Apple CarPlay - Everything you Need to Know

· 8 min read
Apple CarPlay - Everything you Need to Know

Apple CarPlay is a technique introduced by apple for driver's safety. And Apple introduces many new features for CarPlay with each iOS release to enhance the driver's in-car experience.  

Customize CarPlay

Customize CarPlay is easier than it was with new features which can use with and without jailbreaking your iPhone. These customizations vary from software solutions to hardware upgrades. If you're wondering how to watch Netflix on CarPlay or run any app on CarPlay, you should check the Hacks Finder where you can find solutions for any CarPlay related customizations.

What is Apple CarPlay ?

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay is the technique of connecting the iPhone with the infotainment system of a car, so that driver can access the phone apps through car screen without touching the phone.

As the drivers can keep their hands and focus on roads and control the phone apps via voice commands or less number of touches to the CarPlay screen, many drivers love Apple CarPlay.

Apple CarPlay Compatibility

Can you use Apple CarPlay? Do you have CarPlay ? If I ask something like this, sometimes you may answer with confidence and sometimes you may be thinking whether you have CarPlay or not. Well I'll help you to check your CarPlay compatibility.

Basically the CarPlay compatibility depends on three criteria. These are the Car , iDevice you use and your Location.

CarPlay compatible countries and regions

Apple CarPlay is limited to a set of countries and regions for now. Because Apple is giving some enhanced features analyzing the map and there are more reasons for this. And Apple is working on expanding this location list.

You can check the CarPlay compatible locations and get an idea whether you can have Apple CarPlay. If it is not, there are some hacks to get it and we are talking about them in our blog.

Apple CarPlay Compatible Locations

CarPlay compatible devices

Also CarPlay is available for a certain list of iPhones. Almost all the iPhones between iPhone 5 to the latest iPhones like iPhone 12 PRO are compatible with Apple CarPlay. Normally, Apple CarPlay compatibility does not depends on the iOS version.

Can I use CarPlay on iPad?

You can not use CarPlay on iPad by default. But we, carplayhacks have few hacks for getting CarPlay for iPad.

List of  all the Apple CarPlay compatible devices :

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5

CarPlay compatible cars

Having a CarPlay car is the most important criteria you need to get fulfilled to enjoy Apple CarPlay. Even though there are some hacks for location and device compatibility, without having a compatible car, you can not have the real CarPlay Experience.

As Apple CarPlay is a next level modification for driver safety, most of the car manufacturers have allowed this feature in their cars.

How to find whether my car is a CarPlay car?

Apple has a huge list of CarPlay compatible cars. And we have made it easier for you to check it with the Apple CarPlay Compatibility Checker App. You can get it checked within seconds by selecting your car's make, model and manufacture year.

As there are a lot of CarPlay Car models, you can simply check what are the CarPlay Cars available by 2021 July and grab Tesla CarPlay.

So mainly you need these criteria to enjoy Apple CarPlay.

What if I do not have CarPlay ?

If you do not have Apple CarPlay, basically you can do 3 things.

  1. You can go for an aftermarket solution for CarPlay
  2. Go for a CarPlay Alternative like Android Auto
  3. Use a CarPlay Simulator like InCar App - this is the best way for anyone who do not have CarPlay as this app works on any phone giving you the CarPlay experience.

CarPlay Features

apple carplay - carplay features

CarPlay comes up with a wide range of features and CarPlay developers enhance CarPlay features in all the new iOS releases.

These are the top 10 features of Apple CarPlay.

  1. You can connect your iPhone with the CarPlay simply with a data cable.
  2. Also, you have Wireless CarPlay with Bluetooth.
  3. You can handle CarPlay with voice commands.
  4. CarPlay gives you assistance with Siri.
  5. Also, CarPlay directs you to the destination using maps. It gives voice commands for your ease.
  6. CarPlay allows you to make phone calls without touching the phone.
  7. You can have entertainment in CarPlay with music, audiobooks, radios etc.
  8. You can customize the CarPlay themes and wallpapers.
  9. Siri announces you with messages and other notifications.
  10. You can customize the CarPlay app menu.

There are many features other than this and you can read more about CarPlay Features.

Apple CarPlay Apps

CarPlay apps are iPhone apps which can be accessed through the CarPlay screen. Apple has allowed only a limited number of apps for Apple CarPlay and these only include navigation apps like Google Maps, Sygic, Waze, communication like FaceTime and audio entertainment apps.

best carplay apps

Most of the best CarPlay apps are Apple apps and in latest updated they have allowed third party apps like WhatsApp, Zoom on CarPlay. And you can now explore Alexa on CarPlay with Echo Auto.

Check the 20 best CarPlay apps for CarPlay by 2023.

Also CarPlay does not allows video streaming apps , games or any visual based apps on CarPlay. If you are willing to have any app CarPlay Mirror like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu on CarPlay, you can simply use an app like WheelPal App to simply add them to your CarPlay. Also this allows you to install CarPlay Games, and Podcasts Apps on your CarPlay. And also you can enable these apps by NGXPlay. With these apps you will get a chance to make your in-car experience a super entertaining one.

