Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

Which Honda Models Come With Apple Carplay?

Apple CarPlay offers the easiest (and safest) way to use your iPhone while driving and many of Honda’s most popular models now include CarPlay.

What Honda Models Include CarPlay?

As of late 2018, Honda offers CarPlay in 8 models, including:

  • Accord (starting in 2016)
  • Civic (2016)
  • Ridgeline (starting in 2017)
  • CR-V (2017)
  • Pilot (2017)
  • Odyssey (starting in 2018)
  • Fit (2018)
  • Insight (starting in 2019)

Keep in mind, Honda does not include CarPlay in all trim levels for the above models. Instead, the manufacturer reserves CarPlay (and Android Auto) for all levels except the base trim.

So, for example, the 2019 Honda Civic comes in 5 different trims levels. The base LX trim level doesn’t include CarPlay. However, all the other trim levels – Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring – do include CarPlay.

This rule also applies for the 2019 Honda Fit, Honda Pilot, and Odyssey minivan. The others on our list are likely similar, but take a look at Honda’s full list of models to make sure what trim level you need for CarPlay.

How Much Does CarPlay Cost?

If you’ve already purchased your CarPlay-compatible Honda, you’re all set – you don’t need to pay for anything! That’s no longer a given, as some manufacturers (BMW, we’re looking at you) are actually charging annual fees to continue using CarPlay. Thankfully though, Honda hasn’t yet expressed any interest in charging ongoing fees to use CarPlay.

Of course, if you want Apple CarPlay in your Honda vehicle, you’ll have to pony up the cash for, at least, the second-lowest trim level. This cost premium ranges from about $1,300 for the 2019 Fit to about $4,000 for the 2019 Odyssey.

Of course, with the higher trim level you’re getting a box full of additional goodies as well. Remote engine start and blind spot sensors come with the Odyssey, while the Fit enjoys fog lights and various chrome and spoilers.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you’ll have to take a look at what these different trim levels include to decide what matters to you.

Can You Add CarPlay to Existing Hondas?

Apple CarPlay menu in the 2017 Accord

Beyond Ford and Hyundai, which retroactively install CarPlay in a handful of models, manufacturers typically won’t add CarPlay to existing vehicles.

If you don’t own one of the CarPlay-carrying models above though, you’re not out of luck! It’s time to go aftermarket.

There’s a wide range of aftermarket infotainment systems that include CarPlay – many at very reasonable prices – and you can pretty much find exactly what your car needs. Single DIN, double DIN. Touchscreen. There’s some awesome options out there, including Wireless connectivity. That’s not even an option yet off the lot of any manufacturer!

Take a look at our article Best Headunits with Apple CarPlay to see what’s out there.

What Does CarPlay Do?

CarPlay is simply a way to use your iPhone more safely while driving. Instead of constantly holding your phone and looking at the little screen to take calls and change music, CarPlay allows you to access all your driving-related apps right on your car’s infotainment display.

Basically, it shows a simplified version of your iPhone screen with pre-approved apps like Maps (or Waze or Google Maps), Audible, Music, Messages, WhatsApp, and iHeartRadio. For the full list of all the apps compatible with CarPlay, check out our post CarPlay Compatible Apps!

CarPlay is all about decreasing the amount of time you spend looking away from the road. As such, you can control your iPhone via your infotainment system’s touchscreen and/or dials or via voice command.

You can make calls, text, make notes and set reminders – all without looking away from the road!

How to Set Up Honda’s Apple CarPlay

The beauty of CarPlay is in its simplicity. Since it’s just a condensed version of your iPhone, you don’t need to learn a totally new system or interface. You’re pretty much ready to go right off the lot!

To set up your Honda’s Apple CarPlay, all you need to do is plug your phone into the USB port using a lightening cord (you’ll have to bring your own though). On your first use, a consent screen will appear on your display. After skimming the Terms & Conditions and clicking Enable, a new CarPlay icon will appear on your Honda’s native display. (Check out the video from Honda above for a visual walk-thru.)

