Apple CarPlay - Everything you Need to Know

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.

This article is for everyone who loves to get to know about Apple CarPlay including beginners. And I will be giving some tips for experts to customize CarPlay and enhance the experience.

Let's talk more about Apple CarPlay.

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 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 the 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 the driver safety, most of the car manufactures 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 the manufacture year.

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

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 enhances 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 the 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 includes navigation, communication and audio entertainment apps.

best carplay apps

Most of the CarPlay apps are Apple apps and in latest updated they have allowed third party apps like WhatsApp, Zoom on CarPlay.

Check the 20 best CarPlay apps for CarPlay by July 2021.

Also CarPlay does not allows video streaming apps , games or any visual based apps on CarPlay. If you are willing to have any app like YouTube, Netflix 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 on your CarPlay. With these apps you will get a chance to make your in-car experience a super entertaining one.

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 lug your iPhone into the USB port of your car
  • Also If 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 iPhone to CarPlay just without a wired connection is termed as Wireless CarPlay.

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

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

Everything about Wireless CarPlay is disused well on 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 iOS 14 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 currently available only with BMW 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.

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.

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 wired connection gets the disconnection issues.

And 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 disconnect the phone and re connect 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 phone while driving. We need to use it in a safe way to get the maximum out of it.

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