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  • Anthony Fongaro
    Anthony Fongaro

    My Experience With Apple CarPlay

      What is Apple CarPlay like to live with on a daily basis?

    When I was looking for a new vehicle last year, there was one option I wanted to have: Apple CarPlay. Being able to integrate the screen from my iPhone to my Volkswagen’s infotainment system sounded like a brilliant idea! Now living with both my car and Apple CarPlay on a daily basis, I can give some of my opinions on how it has been.

    Initiating CarPlay is quite easy. All you have to do is plug in your iPhone into your USB and it will show you the standard screen. Once you see the screen, you’ll have some useful features at your fingertips. Choosing your music and interacting with both text messaging and phone calls all go through Siri. You can manually choose your songs, choose the person you want to send a phone call or message to or respond to a phone call or message. This makes the vehicle a true hands-free car. Text messages are read to you via Siri and when you respond to a text message, she checks what you said is what you want to send before you send the text message. This all sounds good, right? Well, it’s not a bad piece of software. But there is one massive problem.

    Siri. There have been times when someone would text me and Siri would decide not to have a connection when I would try to respond. Although I had full connection with my phone, CarPlay would think there was no connection available. Clicking on the text message a few times would finally let me listen and respond to the text message. Other times, I would connect my iPhone with my designated Apple cable and CarPlay would not initiate at all. At one point, I had to pull over and turn off the car to have it work again. One word of advice when you are using CarPlay and texting: keep Siri to American English. I had her in Australian English when I first bought my car and she would constantly send out a text message with the wrong words. Certain words and phrases also can’t get picked up with the speech-to-text so I would redo my entire sentence.

    Going back to apps, there are a few that you can get outside of Maps, Phone, Message, and Music. If you have subscriptions or downloaded apps such as Audible, Pandora, and Amazon Music, you can listen to various podcasts and music. The downside about the stock apps you have is there is no way of using third-party apps for maps, so you have to use Apple's Maps. For Maps, I found that typing in the destination in my phone then letting CarPlay launch Maps to start route guidance. For a list of all the apps you can download, visit the official Apple CarPlay page here: https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/.

    So is Apple CarPlay what I was expecting? In terms of reliability, no. Even if I’m driving through a location with good signal, Siri may not work. The design is sleek and familiar to anyone that uses an iPhone. I do recommend anyone to at least try Apple CarPlay before deciding if they want to have it in their vehicle.

     

    Edited by Anthony Fongaro



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    Very nice write up. I think the Siri issues are more on Apples end. Everything that is asked of Siri has to go through an apple server and then back to your phone. I think these third party decks don't address these very well hence some of the issues I have been reading about. 

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    Thank you for the compliment and I agree. I should add that if you're USB cord is starting to go it will affect how CarPlay works.

    19 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Very nice write up. I think the Siri issues are more on Apples end. Everything that is asked of Siri has to go through an apple server and then back to your phone. I think these third party decks don't address these very well hence some of the issues I have been reading about. 

     

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    1 hour ago, Anthony Fongaro said:

    Thank you for the compliment and I agree. I should add that if you're USB cord is starting to go it will affect how CarPlay works.

     

    It absolutely will and as much as I like my phone, those cords are the bane of my existence. They are horrible. 

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    21 minutes ago, ykX said:

    Nice review.

    I wonder if anyone here had experience with Android Auto?

    I have, but not recently. 

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    The model year 2017 version of UConnect has Apple Car Play and Android Auto...alas, my 2014 doesn't.  Don't know if it is upgradeable....I have my iPhone paired and am able to play tracks off of it and make/receive calls through UConnect via Bluetooth.    As far as cords, I got a 3 inch USB to Lightning cable so I can charge and put the phone in the center stack cubby...

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    I've used CarPlay a few times, and even debated putting a touchscreen unit in my 4Runner to have it.

    Then realized, why? I always have my iPhone plugged in, and always use a clip mounting it beside the steering wheel. Even in my 2-3 years of driving Acura TLX's with Nav, USB, Bluetooth, and 2 screens...I always used the iPod USB link, but otherwise simply touched on the phone, used the phone nav, etc.

    CarPlay can't replicate Waze, just Apple maps. Many functions are limited. It's an awesome system, and I loved using it in a new Cadillac XT5 loaner car once, but for me...it's limited, as I want ALL the Apple features ALL the time, and can see them on my screen already without taking an eye far off the road.

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