Clicking on the app will open the CarPlay display, already populated with your apps that are pre-approved for CarPlay. Congratulations, you’re ready to start using CarPlay!

How to Use Honda’s Apple CarPlay

Using CarPlay is actually quite easy. Once you’ve plugged your iPhone into your vehicle’s USB port, you can open apps via the menu on the touchscreen display or use Siri.

To use Siri, just hold down the talk button on your Honda steering wheel until you hear Siri’s distinctive beeps. Then simply make your request: “Text John”, “Play Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Find the nearest Dairy Queen”, and so on.

It’s really that easy!

Have any questions about Honda and Apple CarPlay that we didn’t answer above? Ask away in the comments!

Images courtesy Honda Media News Room

CarPlay Apps CarPlay Navigation

Apple Maps vs. Waze

Like the Waze news we reported over the summer, Waze is on CarPlay! As part of the iOS 12 update, Apple opened mapping to 3rd party apps. Google Maps was on the next day. Waze followed a few days later. So before you switch, you might want our breakdown on Apple Maps vs. Waze.

After Google Maps appeared on CarPlay as part of iOS 12, Waze has now become available as a navigation alternative on Apple’s CarPlay. Follow along for how to replace Apple Maps with Waze on CarPlay.

Waze is a popular choice for navigation with its smart routing features based around crowdsourcing data from its users. Known for its real-time traffic reports, users get alerts on upcoming police officers, construction, accidents, and more.

It also features the ability to toggle a light or dark mode and change the appearance of your “car” in the app.

So how does Waze compare to the native Apple Maps? We show you in this Apple Maps vs. Waze on CarPlay feature list:

Apple Maps Waze
touch-drag car display yes yes (laggy)
double tap to zoom yes no
voice destination entry yes yes
automatic dark mode at night yes no yes*
on screen keyboard entry no yes
situational reporting no yes
hazard alerts yes yes
police alerts no yes
heavy traffic alerts ? yes
output voice on or off on, alerts only, off
output voice choices
yes, globally on the iPhone
end guidance term “End” “Stop”
alternate routes only if heavy traffic
yes, tap the double arrow icon at top
alternate route live suggestions yes yes
3D visuals yes no
best time to leave no yes

* UPDATE Initially, we had this marked “no”, because activating the headlights did nothing to change the mode. Interestingly, Waze’s dark mode is keyed (no pun intended) to the time of day. Apple Map’s dark mode is keyed to the position of the headlight switch. Ostensibly, Waze’s dark mode would be region specific, because sunset moment occurs at different times across the globe.

CarPlay Apps CarPlay Navigation CarPlay News

Google Maps is Now on CarPlay, And It’s Pretty Great

As part of iOS 12, Apple opened up Google Maps to CarPlay. Finally, we’re free of Apple Maps for navigation on CarPlay!

Here’s What Google Maps Looks Like on CarPlay

I find Google Maps on CarPlay to be as good as Google Maps as an app. In other words, it’s the same thing. The difference is CarPlay displays Maps in its own way.

Google Maps on CarPlay is unmistakably a Google product. Clean, pretty Google Sans for accent or emphasis text (titles, major inputs, etc) and Roboto for the rest. Apple Maps uses the tried-and-true Avenir font.

CarPlay displaying Google Maps app
CarPlay displaying Google Maps app

CarPlay displaying Google Maps app, main display, daytime mode (light)
CarPlay displaying Google Maps app, main display, daytime mode (light)

Google Maps app, main display, nighttime mode (dark)
CarPlay displaying Google Maps app, main display, nighttime mode (dark)

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps, Comparison Screenshots

Google Maps on CarPlay, secondary (phone) screen, vertical display
Google Maps on CarPlay, secondary (phone) screen, vertical display

Apple Maps on CarPlay, secondary (phone) screen, vertical display
Apple Maps on CarPlay, secondary (phone) screen, vertical display

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps on CarPlay - basic visual differences
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps on CarPlay – basic visual differences

CarPlay Problems and Glitching

iOS 12 Update Broke CarPlay?

  1. Unlock your device and head to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode for those with Face ID-capable devices).
  2. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  3. Swipe down to the section labeled Allow Access When Locked and find the option USB Accessories. By default, this option is toggled off which means that USB Restricted Mode is enabled. Toggle the option On to disable USB Restricted Mode.

Or see our Broken CarPlay iOS 12 fix tutorial image!

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay CarPlay News

Mazda Adding Apple Carplay to Mazda6, CX-9

Beginning in September 2018, Mazda will offer CarPlay in 2 models – the Mazda6 sedan and CX-9 SUV.

Despite Apple introducing CarPlay way back in 2014 and almost every major manufacturer adopting the technology in all or part of their lineups, Mazda and Toyota have been the hold-outs, refusing to support CarPlay in their vehicles.

Finally though, that’s all beginning to change. Toyota has adopted CarPlay for the 2019 Avalon and – thankfully – Mazda is finally offering Carplay in their flagship Mazda6 sedan and CX-9 SUV. However, it’s not every trim level and no one’s still quite sure exactly what they’ll offer in the future.

Mazda Offers Free Carplay Upgrade for 2018 Mazda6

In July 2018, Mazda North America announced that, starting in September 2018, they would offer free upgrades for Carplay (and Android Auto) retroactively for all trim levels of the 2018 Mazda6 except the most basic Sport trim.

Kudos to Mazda for this awesome move, as they’re only the 3rd manufacturer to retroactively offer CarPlay in an existing model, following the path set by Ford and Hyundai. With CarPlay, Mazda6 owners will now be able to more safely access Messages, Apple Maps, Music, Podcasts, and a handful of other preapproved Apple and 3rd party apps.

2018 Mazda6 owners with Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature trim will simply drop their car off at the Mazda dealer, where they’ll install the necessary hardware and software upgrades.

Mazda notes the process should take about two hours, and will also include installation of a more powerful 2.1 amp USB port as well as the latest version of MAZDA CONNECT, Mazda’s proprietary infotainment system.

With MAZDA CONNECT, you’re able to switch between your phone and the radio intuitively and without distraction says Mazda, which fits pretty well with CarPlay’s own goal of safer driving.

The Mazda6 is the first Mazda vehicle in North America to feature Apple Carplay integration. And we can probably assume the 2019 Mazda6 will also feature Apple CarPlay, but until Mazda publishes the stats of the new model we’re left to simply assume. However, we’re not at a total loss, as Mazda has already announced the 2019 CX-9 will most assuredly feature Carplay right off the lot.

2019 Mazda CX-9 to Feature Apple Carplay

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is the first Mazda to feature CarPlay off the lot. Available in early September 2018, CarPlay will come standard on Touring trim levels and above (like the Mazda6). This crossover SUV will also feature the MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system and a 7” screen (8” for the Touring model). You can control via the touchscreen or knobs and dials located on the console.

Beyond that, the new CX-9 will feature 17” alloy wheels, LED headlights, Bluetooth, keyless entry, and push-button start.

Like the Mazda6 above (as well as any vehicle with CarPlay), CX-9 drivers will be able to simply plug in their phones with the lightening cord and see a simplified Apple menu on their screen, replete with driving-friendly apps.

How to Use Mazda Apple CarPlay

The beauty of Apple CarPlay is in its simplicity. If you already know how to use your iPhone, you already know how to use CarPlay. Simply plug your phone into the included lightening cord and a very familiar Apple menu should pop up on your screen.

From there, you can open and close apps, find directions, send texts, open audiobooks, and anything else you’d need while driving via the touchscreen, knobs and dials, or voice command. That’s about it – nice and simple!

