What Are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Cars are wonderful things and the best part about driving is the ability to listen to music and relax. Long gone are the days of using a portable player in order to play your favorite tunes or podcasts – you can now utilize your smartphone for the in-car entertainment.

Indeed, the in-car entertainment systems from Android and Apple are perfect for doing more than just listening to music. With these, you can receive calls and browse your apps. What to expect from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Apple CarPlay

Let’s start by examining Apple CarPlay. The program came out in 2014 so it has been around for quite a while. The program is available for cars such as Acura, Bentley, BMW, Audi and Fiat – and this list is only a few of the cars that support Apple CarPlay.

As the manufacturer might suggest, CarPlay is especially good for those that use the iOS ecosystem. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, then this is a good in-car entertainment option for you.

What about the interface? The CarPlay interface relies on a similar interface to iOS. If you have ever used the mobile operating system on iPhones, you will find navigating the CarPlay interface easy. Essentially, you are just dealing with an enlarged version of the iOS home screen – the app icons are soft and square and there’s a central home button to press.

You will also be able to enjoy from the voice control system when using CarPlay. The voice activation is similar to your iPhone and you can perform different tasks with just the power of your voice.

In terms of supported apps, the CarPlay can be used with Spotify, Apple Music, Overcast and Pandora among other apps.

Android Auto

What about Android Auto? The program launched a year later to Apple’s in-car entertainment. It has become supported in a number of cars, although the list is not quite as extensive as with Apple. The Android Auto program is included in newer models for Dodge, Fiat, Volvo and Audi.

While CarPlay uses the traditional mobile interface, Android Auto has largely abandoned the Android operating system in terms of design. The program comes with five tabs on the home screen. These will take you to the navigation screen, the phone, the home screen, audio output and the manufacturer specific apps.
The home screen is linked with Google Now and it can provide you with useful live information on things like traffic and weather updates. Furthermore, you can enjoy the Google voice activation, which is better than CarPlay’s Siri. When you want to play a song or send a text, you can do it with the voice activation. This is definitely a safer option while driving.

You can also use a number of other apps with the program. It supports Spotify, Google Play Music, Audiobooks.com, Audible and Amazon Music. In fact, the Android Auto has a slight upper hand over CarPlay in terms of the supported apps.

What about navigation?

Now, the two programs also offer navigation tools. For many drivers, this is a bonus as it makes it easier to drive around new areas. But is the navigation good enough or should you get a separate device for getting around?

In all honesty, it must be said that if you regularly need a navigator, you would be much better off getting a professional GPS device. Neither of the two programs offers extra features such as driving speed, the location of speed cameras or police checkpoints. You should consider a navigator by Garmin, for example. You can find offers for GPS devices by clicking on this link: http://www.voucherbin.co.uk/stores/halfords/.

Which system to get?

So, what is the better system to get? You ultimately don’t want to buy a new car just based on the in-car entertainment system. Most new cars also support both systems so you definitely want to pick a car first and worry about the entertainment after. If you do use an iPhone, then go for the CarPlay and vice versa with Android.

If you don’t want to buy a new car just to enjoy the in-car entertainment, then you can opt for Android Auto. Unlike the CarPlay, Android Auto can be downloaded into your smartphone and connected to your stereo using Bluetooth. The app will automatically pick up the Bluetooth connection and transform the home page of your smartphone into the Android Auto interface. This kind of functionality is, unfortunately, not yet available for the CarPlay.

If you drive a lot and you want to be more entertained while driving, both the systems are worth having in your car. They make using the phone and listening to the radio or your favourite song much more enjoyable. However, for navigation, always pick a separate device.

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