Tips, Tricks & Trends

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Keeps GPS Alive in Cars

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have become more and more common in cars, and while they have a lot to offer, there is one way that they enhance our driving experience: navigation. For years we have been disappointed with the navigation systems that came with our cars, and even if the systems were helpful, they tended to be unintuitive and frustrating. In a world ruled by smartphones, many people took to using the navigation apps we could download on our phone rather than using our car’s infotainment screen.

On-board navigation is pretty useless

Even with touch-screen infotainment systems inputting an address into our navigation system can be a complete hassle. Some older cars and even brand new production cars option for a scroll wheel rather than a touch screen, and that could turn your navigation experience into a total nightmare. Even cars that were more technologically advanced for their time, like the last generation of Audi A7, had the least intuitive navigation system possible, more times than not leading me to give up and use my phone for GPS instead.

BMW's infotainment screen showing Android Auto functionality
BMW infotainment with Android Auto | BMW

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With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the integration between your phone and on-board infotainment system is almost flawless, making it the happy middle ground between using our phone navigation and having something on a large, easily viewable screen as possible. Navigation isn’t the only feature that makes these programs worthwhile, but it goes without saying that it makes up for a major flaw in the navigation systems of the past. In fact, you could say it’s the only reason people are still using their car for navigation altogether.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are becoming standard

It seems like these days, every new car on the market is equipped with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or even both. Like electric windows, these programs are quickly becoming an expectation that we have of cars. With the technology so readily available, it makes sense as to why car manufacturers would make an effort to include them. Having these programs isn’t just a trend, either, as they enhance our overall driving experience in a way that old, outdated navigation systems lacked.

Ford SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay
Ford SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay | Ford

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Apple CarPlay and Android Auto seem to be the saving grace for car owners everywhere. Even though there is a lot more that these programs have to offer, navigation is the one area where cars benefit from having them. Navigation in cars might have become otherwise obsolete if it wasn’t for the implementation of these systems, and this ease of integration with our cell phones makes our driving experience just that much better.