Mazda, Apple CarPlay in the Future

Beyond the Mazda6 and CX-9, Mazda has yet to reveal their long-term plans for incorporating Apple CarPlay into their other offerings. Hopefully they’ll continue to roll out the technology across the entire lineup as most other major manufacturers have. Chevy, for example, includes CarPlay in well over 20 models, while Honda offers CarPlay in 7 and Hyundai in 11.

Way back at a press conference in early 2018 – before they’d announced the Mazda6 CarPlay retrofit – Mazda gave a very nonspecific announcement that they’d start offering CarPlay for the MAZDA CONNECT system, without mention of any specific models.

As we’ve seen above, they subsequently began offering Carplay for the 2018 Mazda6, but the manufacturer introduced the MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system back in 2014, so there’s a huge backlog of used vehicles that could possibly be eligible for a CarPlay upgrade. Mazda has yet to further comment on this, so we’ll just have to wait and see exactly which models they’ll offer up for CarPlay.

Mazda has certainly arrived late to the CarPlay party. There’s no doubting that. But it’s never too late and they’ve taken some great first steps. Let’s hope they continue on this path.

Image Credits: Courtesy Mazda Media Library

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

What Ford Models Come with Apple Carplay?

If you’re looking to pair your iPhone with a new Ford, you’re in luck – sort of.

Ford offers Carplay across their entire lineup, but not all trim levels actually come with the hardware you need. If you’re looking to enjoy Ford Carplay, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with their SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is generally reserved for their higher trim levels.

Keep reading to find out what Ford models come equipped for Carplay as well as all the other info you need to get Carplay going in your Ford vehicle.

What Ford models include Carplay?

All Ford vehicles with their high-end SYNC 3 infotainment system are compatible with Apple Carplay. But while all 2017+ models can be equipped with SYNC 3, only the higher trim levels actually include this higher end infotainment system.

For example, the most basic trim levels of the ever-popular Ford Focus (the S and SE) only include the more limited SYNC infotainment system. However, the SEL and Titanium trims do include SYNC 3. Generally speaking, across the entire lineup of Ford vehicles, the cheapest trim levels (S and SE) only come with SYNC, while the more expensive trims include SYNC 3 (and by extension, Apple Carplay).

If you don’t have the cash for a full trim upgrade, don’t let that get you down though. You’ve still got options. With the SE trim level, you can upgrade your infotainment system to SYNC 3 for an additional $995, though it’s not an option for the most basic S trim. Adding voice-activated navigation along with the SYNC 3 costs just $795, but it’ll set you back $1,790 in total, as you also have to buy the Appearance Package.

Unfortunately, there’s simply too many models, trim levels, and upgrade packages to give you a complete overview of which ones include Apple Carplay. So to find out which trim levels include SYNC 3 (and Carplay) for each model you’re interested in, head over to Ford’s online Showroom where you can see more details on trim level, costs, and available upgrades.

Ford began supporting Apple Carplay in 2017, installing the required hard/software in new vehicles and offering to retroactively install it in any MY 2016 vehicles equipped with their SYNC 3 infotainment software. Kudos to Ford for this, as it’s something most car companies simply refuse to do. 2016 models with SYNC 3 include the C-Max, Edge, Escape, and Expedition.

SYNC 3 is the 3rd version of Ford’s much lauded, forward-leaning SYNC infotainment system introduced in 2007, and the more recent (and considerably less-lauded) MyFord Touch. Ford threw out the entire Windows-based system for the SYNC 3, instead opting for a more simplistic and intuitive Blackberry-based system (which, despite Blackberry’s failings in the current mobile phone market, is doing pretty well in the infotainment system sector) – all to great applause.

Will my iPhone work with Ford Carplay?

As long as you have an iPhone 5 or newer, you should be good to go. This includes:

  • iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, and SE
  • iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus
  • iPhone 7, 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus
  • iPhone X

Ford also offers a nifty tool that allows you to choose your vehicle and service provider to make absolutely sure your phone is Carplay-compatible with any vehicle.

How Do I Use Carplay with My Ford?

