A new version of Apple’s CarPlay is coming, and there’s quite a lot of changes and updates

TL;DR: iOS 17.4 & The New CarPlay

  • New CarPlay Apps 📲: 8 apps like Auto Settings, Car Camera, Charge, and more for comprehensive vehicle control.
  • Vehicle Integration 🛠️: Control climate, tire pressure, media, and door status directly from CarPlay.
  • Customizable Look 🎨: Personalize CarPlay’s theme and colors to match your car’s interior.
  • Automaker Partnerships 🤝: Showcased with Aston Martin and Porsche; Aston Martin vehicles with new CarPlay coming in 2024.
  • Supported Automakers 🚘: Acura, Audi, Ford, and many more, with Aston Martin as a new addition.

Apple is launching next-generation CarPlay in 2024, featuring new apps and customizable themes, designed to integrate deeply with vehicle functions and settings, enhancing the user experience with more control and information directly from the car’s dashboard.

New CarPlay Apps – 8 in Total

Apple’s New CarPlay Update Fixes Many Long-Standing ProblemsPin

The iOS 17.4 beta reveals eight new CarPlay apps, including Auto Settings, Car Camera, Charge, Climate, Closures, Media, Tire Pressure, and Trips, which offer a wide range of controls and information from adjusting vehicle settings to displaying the rear-view camera feed.

This is huge. The current version of CarPlay, while generally more useful than some car infotainment systems (hello, Audi’s MMI), lacks any kind of deeper integration with the car’s core functions. Addressing this in the new update could make CarPlay a lot more useful to consumers and car makers.

Backwards Compatible?

There is one area where things are a little murky. No one is sure whether Apple’s new CarPlay will be backwards compatible with older, supported versions. And this could be a problem for legacy users because, in order to access the newer capabilities, it’d be getting a new car.

Apple hasn’t confirmed specifics for a release date, just that the new version of CarPlay will be coming inside cars during 2024 and beyond.

New Features, Deeper Integration

Apple’s New CarPlay Update Fixes Many Long-Standing ProblemsPin

The next-generation CarPlay will allow users to manage various vehicle functions like climate control, view tire pressure, control media, and check vehicle’s door status directly from the CarPlay interface.

With the new update, you will be able to customize the theme and color scheme of CarPlay, including the instrument cluster, making the interface more personal and matching the vehicle’s interior or owner’s preference.

Apple previewed the next-generation CarPlay in June 2022, with automakers such as Aston Martin and Porsche showcasing how it integrates with their vehicles. Aston Martin confirmed its first vehicles with the new CarPlay would be available in 2024.

Initial automakers committed to next-generation CarPlay included Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault, and Volvo, with Aston Martin joining the list.

Fixing Issues, Moving Things Forward

The current generation of CarPlay isn’t perfect. There’s a lot of issues, both with the latest build and legacy builds. Older versions on older cars require a wired connection, and – in my brief experience with it inside a hire car – the connection quality was pretty bad (it dropped out a lot).

CarPlay also collects A LOT of data too, needless amounts. Apple’s data policies are pretty rock-solid, as tech companies go, but this is something that I’d like to see reduced in the next-generation version of the software.

For most the complaints levelled at the current version of CarPlay, however, the new version appears to fix nearly all of them. It deeply integrates with the car’s core functionality, you can customise the look and feel of the UX, it packs in a ton of new, native applications, and it appears to have pretty wide support from car makers.

All in all, it sounds like Apple is moving in the right direction. The only downside will be if you need to buy a brand new car to actually use it.

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