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What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? - Media

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What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Connectivity

What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

When you're on the Toyota or Lexus website, scrolling through the list of standard features on one of their cars, you will probably notice that the infotainment systems (radios, to us older folk) feature something referred to as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alongside Bluetooth and USB connectivity. If you can't quite figure out what this means, rest assured that you're not alone.

Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to connect wirelessly to your car's sound system for telephonic and media functions. These are then controlled via the car's infotainment system.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto take things a few steps further, and are Apps to be used with Apple iPhones and Android phones respectively, allowing you to mirror your phone's apps on the car's infotainment display. You phone connects by USB cable, and the Apps will open automatically.

With these Apps, much of your phone's relevant functionality can be used on the car's infotainment system – step-by-step navigation, calendar updates, music or podcast playback from your streaming service or phone's memory, make or receive phone calls (obviously!), your voice assistant or even read or write messages. 

The biggest thing is that most of this functionality can be accessed via the voice assistant (Siri on Apple and Google Assistant on Android), which means that you can ask your phone the directions to the nearest petrol station or to phone mom, or what eats great white sharks (if you're driving with a six-year-old on the way to school). You don't have to take your eyes off the road or pick up your phone. There are limits to the functionality, though, and the Apps can't access or change vehicle systems such as climate control. Apple CarPlay was recently given an update with iOS 13 that allows multiple apps to be open at one time, which makes a big difference to the user experience.

Whether you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depends on which operating system your phone uses – you can't use CarPlay on an Android phone, or Auto on an iPhone. The two systems are very similar in functionality and both get the job done very similarly.

Toyota did in-depth safety and privacy research before installing Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality in their vehicles, but since 2019 have been offering it in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

 

What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

When you're on the Toyota or Lexus website, scrolling through the list of standard features on one of their cars, you will probably notice that the infotainment systems (radios, to us older folk) feature something referred to as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alongside Bluetooth and USB connectivity. If you can't quite figure out what this means, rest assured that you're not alone.

Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to connect wirelessly to your car's sound system for telephonic and media functions. These are then controlled via the car's infotainment system.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto take things a few steps further, and are Apps to be used with Apple iPhones and Android phones respectively, allowing you to mirror your phone's apps on the car's infotainment display. You phone connects by USB cable, and the Apps will open automatically.

With these Apps, much of your phone's relevant functionality can be used on the car's infotainment system – step-by-step navigation, calendar updates, music or podcast playback from your streaming service or phone's memory, make or receive phone calls (obviously!), your voice assistant or even read or write messages. 

The biggest thing is that most of this functionality can be accessed via the voice assistant (Siri on Apple and Google Assistant on Android), which means that you can ask your phone the directions to the nearest petrol station or to phone mom, or what eats great white sharks (if you're driving with a six-year-old on the way to school). You don't have to take your eyes off the road or pick up your phone. There are limits to the functionality, though, and the Apps can't access or change vehicle systems such as climate control. Apple CarPlay was recently given an update with iOS 13 that allows multiple apps to be open at one time, which makes a big difference to the user experience.

Whether you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depends on which operating system your phone uses – you can't use CarPlay on an Android phone, or Auto on an iPhone. The two systems are very similar in functionality and both get the job done very similarly.

Toyota did in-depth safety and privacy research before installing Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality in their vehicles, but since 2019 have been offering it in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles.