Apple CarPlay
Summary
Apple CarPlay is a great addition if your car offers prebuilt CarPlay Integration and you have an iPhone. The selection of apps is limited and the main features offered are telephone, messaging, streaming and music.
Pros
Apple ecosystem
Seamless integration
Cons
Limited number of apps
75
Good

Is Apple CarPlay worth the hype?

Apple CarPlay is an attractive add on for car enthusiasts who are already in the Apple ecosystem. Is it worth the hype? We tested out the OEM Apple CarPlay Integration on the Mercedes Benz E400 coupe.

Connectivity

Our iPhone 6 Plus connected seamlessly via the USB2 connection in the console. As soon as you plan g in the phone it immediately launches the CarPlay OS and presents you with very familiar screens and apps.

Usability

  • Messaging: integration with Siri allows for a generally easy voice to messages though sometimes Siri just doesn’t understand what was asked. CarPlay also reads back any messages you receive, except images. It would be nice for images to pop up on the display as part of the integration.
  • Telephone: really tight integration with prebuilt dial pad and controls on the Mercedes making it a pleasure to use for making and receiving calls.
  • Maps: we have never really been a fan of Apple Maps and it still shows. The map app is clunky and difficult to navigate when compared to Google Maps. We still run google maps on the iPhone when traveling. Sound comes through the vehicle speakers but the display is on the phone. Apple should really allow google maps back on its systems.
  • Music: familiar music controls are present and make listening to your music very convenient.
  • Streaming: there are a few app options such as TuneIn Radio which offer a good range of stations for your streaming pleasure. The car integration is great and easy to use.

 

Conclusion

Apple CarPlay is a great addition if your car offers prebuilt CarPlay Integration and you have an iPhone. The selection of apps is limited and the main features offered are telephone, messaging, streaming and music.

Most of these features can still be met by directly plugging your phone into the audio port in your car with the exception of viewing the information on the cars infotainment screen.

Don’t bother with purchasing aftermarket devices yet. We would love to see features such as OBD-II readouts, digital dials on engine and performance and much more as options for car enthusiasts.