Because both your vehicle and your phone are already setup for Carplay, actually using it in your Ford vehicle is about as simple as you can get. Just plug your iPhone into any USB port in the vehicle with a Lightning connector. There, you’ve just set up Apple Carplay.

The first time you plug your iPhone in, you’ll see a message on your SYNC 3 screen asking if you want to connect. Press continue and agree to the terms and conditions, then you’ll see a familiar Apple menu with several road-worthy apps ready to go, including Phone, Messages, Maps, etc. (For a list of all Carplay compatible apps, head over to our updated list Carplay Compatible Apps.)

Actually interacting with Carplay is all about voice control. Instead of looking away from the road to press buttons and find that song you’re looking for, just ask Siri to play Party in the USA for you (as you cower in shame at the red light, hoping no one will hear).

Do I Have to Pay Extra for Carplay?

Besides the higher price for the premium trim level, Carplay is absolutely free! There’s no monthly fee or additional fees to use it. Just buy the car and enjoy! BMW notoriously charges for Apple Carplay, but most automakers simply include the service as an enticing freebie.

Can I Update MyFord Touch or SYNC to SYNC 3 So I Can Use Carplay?

Not via any official channels. Like we mentioned above, SYNC 3 is a completely different system than MyFord Touch, built on different hardware/software. As such, MyFord Touch vehicles (and 1st gen SYNC vehicles) can’t simply update to the new SYNC 3. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with what you’ve got, meaning you’re Carplay-less.

That being said, there is an option out there if you’re desperate for Apple Carplay. You can simply remove your existing infotainment system and install a Carplay-compatible model. There are online stores offering SYNC 3 upgrades for MyFord Touch using recycled units ( for example), but you’ll spend a pretty penny on these.

A cheaper option is to purchase an aftermarket headunit that is Carplay compatible. We’ve reviewed several different options and, while there’s not an endless list of options, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs. There’s basic low-cost units that cost a couple hundred bucks to ultra-premium wireless options (yes, you read that right. A wireless Carplay unit. Ford doesn’t even offer wireless Carplay!)

With Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, you’re getting a great product that’s well reviewed and fully supports Apple Carplay. Just be sure you’re actually buying a vehicle with SYNC 3!

Do you have any other questions about Ford and Carplay? Ask away in the comments! Looking for more information on Apple Carplay? Head over to our FAQ section!

Photo Credits: Courtesy Ford Media Center

CarPlay Apps CarPlay Navigation

Waze Coming to CarPlay!

You want Waze? You got Waze. Waze is coming to CarPlay when iOS 12 is released, probably this September.

This update will also allow Google Maps in CarPlay, and possibly other, lesser-known navigation apps.

This is huge news for those of us who have thought that Apple Maps was a little behind in terms of accuracy and features. We like Waze because it’s fantastic at showing police speed traps, traffic jams, accident locations… all the things that you want to know about when driving, in other words.

Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.

We were resigned to using Maps here at CPW, knowing that Apple traditionally protects its flagship apps by limiting what’s allowed in the CarPlay interface. We were certain Apple would never allow Maps to have to fend off competitors. Certain.

So this news comes as a very large shock to us. But a very welcomed shock! We believe competition is a driver, no pun intended, of awesome results in software in general and CarPlay in particular.

Waze: Go through this guy's living room - 17 minutes
Waze: Drive through this dude’s living room – 17 minutes

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay

I Spent $124,000 on a BMW and Didn’t Get CarPlay

New BMWs without CarPlay: impossible in 2018, right? Well… read on.

Just for fun, I went to BMW’s US site and optioned up the most expensive BMW I could find. My goal: spend as much as possible and not get Apple CarPlay.

Future of CarPlay

Does Phone Technology Move Too Fast for CarPlay?

And will CarPlay be compatible with future iPhones?

If you’re hooked on CarPlay, you might be wondering whether it’s here for the long term. Unlike a phone that you just replace when it becomes a bit too dated and clunky, a car is a long-term investment. And with the average car lasting 11 ½ years – the highest age in history – we’re keeping our cars longer than ever.