If you never gonna miss starbucks know how to add Starbucks on CarPlay. CarPlay Uber Driver and Sygic are the most wanted apps you will also never gonna miss. Google Maps on Apple carplay is another important and popular navigation app that you can use for location services.

Step guide for WheelPal App installation.

But you should definitely be careful to pay your fullest attention on road if you are the driver.

How to Set Up CarPlay ?

Setting up CarPlay is not something difficult. Simply follow the following steps.

Steps for setting up CarPlay :

  1. Firstly Keep the car’s engine running
  2. Then plug your iPhone into the USB port of your car
  • Also If the CarPlay home screen doesn’t appear on the display, tap on the CarPlay icon
  • On the other hand, if your car supports CarPlay via wireless or Bluetooth method, press and hold your car’s voice control button.
  • Then, go to Settings > General > CarPlay > Available Cars and select your car

3. You must be there now. After that Ask Siri what you need.

Read more about how to setup CarPlay in detail.

How CarPlay works

CarPlay mirrors the most important apps from your phone screen to CarPlay screen. Here the icon set is displayed with larger icons.

Also only a limited set of apps are displayed on CarPlay. And CarPlay divides the screen to be used more than one app simultaneously.

What you simply have to do is connect your iPhone to the infotainment system of the Car.  

Read more about how CarPlay works in detail.

Wireless CarPlay

apple carplay - wireless carplay

Connecting an iPhone to CarPlay without a wired connection is termed as Wireless CarPlay.

The drawbacks of the wired connection like overcharging, and losing the collection have resulted many used to move for the wireless option.

Here the iPhone is connected to the car via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi using a wireless CarPlay dongle like CarPlay2Air, Carlinkit. The same functionality is provided via the CarPlay system.

Everything about Wireless CarPlay is discussed well in our blog articles and you can get to know more with them.

Apple Car Key

Apple CarKey is a really awesome feature introduced last year with the iOS 17 update. With this, you can link your iPhone with the Car and unlock the car by just tapping on the phone.

This was developed on BMW cars and is currently available only with BMW's latest cars.

Apple has enhanced the security and the features of CarKey in their iOS 15 release.

We have discussed almost everything about Apple CarKey in our blog.

CarPlay on different iOS versions - iOS 15, iOS 14, iOS13

Apple introduced a set of main updates for CarPlay with its CarPlay iOS 13 update. They introduced new apps and many more there.

When it comes to iOS 14 CarPlay update they have enhanced the customization opportunities like wallpapers. Also, the maps app has been developed to the level of providing the details about calculating the rough time which will late a driver to reach a certain destination. CarPlay Cast , CarPlay++, and Airaw are popular CarPlay tweaks among car enthusiasts which supports iOS 14 CarPlay.

In iOS 15 CarPlay features, they have introduced message announcements, new wallpapers, driving status options and moreover 3D maps for selected areas.

That means Apple is concerned about enhancing CarPlay features continuously offering drivers the best.

Apple introduced a set of main updates for CarPlay with its CarPlay iOS 13 update. They introduced new apps and many more there.

When it comes to iOS 14 CarPlay update they have enhanced the customization opportunities like wallpapers. Also the maps app has been developed to the level of providing the details about calculating the rough time which will late a driver to reach a certain destination.

In iOS 15 CarPlay features, they have introduced the message announcements, new wallpapers and, driving status options and moreover 3D maps for selected areas.

That means Apple concerns about enhancing CarPlay features continuously offering drivers the best.

Apple CarPlay iOS 16 - iOS 16.4.1

With the release of the latest Apple iOS 16 version, Apple didn’t forget CarPlay. iOS 16 was released together with dozens of new features and some bug fixes for Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay multiple destination maps, new widgets, two more app categories and many more major and minor features included. Find more on CarPlay iOS 16 update.

Apple CarPlay Next generation / Carplay 2.0 with iOS 17 and upcoming iOS 18

During the WWDC 2022, Apple strongly hinted about their upcoming New CarPlay. As the insiders said, most probably this new CarPlay will be released around the end of 2023 or 2024.

New CarPlay will dominate your car’s whole dashboard screens, digital support controls and gauges not just limited to the CarPlay screen with iOS 17. This will work together with speedometers, tachometers, fuel indicators, temperature, RPM, oil systems, brake systems and all the other digital support systems to give you more accurate measures and data than analogue systems.

CarPlay Issues

'CarPlay is not working'
'CarPlay gets Black Screen'
'CarPlay gets disconnected'
'How can I watch videos on CarPlay'

These are actually common issues faced by CarPlay users. Mostly the drivers who connect the phone with a wired connection get the disconnection issues.

Most of the time, for 'not working' issue and the 'black screen' issue can be sorted by restarting your phone and the CarPlay system or disconnecting the phone and reconnecting it to the car.

Actually, the app limitation is a restriction imposed by Apple and the only thing you can do is get the support of a third-party app like WheelPal, as we discussed above.


Apple CarPlay is the smartest way of using a phone while driving. We need to use it in a safe way to get the maximum out of it. Explore how to add any app on Apple CarPlay!

Stay tuned with as we are providing you with 100% safe best hacks to customize your CarPlay and enhance its features for a driving experience of the next level.