CarPlay is Apple’s solution to automakers’ generally awful infotainment efforts in their cars, trucks and SUVs over the last ten years.
iOS 13 is Apple’s latest phone software, and because iPhones are what runs CarPlay, CarPlay is updated and thus improved. It was released about a month ago, so we’ve had time to experience its changes, improvements, and in some cases, frustrations.
Loves and Hates
There’s no way to End a trip in Apple Maps from the main Maps screen (not Dashboard) — you have to go to the phone itself to find the red End button.
The overview/detail button in Apple Maps isn’t clear, and usually doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s a compass arrow, sometimes it’s a squiggly, in all cases it’s either laggy or doesn’t do anything. See photo below.
The new dashboard is nice, not mind-blowing, but nice.
More controls have been “surfaced” up to a single tap from the top-level. See photo below.
Siri still doesn’t do much for me. She’s just a nice-sounding interface to static information.
The improved interaction of Calendar in CarPlay is super.
Changes in iOS 13 CarPlay
CarPlay is now five years old!
Do not disturb while driving shows a moon icon near signal strength and battery level.
The secondary display — your iPhone itself — remains unchanged in the various configurations we’ve tried it with.
Siri is not in this list of changes despite what Apple says.
When Will Siri Show Up?
When will Siri show up as an intelligent, AI-powered feature that predicts things we consider truly useful? She’s still a basic assistant who is simply an intermediary between your daily business and you. She just looks up stuff you could find with a quick look at your calendar, your messages, your email, etc.
Wake me when Siri is an actual AI, one that predicts your needs and offers you useful information before it occurs to you to find it. My test for this behavior milestone is when Siri offers me information that I say “I didn’t know I needed that.”
iOS 13 offers some nice updates for your iPhone, but it’s also
making Apple CarPlay better, too. After you get your iOS 13 update, you’ll
notice some great extra features, like a brand-new dashboard and several new and
With the new CarPlay dashboard, you’ll notice the most useful
information available to you right away. Now, you can see your map,
navigation, and music availability all in one screen, making things easy to
use. You can now change the song you’re listening to while viewing your next
turn on one screen, meaning you’ll be able to keep your eyes on the road
Music just got a bit cooler with the new CarPlay update. You’ll notice
that it has an all-new look and several familiar library tabs ready for your
favorite tunes. You’ll be able to access the browse feature more easily, making
it simple to hear your favorite tunes. You’ll be able to see things like
recently added tracks and personalized mixes easily. Also, the “Now Playing”
screen is just a tap away.
Apple Maps also comes with a new look, and it’s
quite an improvement. Apple Maps was basically rebuilt from the ground up so
that the road details on the app were better. You’ll love the increase in
detail you’ll see with Apple Maps. While the new version of Apple Maps
is exclusive to users in the United States right now, once the update goes
through a trial one, it will be made more widely available.
improvements made to turn-by-turn directions will become obvious after you use
the navigation a bit more. You’ll hear more natural Siri language, like “Turn right
at the next light,” instead of “In 500 feet, turn left.” You’ll also be able to
find things like food and gas stations more easily as you travel. Plus,
you’ll be able to let your contacts know what your ETA is now when you
Using Siri just
got a little easier, too. We already mentioned that Siri’s turn-by-turn
directions are better, but “Hey Siri” is now supported fully in CarPlay. So,
Siri will work now with car manufacturer’s microphones without issue. So
you won’t have to press a button before you talk to Siri.
One thing we
did noticed is that Siri doesn’t always hear the driver right away if there is
other background noise. However, if this becomes a real problem, you may
just need to get a better microphone to cut back on the problem.
Your mileage may vary when it comes to using “Hey Siri,”
however. I’ve found that Siri doesn’t always hear me over music and other
background noise — but that could be down to the microphones in my car, rather
The New Calendar App
Now you won’t need Siri to get to your calendar. CarPlay now has its own Calendar app, and it lets you see the day you have planned with one simple glance. The new Calendar app also makes it simple to get directions to your next destination. You can select the event you’re going to, and you’ll see an option to get navigation help to arrive safely.
The new light
mode in CarPlay is also worth mentioning. While dark mode is the
default, you can switch color schemes if you go into Settings.
Why do we report on iOS? Because it’s the “parent” of CarPlay; CarPlay runs under iOS, while iOS is the operating system software that runs your phone. When something changes/improves/breaks/gets fixed in iOS, it can affect CarPlay, thus our interest in iOS in general and iOS 13 in particular.
iOS 13 is likely to debut on September 18. As with all iOS releases, major and minor, it’s free to all iPhone owners.
Improved CarPlay Experience
That said, what this update boils down to for us CarPlay aficionados is CarPlay providing easier calendar viewing, route planning/navigation, searching, improved visuals designed to get info to your brain with as little effort as possible, as well as things like the new Junction View.
The All-New CarPlay Dashboard
more exciting, your CarPlay Dashboard comes with a new and improved look.
The goal of this redesign is to make things easier for you while you drive.
Your new CarPlay Dashboard allows you to do everything
in one place including maps, adjusting the sound, and accessing Siri.
you get the new iOS 13 update, you’ll see a new look on your Dashboard.
You’ll also notice a change in the way Maps works, and Maps works a bit
differently with your dashboard. You’ll see the dashboard offer up some
navigation information, a small screen of Maps, and a music player feature.
the new iOS 13 update, you’ll still be able to use Siri Suggestions as
well. However, how you access and use Siri will affect the way Siri responds,
so Siri’s content could be different from user to user.
can also customize the way your CarPlay Dashboard
works if you want something that’s easier for you. Here are the steps:
Go into the Settings menu.
Select general options.
You’ll see the CarPlay settings here. From here, you can add more options and take others out as you see fit
updates make the program more consistent because the amount of interruptions
you might experience while driving have now been decreased. Before the new
update, your iPhone would be connected to the dashboard, which could sometimes malfunction
while driving if the iPhone was touched, so drivers needed to take the
time to reconnect.
thankfully, those days are long gone. The app functions separately on the car’s
dashboard and you can see your iPhone mirroring it. So your passengers
can use your iPhone and CarPlay will continue to function as normal as long as
the phone remains plugged into your dashboard.
also now have the choice to use Dark Mode if it’s easier for you to
view. Dark Mode utilizes dark colors on the app’s menus, which makes things
easier to view for some individuals. If you tend to experience eye strain
often, then Dark Mode should really help you out.
If needed, Dark Mode is also available for the
CarPlay app which makes use of dark colors for the app’s menus. This new
setting is said to reduce eye strain from looking at a dark road and to
the infotainment screen.
Maps is 100% brand-new! Redesigned, improved and better looking, like us writers at CPW.
You can also customize Maps UI with your favorite apps. You can see app shortcuts while you are looking at Maps, and also see a location history. While you are driving, you can even set Maps UI to send out ETA messages so your friends and contacts know where you are and when you might show up.
The Look — the look is brand-new, “Rebuilt from the ground up”. Yessss… not that we didn’t like the current Maps, how it draws roads and buildings.
We like new graphics for the sake of cool new stuff. Sorry, but it’s true! Maps will have more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, etc.
Junction View — In addition to, well, better intersection views, this feature is basically Maps telling you which lane to be in for turns or merges. Oh hell yea ❤️.
Junction View helps drivers eliminate wrong turns and directional misses by lining them up in the correct lane before they need to turn or enter an elevated road.