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In an era when smartphones are a necessity, Apple CarPlay has become a must since its 2014 debut. The technology’s software has seen multiple versions, and the latest is iOS 17. Here’s a look at the upcoming Apple CarPlay updates.

1. Apple Maps can display real-time EV charging station availability

iOS 17 brings real-time EV charging station availability to the Apple Maps app. This feature allows users to find and navigate to nearby charging stations. It also provides information about the availability of charging spots in real-time. With this update, electric vehicle drivers can plan their trips more effectively and reduce the risk of encountering fully occupied charging stations.

2. SharePlay support enhances in-car entertainment

iOS 17 also introduces SharePlay support, which enables users to share their audio, video, and screen content with others during FaceTime calls. Though not directly related to car features, this functionality can enhance the in-car entertainment experience when passengers want to watch or listen to shared content together.

3. A new Apple CarPlay interface makes replying to texts in the Messages App safer

The Messages app in iOS 17 receives an updated interface for replying to texts while driving. This new interface is designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly, allowing drivers to respond to messages safely with minimal distractions. The enhanced interface prioritizes voice-based interactions, making composing and sending messages through dictation easier.

Bonus: Visual Look Up can decode the warning lights on your car’s dashboard

This iOS 17 upgrade doesn’t pertain to Apple CarPlay, but it does pertain to cars. The next time a warning light comes on in your car and you’re unsure what it is, no need to open your owner’s manual. Through iOS 17’s Visual Look Up upgrade, compatible iPhones can read car symbols and warning lights, allowing you to diagnose car issues quickly.

Just take a picture of your car’s dashboard using your iPhone. Open the image in the Photos app, and if Visual Look Up recognizes the symbols, you’ll see a steering wheel icon below the photo. Tap “Look Up Auto Symbol” for more details.

What iPhones can update to iOS 17?

Regarding device compatibility, iOS 17 will be available for iPhone XS and newer models in September 2023, but it’s already in beta testing.

However, MacRumors says consumers will have to wait for the next generation of CarPlay that Apple announced last year. Apple has stated that the first vehicles with next-generation CarPlay support would be announced in late 2023, so more details are forthcoming. New features previewed last year included integration with a vehicle’s instrument cluster and climate controls, support for multiple displays, a built-in FM radio app, and widgets.

Apple said automakers committed to offering the next generation of CarPlay included Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault, Volvo, Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, and Infiniti.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay: An iOS 17 update is coming in 2023
Apple CarPlay | Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Apple CarPlay is a technology that allows users to integrate their iPhones with compatible vehicles’ infotainment systems. It provides a familiar iOS interface on the car’s display, enabling users to access various iPhone functions, apps, and services more safely and conveniently while driving.

To use Apple CarPlay, you need a compatible vehicle that supports the feature. Check out “How Do I Know if My Car Has Apple CarPlay?” to determine if your car is compatible. Most automakers include the tech as an option or a standard feature in their newer models. CarPlay is typically accessed by connecting an iPhone to the vehicle’s infotainment system using a USB cable or wirelessly, depending on the car’s capabilities.

Once connected, the CarPlay interface appears on the vehicle’s screen, providing access to various apps and functions. Users can make calls, send and receive messages, use navigation apps like Apple Maps, listen to music or podcasts, and access other supported apps using Siri voice commands, touchscreen controls, and/or the vehicle’s buttons and knobs.


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