What’s New in Apple CarPlay in iOS 16: Updates to Navigation, Easier Dictation, and New Driving Task Apps

By Jonathan Spira on 24 September 2022
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CarPlay in a 1997 Mercedes-Benz C280

Apple CarPlay has become the premier in-vehicle infotainment system, in many respects, since its launch at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014.  With each new version of its mobile operating system, Apple added features and functionality that enhanced the drivers’ and passengers’ experience as well as their safety.

The Cupertino-based company says that CarPlay is now available on 97% of new automobiles sold in the United States and over 80% elsewhere. Virtually every car manufacturer supports it, and the list includes Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Toyota, VW, and Volvo. A notable exception is Tesla, which has thus far refused to add that functionality.

With the release of iOS 16, Apple offers users an improved user interface in Maps, a massive overhaul of the podcast app, support for multi-stop routing in navigation, the ability to automatically send messages without having to confirm the dictated text, new wallpaper options, and fueling and driving task app support.

A new feature is the ability to add intermediate stops (Add Stop or Stopp hinfügen)

Perhaps the first thing drivers will notice is a new Siri chime. The new sound is more refined, the type of sound one would expect in a luxury vehicle.  The new wallpaper option is reminiscent of the new iOS 16 standard wallpaper and gives the background to the home screen an appealing look, although drivers won’t really see the wallpaper elsewhere in CarPlay.

Here’s a look at what’s new in CarPlay in iOS 16

NAVIGATION – ADD INTERMEDIATE STOPS

A key new feature allows drivers to add intermediate stops to a route when using Apple Maps.  Stops are added with the “Add Stop” button on the pop-up menu list in the main maps window.  Apple says that Siri can be used to add stops as well but I haven’t gotten that command to work yet.

As stops are added, they are collapsed into a button that indicates how many stops you’ve added between the start and end of your trip. Simply tap the button, and the directions expand to show all of your stops.

Apple has added an iPhone 14-esque background..

Stops can be easily deleted (swipe left) or reordered, this by using the drag handles on the right side of each displayed stop.

MESSAGES APP – SKIP CONFIRMATION

Apple has eliminated the need to provide affirmative confirmation of a message before sending it.  This feature can be toggled on and off but, when on, will automatically send a message after Siri reads it back and skips the confirmation that was part of the process in earlier versions.

If a revised message is required, clicking the “Change” button will allow the dictation of a new text.

SUPPORT FOR FUELING AND DRIVING TASK APPS

The latest update supports two new categories of support apps in CarPlay.

The two are fueling apps and driving task apps.

Fueling apps could conceivably help a driver find the lowest priced gas or a nearby fueling station and even offer a tap-to-pay option that communicates with the pump.

Updated Podcast app user interface

Driving task apps are any apps that help with tasks while in the vehicle or while driving.  This could include toll rates, road conditions, or towing assistance.

Apps for these two categories are expected to become available later in 2022 from independent developers.

PODCASTS

Apple has dramatically changed the Podcasts app, exposing more of its features in the user interface.  The new and improved Library tab offers a similar user experience to that of the Apple Music app.  The app now makes it easy to view the latest episodes of shows in your library in CarPlay, while older iOS versions required the use of the podcast app on the iPhone to accomplish this.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)