How to Make and Receive Text Messages with Carplay

One of the best features of Apple’s Carplay is the ability it will give you to read and send texts simply, so you’ll stay safe while you are driving. For all of you CarPlay newbies out there, we’ll break down how you can start both sending and reading texts while driving, how to handle text emojis, and what happens when you are dealing with an attachment photo.

There are two ways you can both send and receive text messages when using CarPlay. You can either use CarPlay’s touchscreen, or you can ask Siri for some help. We’ll cover both ways you can send and receive text messages with CarPlay below.

Using the Touchscreen to Send and Receive Texts

You can use the touchscreen on CarPlay to send and receive texts. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the Messages selection on your CarPlay touchscreen.
  • If you want to hear your unread messages or respond to something, you’ll need to tap on the unread conversation.
  • If you want to send a new text, select the pencil icon you’d use when sending a new text on your iPhone.

Using Siri to Send and Receive Texts

If you prefer to use CarPlay’s hands-free features, then you’ll need Siri’s help to send and receive texts.

  • Activate Siri by saying, “Hey Siri,” or press your steering wheel control, if you have one, to get Siri’s attention.
  • If you want to hear a new text message you just received, then simply say, “Read my text messages.”
  • If you want to send a text message, then say “Text [contact name] I can meet you for dinner tonight.”

Emojis and Attachments

While it’s great that CarPlay can easily read you your texts and dictate your text message responses with Siri, what happens when somebody sends an emoji? CarPlay won’t leave out emojis in texts, so don’t worry. If somebody sent you an emoji of a smiley in a message, CarPlay will read out the emoji’s description when you want to listen to your text messages.

Also, if you want to dictate to Siri to send a particular emoji, you simply describe that emoji. If you want to learn more about how Siri reads emojis out loud, or how to dictate to Siri to send certain emojis, you can check out this YouTube video.

CarPlay’s message system doesn’t handle photo or video attachments in your texts, so it won’t always be a great idea to reply to those types of texts while driving. After all, CarPlay is designed with safety in mind. Even if you use the CarPlay touchscreen to read messages back or to dictate messages, you won’t see the message thread on your CarPlay screen. Apple made CarPlay purposely like this to prevent distractions while you are driving.

Overall, CarPlay makes it much safer for individuals to both read and reply to texts while they are out driving. Using Siri to remain hands-free is probably your best option for safety while driving.


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