What is Apple CarPlay and how does it work?

Apple CarPlay is simply software that allows you to utilize your Apple iPhone with your car’s entertainment system. It provides you convenience and eases to use apps easily on your car’s infotainment display while driving. Using your iPhone in such a way has many benefits, like playing music and using navigations, but it can cause distractions. This is the reason Apple provides you the facility to use the best features of your iPhone safely on the road.

Here are the important things you need to know about Apple CarPlay.

What does Apple CarPlay do?

Apple CarPlay facilitates you to integrate your iPhone with your car’s infotainment system in an efficient way. It provides a better you to show some apps on the display screen to make them easy to use while driving. CarPlay provides the most commonly used apps like phone calls, messages, navigation. Audio and calendar to show up on infotainment display. When it connects to your vehicle, it simply overrides the functionality of your car’s built-in system.

Most new vehicles have Bluetooth; the car’s built-in speakers and microphone deal with it while making a phone call. In the same way, the CarPlay performs the functions when it is connected. But your car’s display shows a layout similar to your iPhone. 

Let’s take the example of GPS navigation. Irrespective of the fact whether your car has a built-in navigation system or not, CarPlay can show the most popular navigation app on your infotainment screen, just like your iPhone. A forum where you can get directions for your route in a better and safe way. These are the examples that help you know how CarPlay increases the functionality of your vehicle and makes it easy to use apps safely.

How do I set up Apple CarPlay?

Setting up Apple CarPlay is so simple. First, you need a cable that will connect with your iPhone and car. Probably it will have a USB type-A or type-C on one end and Apple’s Lightning plug on the other end.

The next thing is to find out your car’s USB data port; some USB ports perform the function of charging without data transmission. You can easily locate them as they are often labelled with relevant icons. Then plug the cable into that port and the other side in the iPhone.

After that, you will have to grant permission on both devices, your iPhone and your car’s infotainment system. Then wait for the prompt, which may appear on both screens, often showing the information shared between your iPhone and car screen. It may also show the random number used as a receipt to pair iPhone with an infotainment system. Finally, just tap on the prompt for affirmation so that it starts pairing.

This is all you need to set up Apple CarPlay with your vehicle. Once you have done this process, whenever you plug in your iPhone with a USB port, it will automatically start pairing. If you want to use your car’s built-in system instead of Apple CarPlay for whatever reason, there will be an icon/button that allows you to switch between CarPlay and the car’s built-in system.

Does CarPlay work over Bluetooth?

Now a large number of vehicles are providing the facility to use Apple CarPlay with wireless technology. Functionality is almost the same, but just a difference is there will be no physical connection of your iPhone with the car. Setup is slightly different in this case as you have to open the Bluetooth setting in both your iPhone and car’s infotainment display and connect them. Once you have done this, then next time, it will automatically connect when you switch on the Bluetooth.

There is a drawback of using wireless CarPlay that it will not charge your iPhone simultaneously like the USB port. But there is a way to fix it, and you can plug your iPhone into a USB port with a cable to keep it charged.

Does Apple CarPlay charge your phone?

Yes! If you are using CarPlay by connecting your iPhone with your car through a USB data port, then your phone will be charged simultaneously with performing other functions. But if you are using wireless CarPlay, then your phone will not charge in this situation. However, while using wireless CarPlay, you can still plug in your iPhone with a USB port to start charging.

Can you use Apple CarPlay without USB?

Most new cars have built-in Bluetooth technology, so you can easily use CarPlay by connecting your iPhone with your car’s infotainment screen. It is up to you that whether you want to use it with USB or with wireless technology.

What year cars have Apple CarPlay?

In 2021 only a few cars are not equipped with the CarPlay system like niche or outdated vehicles. Again, we can take the example of Ferrari, which offers CarPlay at extra cost. But most of the cars are providing this feature as standard.

Is Apple CarPlay free?

There is no cost for CarPlay itself. When you are using it for the purposes like navigates, listening to music, messages, and phone calls, you might use it with your phone’s data plan. There is nothing to pay extra for using this.

Can you watch movies with Apple CarPlay?

Yes, Apple CarPlay provides the facility of using different apps which allow you to watch movies. But there is a good reason not to use this feature; CarPlay helps you drive safely without any distractions with your phone, and using this feature is not a purpose of using CarPlay.

Can I watch Netflix on CarPlay?

You can watch Netflix and even YouTube videos with Apple CarPlay, but it will eradicate the purpose of using CarPlay, which is to use the apps safely while driving.


I conclude here that most new cars have the feature of Apple CarPlay, and you can use it with USB or Bluetooth. The setup is very simple, and you can be done it in no time. Moreover, the CarPlay feature allows you to use apps on your car’s infotainment screen like messaging, phone calls, navigation, music, and weather without using your iPhone. For this reason, you can use apps safely and be less distracted while driving.