Apple CarPlay FAQ: A Guide to Connecting Your iPhone to Your Car

By Jeremy Del Nero on 6 April 2017
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CarPlay, Apple’s innovative standard that brings iPhone functionality to your vehicle, is slowly and quietly taking over in-vehicle infotainment.

Having CarPlay lends a certain amount of consistency to life in and outside of one’s vehicle, thanks to the ability to use the car’s touch screen, steering wheel controls, or Apple’s personal assistant, Siri.

Think of it as providing a stripped down, bare essentials version of your phone, albeit one that lets you get directions, find the location of businesses, place and receive phone calls, play music, and send messages with iMessage – all without touching your phone, thanks to Siri integration, so you can keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone’s smaller screen.

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Virtually every vehicle manufacturer except Toyota – over 30 to be exact –offers models with built-in support for CarPlay. These include Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Lincoln, Opel, Volkswagen, and Volvo. We’ve driven several dozen vehicles from many of these automakers and can report that CarPlay improves the in-vehicle infotainment experience more so than any other option.

Currently, CarPlay will work with every iPhone through today’s models.

Connecting your iPhone to CarPlay is easy. Simply use a Lightning cable to connect the phone to the car’s USB outlet and your phone will display a CarPlay logo to indicate it is connected. Apple also supports wireless connections but relatively few vehicle manufacturers outside of BMW on the new 5 and 7 Series currently offer this functionality.

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