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We explain what Apple CarPlay is and how it works

Do you know what Apple CarPlay is and how it works? As far as we know, Apple will never design its own cars "from scratch," but they also don't want to stop being a key player in the auto industry. Launched in 2014, after a long development process, the CarPlay software is superimposed on the information and entertainment system that comes from the factory in some cars, thus bringing the data from your iPhone to the central screen of your car.

what is Apple CarPlayFABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

CarPlay makes driving safer, by reducing distractions (or, at least, that's what Apple and AAA say), and it's easier to use than many driving systems. infotainment OEM This is because motorists can access a wide variety of functions without having to touch their mobile device or take their eyes off the road.

Not an iPhone user? Then you are interested to know everything about Android Auto.

What can Apple CarPlay do?

Apple CarPlay performs many of the same functions as an iPhone. Motorists can use the software to get turn-by-turn directions, make calls, send and receive text messages, and listen to music or podcasts. The features are displayed in an easy-to-use interface, with large icons that will be instantly recognized by iPhone users.

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A good part of CarPlay's features can be accessed using Siri, Apple's digital assistant. For example, the driver can say "call Alex K", "give me directions to get to Caf Ro" or "listen to Dropkick Murphys", and Siri obey. A motorist whose car is not equipped with voice recognition technology can also navigate the software using the touch screen of the dashboard, or the different knobs and buttons normally found on the steering wheel and center console. As with your Android Auto competition, the iPhone screen crashes when CarPlay is active

A small selection of third-party applications are compatible and optimized for CarPlay. The first to adopt it included iHeartRadio, Spotify, Pandora and Stitcher. Shortly after, Tidal entered the game, who announced in December that he will finally join the party. Now, people can listen to Jay Z or Beyonce albums just released directly in their cars.

But beware, the vehicle configuration itself is not part of CarPlay, so the driver will have to leave the application to adjust (for example) the temperature control, search for radio stations or select a different driving mode. While Google has helped automakers develop information and entertainment systems especially for Volvo, no one has signed a similar partnership with Apple. At least not yet.

What phones are compatible with Apple CarPlay

Drivers who want Apple's operating system on their panel will need a compatible iPhone. All iPhone models from 5 are compatible with CarPlay, although the device needs to run iOS 7.1 or later for the application to work.

Some cars also support wireless CarPlay. In those that do not, the iPhone will need to be physically connected to the car through a certified Lightning-to-USB cable.