Everything You Need to Know about Apple CarPlay Stereo and Android Auto

Posted by Kevin Perrins on

Rapidly evolving technology has brought new gadgets that seamlessly fit into our lifestyles. Our dependence on our phones makes it hard to be parted from them even for a while. If you have explored the set of features that come with a new car lately, then you would’ve noticed that most of them offer smartphone integration features for both Android and Apple phones. These new features enable a driver to simply plug in their phone and stay connected while driving.

With cars becoming more tech-focused, we can expect to see a lot of sophisticated technologies making car driving a lot easier than before. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have been around since 2014. However, it was just in the previous year that most of the manufacturers stared integrated them into new cars.

Most auto manufacturers have included these two systems in their new models. High-end car brands such as Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, and others include Apple CarPlay in new models at the minimum. There are a handful of carmakers that include only a smartphone connection. BMW switched from CarPlay to Android Auto in less than a year.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both car assistant systems that enable you to access features on your phone via your phone interface while driving. You can use these systems for checking messages, listening to music, for navigation assistance, and more using voice commands or by accessing the features manually. Using these systems offers not just convenience to the drivers but also assure their safety. They will have fewer temptations and distractions to glance over their phone.    

What is Apple CarPlay?  

For activating Apple CarPlay, you need to plug in your iPhone to the main USB port of your vehicle. In some car models, it is possible to establish a wireless connection between your iPhone and your car. If your car is equipped with the system, then it will launch an infotainment screen from where you can access the apps on your device. You can also use Google Maps and access Siri.  

The development of the Apple CarPlay system took over a decade. If you are using iOS 7.1 or higher version, then you will have this system pre-installed on your device. It will launch automatically as soon as you turn on the system in your car. Most of the features can be accessed and controlled via Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, Siri. Third-party apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Waze have made them way into the interface and can be accessed via the CarPlay home screen. 


  • Easy to use and allows voice activation
  • Can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheels in cars with sophisticated systems
  • You can access a variety of music platforms
  • Access incoming text messages
  • Easily use and control navigation tools
  • Supported by over 500 car models
  • Personalize the experience by rearranging apps
  • Access to a variety of templates and tools that provide safer and smarter ways to use the iPhone while driving

What is Android Auto? 

Android Auto is Google’s version of the car assistant and has been designed to provide the drivers’ access to Google’s Voice Assistant Technology, Maps, and more. You can use this to navigate, listen to audiobooks, play music, send voice-to-text messages, send emails, and make calls, and more.

Launched in 2015, Android Auto utilizes Google’s suite of technology including apps, Google Assistant, Waze, navigation apps, and more. The assistant allows you to access your phone with voice commands. You can connect to the infotainment system with a wireless connection just like AutoPlay. Google’s services are considered to be more user-friendly and robust in comparison to what Apple is offering. This implies that you are backed with a powerful Google Assistant while you’re driving.

Key Features

  • Use either CarPlay or phone screen
  • Easily access car contacts while keeping your hands on the wheel
  • Listen to music, read messages, make calls, and more
  • Distraction-free user interface
  • Over 400 car brands use Android Auto
  • Supports messaging apps

Is it worth using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay?  

If you love replying on a safe way to access your phone features while driving, then using these infotainment systems would be the best thing you can do. If you love using music apps or navigation features in your car, then you need to have these systems installed and ready to use. Both offer voice control features and will promise a lot more convenience go the users.

Apart from the home screen and the ways to access these infotainment systems, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are making you achieve the same thing but in different ways. Both assist you by giving navigation instructions, allow you to play music, take voice commands, are adept at reading texts, and making calls while driving.

Android Auto relies on Google Maps which are considered to be more user-friendly and reliable. It can highlight changing traffic conditions ahead and suggests alternate routes. Apple CarPlay is good at providing access to music. You can access your entire music collection and browse by playlist, artist, or song while Android Auto just offers play and pause options from the home screen. There is no option to browse through the entire collection.   

In summary

No matter which system you are relying on, both make driving safe and smart. You can gain all the benefits from your smartphone with hands-free access while using these infotainment systems. Neither can be considered at par above the other. It simply comes down to whether you are using an iPhone device or an Android-powered phone. Apple products have an ordered approach and functionality whereas Android systems have been designed to offer the utmost convenience to the users. These keep driver’s attention on the roads by offering voice-activated controls that are standard for both systems.  

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