CarPlay is an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and also act as a controller for an iOS device. It is available on all iPhone 5 and later models with at least iOS 7.1.
Screenshot of CarPlay running iOS 11
|Original author(s)||Apple Inc.|
|Initial release||March 10, 2014|
iOS 12.1 / October 30, 2018
|Available in||Uses the same language as the connected iPhone|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
CarPlay provides access to Apple apps such as Phone, Music, Apple Maps, iMessage, iBooks, and Podcasts, as well as third-party apps such as iHeartRadio, Radioplayer, Spotify, Radio.com, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, Clammr, NPR One, Audiobooks.com, and Audible. Developers must apply to Apple for entitlement to develop CarPlay-enabled apps. Limited support for Google Maps and Waze was released in iOS 12 in Sept 2018.
CarPlay also extends Siri support, using voice dictation and feedback as the primary means of input for text messages, or narrating comprehensive weather and stock reports instead of displaying a weather chart. Siri inhibits certain voice commands such as displaying web search results when CarPlay is in use.
While most of the CarPlay software runs on the connected iPhone, the CarPlay interface provides the audio and display connection to the car's infotainment system. Depending on the car maker's implementation, CarPlay is controlled through the touch screen, rotary cursor dial, trackpad, or buttons on the instrument cluster and steering wheel.
CarPlay is also supported on specialized aftermarket head units or as a dongle attachment to another tablet computer.
The concept of CarPlay was based on the little known (and used) Apple iOS 4 feature called "iPod Out" that was the result of a joint development between the BMW Group's Technology Office USA in Palo Alto, California, and Apple Inc. The result of several years of exploratory cooperation, iPod Out enabled vehicles with the necessary infrastructure to "host" the analog video and audio from a supporting iOS device while receiving inputs, such as button presses and knob rotations from a car's infotainment system, to drive the "hosted" user interface in the vehicle's built-in display. The iOS feature was first announced during WWDC in 2010 and first shipped as an implemented infrastructure in BMW Group vehicles starting in early 2011. The BMW and Mini option was called "PlugIn" and paved the way for the first cross-OEM platforms, introducing the concept of requiring a car-specific interface for apps (as opposed to MirrorLink's simple and insufficient mirroring of what was shown on the smartphone's screen).
During development its codename was Stark. Apple's Eddy Cue announced it as iOS in the Car at the 2013 WWDC. In January 2014 it was reported that Apple's hardware-oriented corporate culture had led to release delays. CarPlay was launched with its current branding in at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2014 with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo among the first car manufacturers.
June 2013: BMW initially announced CarPlay would not be implemented, but later changed this policy.
November 2013: Siri Eyes Free mode was offered as a dealer-installed accessory in the US to some Honda Accord and Acura RDX & ILX models. In December, Honda offered additional integration, featuring new HondaLink services, on some US and Canada models of the Civic and the Fit.
November 2014: Hyundai announced the Sonata sedan will be available with CarPlay by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
December 2015: Volvo implemented CarPlay in the 2016 XC90.
January 2016: Apple releases a list detailing the car models which support CarPlay.
MirrorLink is a standard for car-smartphone connectivity, currently implemented in vehicles by Honda, Volkswagen, SEAT, Buick, Skoda, Mercedes-Benz, Citroën, and Smart with phones by multiple manufacturers including Apple, HTC, Sony, and Samsung.
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