The “suites” that are found in cars, play a major role in determining how comfortable it is to drive. Stereos with screens that could display various technical information from the on-board computer, show an RDS tape while your favorite radio station was playing, display CD-text when a disc was being played, and display a small soapy image from the rear camera when the selector lever was moved to the “R” position were already present in those days, in addition to the full electric package and keyless access. There are now many units with integrated navigation.
Prior to CarPlay
Yes, there was no mobile Internet available back then, and the era of smartphones and tablets had not yet arrived. It was also not a matter of simply connecting the car to Wi-Fi. Additionally, the manufacturer of the vehicle or head unit typically downloaded the maps for the built-in navigation, and the user had the best chance of keeping them up to date by re-flashing the service. Eventually, a few manufacturers permitted users to update the device’s map using flash drives. But let’s be honest: how good is the navigation that comes with car stereos?
From speaking with numerous head units, I have found that having built-in maps will make it easier to navigate the United States and the European Union as well. They can change the display from day to night depending on the time of day and even tell you where to turn by voice. They display the names of our streets quite well and not always in Latin letters.
However, we can’t expect from them precise house numbers and locations on the street, extra layers showing traffic jams, accidents, and other roadside situations, speed limit alerts, the presence of cameras, etc. It turns out that for the past ten or so years, truckers, cab drivers, and drivers have been hanging their cellphones on windshields, air deflectors of torpedoes, and other handy locations. These smartphones are then running various navigation programs, such as “Navitel,” “iGo,” and “City Guide,” which allow users to get around all of the aforementioned drawbacks. And many have moved from Google navigator to maps thanks to the notable advancements in free services in recent years.
The history of CarPlay
However, a smartphone that is hung in an inappropriate location can ruin the dashboard’s overall aesthetic or just be an eyesore. It can also divert the driver’s attention from the state of the traffic, which is another crucial factor. Because of this, Apple and Google have both begun to work on their own solutions to the practical and aesthetic issues associated with using smartphones in vehicles. It goes without saying that CarPlay and Android Auto were not created overnight. Before then, the driver could use the phone to answer incoming calls, dial numbers, and launch music. Both iPhone and Android phones could be paired with car stereos via Bluetooth. Technology behemoths had to figure out how to integrate voice control, which can be easily controlled with the aid of assistants, and the most commonly used features of smartphones into car head units without causing excessive distractions for drivers.
When iOS 7.1 was released in 2014, Apple CarPlay was also unveiled, and for a while, its functionality was pretty limited. It was essentially an interface mirroring favorite iPhone apps to the multimedia device screen in the car. However, those well-liked apps’ functionality was also reduced. For instance, there was no “Search” tab in Apple Music; voice dictation was the only option; there was no emoji, of course, or attached files or photos. Everything was generally done to minimize any distractions for the driver while they were operating a vehicle. By the way, the smartphone was securely blocked in CarPlay mode when it was connected to the car’s USB lightning cable.
New wireless features for CarPlay
This remained the case up until the release of iOS 12, at which point Apple finally permitted third-party apps to be seen on the car radio screen in addition to the built-in applications for making calls, reading, sending, and receiving SMS and iMessages, listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and Apple Music, and navigating on its proprietary maps. This was a true breakthrough, as drivers could now use much more convenient maps from Google or Wase. There were standard messages as well as ones from Telegram and WhatsApp. Also available are Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Apple Music. You could stream thousands of radio stations over the Internet with the myTuner Pro app.
However, the iPhone was still dependent on the car’s head unit to function. The smartphone app would shrink on the car radio screen if you minimized it there, and vice versa.
All of that was altered when iOS 13 was released. CarPlay no longer replicates the iPhone exactly. It is now possible to use one app on the car’s multimedia system while using an entirely different one on your smartphone. The calendar is now accessible. You are now able to adjust and acquaint yourself with your schedule. The interface’s home screen has undergone modifications. The standard application launch panel and widget panel are the two views that are offered. The widget panel is divided into two sections: the right side has informative widgets like music, destinations, Siri suggestions, and calendar notifications, and the left side shows detailed navigation. There are still shortcuts to the last three apps that are open. When Siri is at work, it modestly shows a wavy communication indicator at the bottom of the screen, just like on the iPhone, rather than taking up the entire screen.
You can now customize a change of design theme and select a light mode under the Settings menu. Apple Music now features a gorgeous gallery of artist album artwork in addition to search. The principle “Drivers are not pedestrians” is still present in messages. They listen and dictate,” and the Phone app replicates the same app on the smartphone in the same fully functional manner as before.
The need for CarPlay
As you can see, the update was released widely, but did it address issues that the typical driver faced? Naturally, using a smartphone in the car has become more enjoyable thanks to the light design theme and the updated home screen interface. However, the new widget panel cannot show any third-party applications, which essentially takes away all of its attractiveness when it comes to CarPlay. For instance, having complete integration with maps from a different source would be handy for me, but Apple won’t let this be customized.
Developers have discovered that iOS 13.4 mentions the potential for keyless entry into the car through the iPhone’s NFC capability. Personally, I would like CarPlay to enable Siri to adjust climate control settings, automatically park, enable and disable adaptive cruise control, and switch driving modes, like eco to sport. All of the aforementioned is highly encouraging, especially in light of the automotive industry’s primary trend of late, which is the widespread switch to electric vehicles. In fairness, we should point out that the rival from the “corporation of goodness,” which debuted a year later, is likewise far from perfect. In comparison to CarPlay, the Android Auto interface is incredibly cheesy. Prior to Android 10, it was not sufficient to just connect a smartphone to a car stereo through USB; you also needed to download an app from Google Play, and the connection itself presented additional challenges. But before CarPlay, Android Auto figured out how to start wirelessly. Furthermore, a lot more third-party apps are now supported by this platform. However, navigation offers no options. The company’s policy is to exclusively use Google Maps.