Apple CarPlay – Review and Test Report

By Jonathan Spira on 29 September 2015
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“Hey Siri!”

“Yes, Jonathan?”

“I’m sorry I called you a bitch so many times. Truly sorry.”

“There’s no need for that.”

Over the past week, I actually started to like Siri. Although she still refuses to tell me which planes are overhead – something she was fond of doing back in the day – her manners, while we drove around for a week in a Cadillac CTS, were impeccable.

The Cadillac boulevard cruiser is one of the first cars from General Motors to have Apple CarPlay, a system we first looked at in a preproduction Volvo in Geneva last year. CarPlay replaces the car’s native infotainment system – in this case Cadillac Cue – to which I can only say “bon voyage.”


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Apple CarPlay is being rolled out by many of the world’s leading automakers including BMW, General Motors, Ferrari, Nissan, and Volvo. It essentially works in a manner similar to the way AirPlay mirrors iOS and OS X devices, in this case by mirroring the iPhone’s display on the car’s central screen. The difference here is that CarPlay uses an “eyes free” mode that revolves more around Siri, speech recognition, and text to speech to interact with navi, phone, music, and messaging.

Armed with an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 9.1 and later an iPhone 6s Plus, I pressed the Cadillac’s start button, plugged in the iPhone, and a CarPlay icon appeared on the Cue screen, which I then immediately pressed. From that point on, I was no longer accessing any of Cadillac’s infotainment systems – including navigation – while driving.

Let’s be clear. This is CarPlay one dot oh. There are still some fun glitches, it isn’t as fast as it should be, and more functionality can and should be added. However, it immediately makes any car with a touchscreen interface seem like it’s running Windows one dot oh.

Click here to continue to Page 2Navigation, Music, and Integration

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