and audio controls. 

The new CarPay version will reportedly become available late this year. That means 2024 models for most manufacturers. 

Apple has partnered with Acura, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mercedes, Nissan, Porsche, and other automakers for the upgraded system.