If you have a compatible car or stereo unit, Apple CarPlay makes it easy to navigate, respond to messages, and play music on the road. And to make the most of this feature, you have to install a compatible app on your iPhone. Let’s take a look at some of the best CarPlay apps you should try
Unfortunately, only a small number of iOS apps are compatible with CarPlay. Most of them fall into one of three categories: audio, navigation, or messaging. As a result, you probably won’t install too many of these apps, as they overlap a lot.
We’ll cover the most useful built-in CarPlay apps so you know how to use them, then move on to some third-party highlights. If you’re using a different audio or navigation service, chances are it’s available for CarPlay.
Built-in Apple CarPlay Apps
First, let’s take a look at the most useful apps you have on your iPhone that work with CarPlay. Note that in addition to this, Siri can also access the built-in Calendar, Clock, Reminders, and other app features. You won’t see a CarPlay icon for them, but you can use commands like “Add paper towels to my grocery list” or “Set an alarm for 7am tomorrow.”
After opening it, you will see an overview of your location. Hit the Destinations link and Maps will suggest places based on where you are or what you discussed in recent messages and emails. You can use the Search function to quickly find gas stations, food, and more. Use the microphone button on your steering wheel or tap the Microphone icon to navigate with Siri.
The CarPlay Phone app integration lets you make and receive calls in your car. By opening the app, you can browse contacts, open the dialer, review recent calls, or check your voicemail.
However, since scanning through the contact list while driving is not safe, it’s better to use the Siri integration to say something like “Call Mom.”
The Messages app lets you communicate safely in the car. Tap the conversation to hear its last message read aloud. You can also define a new message using your voice here.
Try saying “Text Mommy. I’ll be home in 15 minutes” or “Read my text messages” to use the app without opening it.
What is a drive without proper music? Use the Music app with CarPlay to enjoy the entire Apple Music catalog if you’re a subscriber. Of course, you can also listen to anything you buy from iTunes.
Open the app to scroll through your library and saved playlists. It’s also easy to have Siri play your favorite artists, albums, genres, and more.
Prefer podcasts over music on your commute? Use the Podcasts app to access the shows you’re subscribed to on your iPhone
Siri can also help with commands like “Play a Really Useful Podcast” or “Skip a minute.”