What’s New in CarPlay with iOS 12

Apple CarPlay running on iOS 12 in a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

By Paul Riegler on 18 September 2018
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With the launch of iOS 12, Apple provides some significant updates to CarPlay as well. The updates revolve around two of the most popular types of apps used by drivers, namely audio and navigation.  The overall user interface remains largely unchanged.

If you’re not familiar with Apple CarPlay, it is an in-vehicle touch-based display interface that functions as an extension of a driver’s iPhone and was introduced at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. Since then, CarPlay has evolved considerably with the addition of new features and system improvements.

Today, virtually every car manufacturer offers multiple models that support CarPlay. The list includes Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Toyota, VW, and Volvo.

The big news is the addition of support for third-party navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze in addition to Apple Maps, which has been present since the launch. Using the new CarPlay framework launched in iOS 12 for this purpose, third-party navigation apps are able to provide detailed maps, destination search, turn-by-turn guidance, and user notifications in their feature set.

Both the Google Maps and Waze apps when used in the CarPlay environment have extremely readable text and large clear icons. Google Maps is clearly identifiable as a Google app while conforming to Apple CarPlay user-interface specifications.

Unfortunately, there has been no announcement as to when CarPlay-compatible versions of Google Maps will roll out to users. The Waze app is in private beta and Waze said on Twitter that the app will roll out within several weeks.

Meanwhile, Apple Maps has been updated as well. Apple is slowly replacing its licensed map data with its own, starting with the Bay Area.

Finally, Audio apps now launch faster than before and have much smoother animation, giving the appearance that the app runs faster as well. Developers have been told to have their audio apps populate content whenever possible to avoid any interruptions in playback in the event of network drops.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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