Screens are always within arm’s reach, even in our cars. But there are few ways to safely use a screen behind the wheel, and one of them is CarPlay. With newer cars coming out with bigger and more screens, Apple announced changes to their CarPlay system, including integration with a car’s multiple displays, widgets, customizations, and car hardware control.
CarPlay, described by Apple as “the ultimate copilot,” lets users connect their iPhone with their car and enjoy Apple’s UI on the car’s screen. Drivers can speak to Siri and make commands; use Maps and Music; and enjoy other apps from their iPhone, such as WhatsApp, Podcasts, News+, SiriusXM Radio, Audible, Pandora, Spotify, and more, right on their car’s built-in display.
During WWDC 2022, Apple announced key changes that are coming to CarPlay, taking it several steps forward by integrating multiple built-in displays at once. This means that if your car has a screen for the instrument cluster, CarPlay and your iPhone will be front and center on your dashboard, showing you any incoming calls, directions from maps, or even giving you weather updates.
In addition to providing a unified experience throughout all of your car’s screens, the new CarPlay will let users customize their instrument cluster. It will display your vehicle’s speed, fuel level, temperature, and more data.
This kind of vehicle integration with your iPhone also means that CarPlay will allow users to control the car’s hardware, change temperature, switch radio stations, turn on heated seats — all without exiting Apple’s interface.
CarPlay users will also be able to have their widgets visible on their car’s displays, with content on all of the car’s displays. Apple has promised that this content will fit the car’s screens seamlessly, no matter the type of screen layout.
But don’t go running out to buy a new car just to connect with your iPhone: these updates to CarPlay will be available sometime after the specific vehicles are announced in late 2023.