Apple’s standard CarPlay makes using your iPhone in the car easier by providing a streamlined interface on the car’s head unit. It does this by turning your car’s infotainment system into an external display for your iPhone, complete with big, easy-to-read app icons and Siri voice control, so you can use your phone safely and conveniently without taking your eyes off the road. It’s an alternative to Google’s Android Auto, which it directly rivals.
Only some automobiles are compatible with Apple CarPlay, and the feature is only compatible with a handful of the iPhone’s native apps (Music, Maps, etc.). Several additional apps can be used with CarPlay as well. While driving, you can use these programs to listen to music or podcasts, check for updates, locate your location, and do much more.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your new CarPlay-enabled vehicle, or if you’ve been using CarPlay for a while and want to expand your capabilities, we’ve compiled a list of some of the finest CarPlay apps for iPhone.
Noteworthy Details Regarding Apple’s CarPlay Applications
There are a few things you need to know about Apple CarPlay before we get into the top CarPlay apps.
You can’t play games or stream films from services like Netflix or YouTube on your car’s infotainment system unless they’re compatible with CarPlay. Actually, this is counter to the spirit of CarPlay.
There is no special setup required to use CarPlay apps; they may be downloaded and installed from the App Store just like any other iPhone app. If an iPhone app is compatible with CarPlay, it will appear in the car’s display when it has been downloaded and installed on an iPhone.
CarPlay provides a lot more features than just the apps that appear in the app list on your car’s screen. These features include a built-in clock, reminders, and more. Like on an iPhone, you can use voice commands to access all of these features using Siri. This also means that Siri can read aloud any notifications that come in and be used to draft responses.
Best iPhone CarPlay Apps from Third-Parties
Here is a rundown of some of the greatest CarPlay apps, which make using your iPhone for in-car entertainment, communication, and navigation easier and safer.
One of the most popular navigational apps is Google Maps. It’s reliable, has all the features necessary for effective navigation, and is accessible in most areas, including those where rival services (like Apple Maps or Waze) are unavailable.
The CarPlay version of Maps has a rather straightforward UI. The app makes it simple to add new stops, get turn-by-turn directions, and identify services like gas stations, cafes, and more in your immediate area. In addition, the integrated voice assistant makes it possible to search for locations just by speaking their names.
One alternative navigation app for CarPlay is Waze. Its crowdsourced information is what sets it apart from other map services like Google and Apple’s, allowing it to include features like real-time traffic updates, alternative routes, and more.
Waze’s unique appearance and set of features have kept it popular with consumers despite Google’s acquisition of the company in 2013. Waze is very popular due of the wealth of information it provides, including speed traps, road closures, and accidents/hazards, and the flexibility of its user interface. Waze is a fantastic navigation app to use with CarPlay if you are already a user or if you happen to reside in a region where all Waze capabilities are available.
Spotify is a widely used music streaming service offering access to millions of songs from countless artists in countless genres. Spotify just expanded into the world of podcasts, and its offerings have quickly gained popularity.
Spotify is a popular music streaming service that provides access to a large music library spanning many different musical styles and performers. Spotify has entered the podcasting market and its content has swiftly been widely used.
Listening to podcasts is another way to pass the time and gain knowledge while traveling to and from work or school. Pocket Casts is a fantastic podcast app with access to a vast selection of programs. This is a great option for those who prefer to keep their music and podcasts in two different folders.
The Pocket Casts interface in CarPlay is rather simple. Also, podcast episodes can be streamed or downloaded to the iPhone and played later.
If you enjoy listening to books while commuting, you’ve definitely heard of or use the Audible app on your iPhone. To your delight, Audible works with CarPlay as well. Now, when commuting, you may utilize it to listen to the novels you’ve been meaning to get to.
Related: Best Audible Alternatives
Hundreds of public radio stations around the United States can be accessed with the NPR One app. These broadcasts provide podcasts and newscasts covering the latest developments in politics, science, business, culture, and other fields.
NPR One is compatible with CarPlay, so you can listen to the news as you drive. While driving, you may now catch up on the day’s news, both nationally and internationally, or listen to your favorite talk show.
WhatsApp has quickly risen to become the most widely used messaging program in the world. It’s the most likely way you’ll keep in touch with people who don’t have iPhones, such close relatives.
The WhatsApp CarPlay app looks and works rather well. It allows you to listen to unread messages or use voice dictation to write responses or create new messages. WhatsApp also allows you to make and receive phone calls with your connections. The best thing is that, like the Messages and Phone applications, all of this is compatible with Siri.
Telegram is another popular messaging application that operates similarly to WhatsApp. Let’s say you prefer using it to chat with your friends and family (instead of Messages or WhatsApp). If so, you can use Telegram with CarPlay and Siri to make and take calls and send and receive messages hands-free.
The Top iPhone Applications Designed for CarPlay
Several native Apple apps support CarPlay and are just as useful in everyday situations as the third-party apps mentioned above.
Check out these recommended CarPlay apps.
Apple Maps has developed and added functionality throughout the years to make traveling easier. The Apple Maps app is a great addition to your car’s entertainment system if you reside in an area where Apple provides access to all Maps capabilities and have been using it for all your navigation requirements.
Without a doubt, the Phone app is crucial while using CarPlay. It allows you to make outgoing calls to anyone listed in your Recents, Favorites, or Contacts, as well as take incoming calls. In addition, if necessary, you can dial a new number through the car’s screen; obviously, you can also activate Siri and make calls through the car’s system, just like you would on an iPhone.
The Messages app, like the Phone app, is one of the iPhone’s standard features and can be useful for keeping in touch with loved ones. With Siri built in, you can not only read and answer to texts from loved ones without having to pull over, but also do so safely while on the road.
If you have an Apple Music subscription and prefer listening there, you can only listen to music through CarPlay’s Music app. If you’d rather listen to the radio, you can do that, too.
Easy access tabs at the top of the CarPlay UI make navigating the app a breeze. Siri can also be requested to play music.
Apple Podcasts is a great way to keep up with your favorite shows and find new ones, and now there’s a CarPlay app so you can listen to them on the move, too! The interface is straightforward, and the playback controls are easy to use. In addition, Siri may be used to manage the media being played.
Use These Top CarPlay Apps to Maximize Your Driving Experience
With CarPlay, using your iPhone while driving is both more convenient and safer. You may access all of your CarPlay apps through the car’s head unit simply by connecting your iPhone through USB to the vehicle.
You can then use the aforementioned apps for their intended purposes or activate Siri for simple tasks. You’ll quickly amass a sizable collection of apps compatible with CarPlay as you use your iPhone. However, if you want more control over which applications show up and in what sequence on your car’s screen, you can access CarPlay settings in the iPhone’s Settings app.