5 Underrated Apple CarPlay Features That’ll Enhance Your Driving Experience

Congratulations on your new Apple CarPlay-equipped vehicle!

As of 2022, over 95% of new cars supported Apple CarPlay. According to Apple’s website, CarPlay supports over 800 car models. Moreover, about 80% of new car buyers consider it to be a feature when contemplating buying a new car.

And why wouldn’t they?

People are awed by how Apple CarPlay streamlines their maps, music, calendars, and calls. However, there’s a whole world of convenience and safety waiting to be unlocked! In this post, we’ll explore five lesser-known but highly useful CarPlay features that can make your time behind the wheel safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.

#1. Use Siri for Hands-Free Control

Sure, Siri can give directions, but it also works as a hands-free organizer. With voice commands, you can send messages, make calls, get directions, control music playback, and more without taking your hands off the wheel.

For example, you can say, “Hey Siri, call my wife; I’m running late.” Or get super-specific with “Remind me to pick up dinner when I’m near the restaurant.” Siri will respond and complete the task for you. 

Using voice control while driving not only enhances convenience but also improves safety by reducing distractions. CarPlay even integrates with some to-do list apps, letting you add tasks on the go. The latest version of CarPlay as part of iOS 17 aims to take this further.

As announced in June 2022 at the WWDC, the next-gen Apple CarPlay promises greater integration with car features like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the screen, customization options, and much more. The first US vehicles featuring brands like Acura, Audi, Porsche, Volvo, and others boasting of these next-gen CarPlay capabilities are expected to hit the roads in 2024.

#2. Customizing Your CarPlay Dashboard

Instead of settling for the default app layout, similar to your phone’s home screen, you can customize the CarPlay dashboard to display your preferred apps and shortcuts. Rearranging and resizing app icons allows you to have easy access to your frequently used apps and features.

To customize the dashboard, connect your iPhone to your car’s CarPlay system. Then, press and hold any app icon until it starts wiggling. Now, you can drag and drop the icons to rearrange their positions. You can also pinch to resize certain app icons and create more space for your favorites. Once you’re satisfied with the layout, press the done button to save your changes.

Rearrange icons so your most-used apps are easily accessible. If you find too many apps distracting, you can limit which ones are displayed. Don’t forget, “Do Not Disturb While Driving” is a lifesaver for staying focused.

Another thing you need to remember is that in addition to its native apps, Apple CarPlay also offers seamless integration with a wide range of third-party apps. This means you can access your favorite services directly from your car’s infotainment system. Whether you’re a music lover, podcast fan, or social media enthusiast, there’s an app for you. 

From Spotify and Pandora to Waze and WhatsApp, the possibilities are endless. Simply download the app to your iPhone, connect it to CarPlay, and enjoy! 

Moreover, if your car stereo leaves something to be desired in terms of sound effects, we recommend you check out the Apple CarPlay radio. It allows you to access and control various audio functions directly through the car’s infotainment system.

#3. Connect Multiple Devices Simultaneously

CarPlay allows you to connect and switch between multiple devices, like your iPhone and iPad, seamlessly. This feature can be beneficial in scenarios where you need to share navigation duties with a co-driver or have separate devices for work and personal use.

To connect multiple devices, connect your primary device to CarPlay as you would. Then, go to Settings > General > CarPlay on your secondary device and select your car from the list of available vehicles. Now, you can switch between devices by tapping the vehicle icon on the secondary device’s CarPlay screen. You can also directly connect your iPhone to the vehicle via USB.

However, remember that CarPlay is designed to work exclusively with Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.). Android devices are incompatible with CarPlay.

#4. Finding Your Parked Car

Ever had that “Where did I park?” panic? CarPlay has you covered. When you disconnect from your car, it automatically remembers your location. Open the Maps app, and it’ll guide you right back to your vehicle.

#5. Use CarPlay as a Secondary Display

For compatible apps, CarPlay can be used as a secondary display, giving you a larger, dedicated screen for certain apps while driving. This feature can be particularly useful for video players or GPS apps that can benefit from a bigger display.

To set up a secondary display, connect your iPhone to the car’s Bluetooth or USB port. Once connected, you can use Siri to access the app. Or you can use the CarPlay dashboard, as the app’s content will be mirrored on your car’s CarPlay screen in addition to your device’s display.

In conclusion, Apple CarPlay offers far more than meets the eye. From its intuitive voice control functionality to its seamless integration with third-party apps, there’s no shortage of features to explore. 

By taking advantage of these five underrated gems, BOSS Audio Systems suggests that you can truly enhance your driving experience and make the most of your time on the road. So go ahead, explore these hidden gems, and discover a whole new world of possibilities.