Is Apple CarPlay worth it?

Apple CarPlay is a system designed by Apple which enables you to use your iPhone apps right on the car’s central infotainment system. Almost all newer cars are available with Apple CarPlay and some of them even offer you these functionalities straight from the factory.

It’s undoubtedly clear that Apple CarPlay is a useful system that carries many benefits over most modern-day infotainment systems. For one, you can also use the same system no matter which car you drive, and you are able to use the best apps for certain purposes.

All modern-day infotainment systems don’t offer nearly as many features as modern-day iOS and Android devices do. This means that relying on Apple CarPlay offers you a more seamless and more convenient way to take advantage of your phone while driving without getting into trouble.

However, Apple CarPlay is usually a costly additional option, and it’s sometimes not even available for certain cars. If you buy yourself a docking station for your phone and stick it onto the windshield, you can use your phone for navigation, and the car’s infotainment system for entertainment purposes.

Benefits of Apple CarPlay

In order to reach a sound conclusion about whether Apple CarPlay is worthy or not, we need to look at the positives and the negatives. The main positive is an easy connection as most modern-day cars offer wireless Apple CarPlay. Even if your car does not, all you need to do is enable Siri and connect via a lightning cable.

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As mentioned previously, Apple Car Play enables you to use Siri whenever you drive the car which is a huge benefit because most modern-day car voice command systems are nowhere near as advanced as Siri and Google Assistant are. You can make and answer calls easy and you can manage your contacts the same way you usually do.

Texting while driving is both extremely dangerous and highly punishable. However, Apple CarPlay enables reading and dictating text messages which means that you are virtually able to text while driving without even looking at the screen.

Finally, the biggest benefit of Apple CarPlay is the ability to use your iOS apps right on the car’s central infotainment screen. You can use all the popular apps such as Spotify or Waze which are almost always way more useful than whatever the car’s built-in alternative is.

Drawbacks of Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay is not perfect, so you must be well aware of all the pros and cons before you can make a sound purchasing decision. First of all, Apple CarPlay is still predominantly available as a costly additional piece of equipment which can sometimes cost more than a thousand dollars.

While using Apple CarPlay you are essentially trading your car’s infotainment screen for CarPlay which means that you are not able to control some aspects of your car such as changing the ambient lightning or adjusting your seats.

This is extremely nerve-racking as many newer cars rely on the infotainment screen even to adjust basic car functions such as climate control. Finally, Apple CarPlay only enables you to use a set amount of iOS backed apps which means that not everything on your phone can be displayed on the car’s screen.

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How you use your car is an important factor

In order to decide if Apple CarPlay is useful to you or not, you need to balance out the positives and the negatives and try to come up with a conclusion that is both logically and financially sound. If you predominantly use your phone on a dock while driving, then it might be better to skip Apple CarPlay.

If you hate using docking stations and you enjoy having everything on the tip of your fingers or your use more cars at the same time, it’s better to go for Apple CarPlay. Furthermore, if you are a taxi driver and someone who drives a lot and you usually rely on apps such as Waze to guide you, CarPlay is a worthy consideration.

From a resale standpoint, it’s better to opt for CarPlay as features such as these are increasingly more important. However, if you are buying used, CarPlay is not a feature that dictates the current resale value of a car, so it’s better to opt for it than to skip it if it’s available.

FAQ Section

How much does Apple CarPlay cost?

It depends on the car in question and if CarPlay is even on the additional equipment catalog or not. Some cars offer CarPlay as standard while some cars don’t even offer CarPlay at all. Of course, both of these are in the minority when compared to the rest of the automotive industry.

For more affordable cars such as Japanese economy cars, you are expected to pay a few hundred dollars if you want Apple CarPlay, but brands such as Ferrari or Porsche can charge you five times as much for the very same system.

Is Android Auto better than Apple CarPlay?

It depends on the person you are asking as a regular iPhone user is likely to prefer CarPlay while a regular Android user is probably keener on using Android Auto. However, Apple Maps is not an app as advanced enough as Waze or Google Maps, so if you don’t use Waze and you do use Google Maps, Android Auto is a better choice between the two.

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Any way you look at it, it depends on what you want your system to do. It’s worth mentioning that both of these offer more or less the same functionalities and it all boils down to what operating system you are using on a daily basis.

How advanced are modern-day car infotainment systems?

Most of them are lacking behind the current generation of smartphone technology, and this is not likely to change because new phones are released every year while new cars are released every 4-6 years. However, this does not mean that some infotainment systems are not sophisticated and advanced enough.

Tesla, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes are currently leading the way when it comes to high-end sophisticated infotainment systems, but they are nowhere near as advanced as current-generation iOS and Android devices. Be that as it may, in order to utilize a car’s infotainment system in its entirety, you have to use it without CarPlay.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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