Of course, you probably won’t own the same car in 11 ½ years, but chances are that your next auto purchase – whether new or used – will have CarPlay.

With Apple CarPlay literally (via a lightening cable) and metaphorically tethering your phone and car together, you might wonder how your future clunker will handle future iterations of your iPhone or whatever gadget Apple will make in 11 ½ years.

And don’t think a lot can change in 12 years? Well, consider that CNET’s 2006 award for most innovative phone design went to the LG Chocolate KG800 (far left phone in the image above). Remember those times? With 128MB, you had enough space to hold about 20 terrible photos from its 1.3MP camera.

A lot can change in 12 years, and phones change faster than anything else.

Do I need to worry about future compatibility?

For CarPlay to work, you need two pieces of equipment: a CarPlay-compatible car, and a CarPlay-compatible iPhone.

The worry is that, in the future smartphone technology will move forward and become incompatible with your car’s technology – which we upgrade much less frequently. Unlike a phone, you can’t download an update for your car (at least, for most cars…).

For the most part, you’re stuck with what you’ve got. Right now, you might be having flashbacks of your SUV’s clunky early-2000s navigation software, thinking you’d hate to still lug that around. And you certainly don’t want to use that old BMW car phone above. Yikes.

But with CarPlay it’s different, and in a very good way.

While your car certainly needs to be CarPlay-compatible, it’s really just a conduit for your iPhone software. It’s a screen displaying a simplified version of your iPhone screen. When Apple pushes an update to your iPhone, CarPlay is also updated. You’re really only limited by the physical aspects of your own car – the dials, nobs, and steering wheel controls. Other than that, everything can update and change.

So unlike those cars with a pre-installed Pandora app that’s ready to be ignored in 10 years, CarPlay can change and shift with the times – keeping your car’s infotainment system from becoming an outdated brick years down the line. Pretty cool, huh? It’s a neat trick.

CarPlay is ubiquitous – and there’s strength in numbers

Even still though, are you worried that Apple will one day stop supporting CarPlay? That they’d just drop it from future iPhones? We wouldn’t worry just yet, and we’d be surprised if that happened anytime soon.

When first debuted in 2014, just 3 automakers supported CarPlay. Fast forward to 2018, and that number’s now at over 200 CarPlay-supporting vehicles, including models from all the big manufacturers: Chevy, Ford, VW, Honda, Toyota, etc. To say that CarPlay has seen exponential growth would be an understatement. From humble beginnings just 4 years ago, it’s now supported by almost every major auto manufacturer.

On the phone side, all iPhones starting with the 5 (and all iterations, ie the 5S, 5C, 6 Plus, etc) support CarPlay. That’s a total of 14 iPhone models as of early 2018.

If you’re wondering whether you need to worry about future compatibility, the complete ubiquity of CarPlay in today’s modern cars is almost a guarantee that it’ll be around for a long time to come.

And when you think about it, it wouldn’t make sense to roll out a feature that requires partnerships with a dozen or so auto manufacturers – only to drop it 10 years down the line. Drivers wouldn’t be happy and the car manufacturers that supported CarPlay certainly wouldn’t be happy either.

So to answer our initial question, by its very design, CarPlay will avoid becoming outdated simply because it can shift and change as time and technology move forward. And while Apple could one day cease supporting the function, we wouldn’t worry about that anytime soon.

Want to see which apps CarPlay supports? Check out our updated list of Carplay Compatible Apps!

Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay CarPlay News

CarPlay News – Toyota, Lexus, Mazda and Honda

In the latest Apple CarPlay news, Lexus’ first model with CarPlay is a Lexus ES. Toyota (who makes Lexus automobiles) is traditionally conservative, but the wait for Lexus models to gain CarPlay was glacial. Also, Toyota promises CarPlay in the upcoming Avalon, Corolla, and RAV4. Three cheers for Toyota for finally adopting CarPlay!