Navigation is Easy!

One of the benefits of using Apple Maps to navigate your route in CarPlay has to do with its simplicity.

Even if you are a CarPlay newbie, you’ll find that much of the user interface is easy to operate. Still, you might run into a few hiccups here and there, so we’re covering navigation for newbies to help you avoid any pitfalls.

Apple Maps icon in CarPlay
Apple Maps in CarPlay – tap this icon to open Maps

Using Maps in CarPlay

Launching Maps in CarPlay is easy.

Simply tap the “Maps” icon and give “Maps” some time to determine your current location. Once you’ve done that, you can utilize zoom to get a more precise look at your destination, swap from a two-dimensional appearance to a three-dimensional one, explore what’s around you, and figure out where you want to go next.

Apple Maps in CarPlay's 3D button
Apple Maps in CarPlay’s 3D button

If you need Maps to provide you with some guidance as you figure out your next stop, all you need to do is tap on “Destinations.” Depending on your location, you’ll get some advice from CarPlay about what’s around you. You’ll see a few icons that you can select from, including “Gas,” “Parking,” “Coffee,” “Food,” and more. Select the type of destination you want to find, and once you tap that icon, you’ll wind up with a bevy of locations you can access that are near to you.

CarPlay screenshot of Apple Maps' 3D view
Apple Maps’ 3D view. Hello, future.

Getting Directions in CarPlay

One of the most popular features that users of CarPlay love is how easy it is to use Maps for navigation. If you want some turn-by-turn directions as you head to your next stop, then all you need to do is program your destination into Maps using the touchscreen. Or, you can talk to Siri.

Touchscreen Directions

  1. If you want to get turn-by-turn directions using the touchscreen on CarPlay, simply tap Maps and then go to “Destinations.”
  2. If you plan to go somewhere you recently visited, you should be able to tap on “Recent” to select your next stop.
  3. However, if you never used CarPlay to navigate to a destination before, tap on the “Microphone” icon instead. You can then speak your destination aloud. CarPlay will search around you and give you some options to pick from. Simply tap the correct destination on the touchscreen.
  4. If you want other options in directions, you can tap on “More Routes.” When you know which route you want to take, select it and click “Go.”

Using Siri for Directions

If you’d rather use Siri to get your directions, you’ll be happy to know that this process is quite simple.

  1. First, hold down the CarPlay button found on your steering wheel, or hold the CarPlay “Home” button located on your touchscreen.
  2. Next, talk to Siri and say, “Get me directions to…” and say the address of the location or type of location. Siri will then give you some options to pick from.
  3. Once you choose one, it will display on your touchscreen.

Keeping It Simple

If you visit the same spots often, it is worthwhile for you to mark those places as favorites on your iPhone so that you won’t have to search for them each time. Once you save a favorite, you can find it again by touching the “Heart” icon you can access from your “Destinations” screen.

This is a CarPlay screenshot dimmed at night. It's activated by turning on your headlights.
CarPlay dims the map display at night. This dimmed mode is activated by turning on your headlights.
CarPlay screenshot of Maps' 3D view
Another CarPlay screenshot of Maps’ 3D view, during a drive with a destination selected. This particular example helpfully displays a Dunkin Donuts location.

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