The staff members at Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver and Victoria love the new Apple CarPlay updates. The release of iOS 13 in September 2019 saw the addition of a split-screen display of maps and other information. Let’s look at these new features and explain how this mobile interface can make your time behind the wheel safer and more productive.
What Is Apple CarPlay?
If you have an iPhone and a vehicle equipped with Apple CarPlay, you can use the Siri voice assistant to activate commonly used phone functions. For example, you can send a text message by saying, “Send a text message to Joey.” CarPlay will respond by asking what you want to say. Tell the system the message you want to send, and it will be converted to text and transmitted. All of this takes place without you having to take your eyes off the road. CarPlay can be used to make phone calls, schedule appointments and set reminders.
The second key feature of CarPlay is its ability to provide a huge variety of entertainment options. You can ask the system to play any of the music stored on your iPhone by song title, artist, album or genre. You can also start a streaming audio service like Spotify, iHeartRadio, Tidal, Google Play Music or Amazon Music, to name a few. Audiobooks and podcasts from Audible, Downcast, Audiobooks.com and the Apple Podcast app are also available.
Finally, you can request turn-by-turn navigation directions using Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze. All three of these services have access to real-time traffic flow and accident information in major urban areas. Waze, with its crowdsourced information system, is even more elaborate in terms of creating an efficient route.
What separates a smartphone-based navigation solution from one that is built into your radio is access to information. You have access to the entirety of the internet to find destinations and points of interest, rather than being limited to those stored within the system. If you need a gas station, restaurant, hotel or emergency service, you are searching Google or Apple’s database for results.
If you’re worried about having cellphone service on a trip up North, Google Maps allows you to download map data directly to your phone using its Offline Maps function. While you’re connected to the internet, select the area you’ll be traveling in, and that data will be stored in a file on your iPhone.
What’s New in Apple CarPlay?
As mentioned, iOS 13 brings us an updated dashboard with a split-screen display. The Apple Maps screen is shown on the left side of the display while tiles on the right offer music control and interactive information on upcoming calendar events. Accessing the calendar will allow you to automatically start navigation guidance to that destination. The music app has also been updated with album art support and better integration of Apple Music stations.
Siri support for third-party apps has been upgraded. For example, you can ask the system to “Navigate to work using Waze.”
Finally, and most interestingly, your passenger can now use your phone while it’s connected to CarPlay. It’s no longer locked down. They can check e-mails, look at restaurant reviews or play games while you navigate to your destination.
Upgrade Your Vehicle with Apple CarPlay
If you’re interested in upgrading your vehicle with a CarPlay-equipped multimedia receiver, drop by Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver or Victoria and speak with a member of our sales team. We will help you choose a solution that provides enhanced productivity while you drive and makes reaching your destination safer and more efficient. If you can’t visit one of our stores during business hours, please use our contact form to send us an e-mail.