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A Guide to Apple CarPlay | Learn Car Audio

A Guide to Apple CarPlay

The addition of Apple CarPlay has been one of the most innovative technological advances the 12V industry has seen in a while, however due to the popularity of Apple’s other products such as the iPhone, iPad, Macs and Apple Watch,  CarPlay is often overshadowed. Today, this innovative vehicle infotainment technology is catching on among tech pundits and users due to a lot of great features that it has to offer.

What Is Apple CarPlay?

CarPlay is a software suit in the iOS platform that can be used with a head unit or a car radio for various infotainment features. It has the capability to connect with up to 100 vehicle models including the most recent ones from famed car companies such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, Audi, Honda, Subaru as well as Lamborghini.

The Apple CarPlay is not merely an in-car infotainment system. It is also a connectivity solution that will serve as the bridge between the iOS platform and the car’s own system. With this technology, it is easier than ever for those who are driving while listening to audio entertainment to control their devices.

So how does the Apple CarPlay work? By connecting your iPhone or iPad to the phone using the Lightning Cable, the interface of the smartphone’s operating system will be displayed on the screen of the car, complete with touch screen as well as audio recognition capabilities.


There are a lot of benefits that an Apple CarPlay adds to your car. These include the following:

1. Updated Infotainment System

Cars take a long time in the development phase. Because of this, there will be a chance that the infotainment system that has been included in the car will be outdated by the time it reaches the market. The Apple CarPlay, however, will be able to address that problem by using the iOS platform as a unified infotainment system for both your iOS device and your car’s entertainment system.

2. Easy Device Control

You have heard of all the horror stories: car drivers getting into accidents due to being distracted with their phones. With the Apple CarPlay, however, it will be easier than ever to control your device while driving. Since it is already connected with the car’s system, you will be less distracted with the various apps that are available in the interface. The CarPlay’s connection with the car’s infotainment system has also enabled device control through your voice.

3. Built-In Satellite Navigation

Satellite navigation in cars now have improved tremendously but it is still years behind the progress that can be seen with navigation apps on the iPhone or iPad such as the Apple Maps. With the Apple CarPlay, you will be able to have the best possible display for your route. Smartphone navigation apps also have the advantage of using the most updated technology, including features such as real-time traffic data and landmark recognition.

4. Resell Value

Due to the fact that it has a technological advantage in its infotainment system, cars with Apple CarPlay capabilities usually sell for a higher price than those which do not have.

How To Install It With Aftermarket Car Stereo

For Apple CarPlay and your iOS device to work together, your smartphone must be an iPhone 5 or above, with a iOS 7.1 firmware installed. Just plug in your iPhone using your lightning cable or dock and you are already good to go. You can now navigate your phone’s control using the stereo menus in the car system.

Popular Aftermarket Stereos with CarPlay

As of now, the availability of the Apple CarPlay is only limited to a few stereo systems. Most companies that sell aftermarket stereos have started making models that are compatible for use with Apple CarPlay. One of these companies is the Japanese manufacturer Pioneer. A flagship product of the company, the AVIC-8200NEX, can connect with an iOS device with either Bluetooth or with the Lightning wired technology. It can play FLAC files and has HD radio tuner for that optimal audio experience.

Other aftermarket car stereo companies and manufacturers that have integrated Apple CarPlay compatibility include the following:

Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX

This flagship multimedia system from Pioneer features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AppRadio mode, AppRadio LIVE, Bluetooth connectivity, Pandora control, Siri voice control, and advanced navigation options.

Kenwood DNX893S

This is a top of the line Kenwood receiver that is packed full of features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, iDataLink support for data support, Built-in Garmin navigation, Hi-Res audio support, as so much more

Sony XAV-AX-100

This Apple CarPlay compatible unit from Sony may not have all the fancy bells and whistles as other units on the market, but it offers a streamlined unit for a reasonable price. The stereo has everything a CarPlay unit needs, a great display, responsive touch controls, and quality audio processing. For many, this is the perfect CarPlay stereo.

The Apple CarPlay is one of the latest efforts to fuse smart technology into different aspects of the human life. With its innovation and safety, it looks like it will be one of the few that will succeed as well.