It’s that time of year again when Apple holds its annual event to disclose all the new technology they have to introduce to the world. If you’re like my family, the Apple event is a staple in our households. We love seeing all the new updates, programs, features, and hardware tech that come with these beautifully presented presentations. Earlier this summer, Apple announced that along with iOS 16, Car Play would be getting a significant update, including a redesign, app types, and all-around improvements for your driving experience.
The Future is Soon
If you’re like me, it’s hard to think about when you didn’t own an apple device, specifically an iPhone, or have a car with the car play feature. The ability to have all of these features at the tip of your fingers with the little-to-no effort thoroughly enhances your driving experience, whether it be navigating Spotify, using Siri hands-free, using and having maps right there for you, or even the ability to quickly make and receive calls and texts without interrupting and making unsafe driving habits. So, with that into consideration, I was pumped to hear about some new features and designs for car play! As we dive more and more into technology, cars are getting more technologically savvy every day. It’s hard to believe that things like this did not exist ten years ago.
So what can we expect to see with new Car Play, iOS 16…. and probably iOS 17? As iOS 16 debuted this past week, we won’t expect to see all of these new features until 2023. As some of these features come with the update, we will need to see updates from the car manufacturers to see some of these new features in play. Let's take a deep dive!
Apple says, “Beginning with select 2021 car models, you can unlock and start your car with iPhone. Sharing keys with friends or family is easy too. Car keys will even work for up to five hours after your iPhone battery runs out.” How does this work? Your digital car key will be securely kept through your iPhone, which uses NFC to simply tap and unlock. If you’re worried about a lost or stolen phone, just turn off your keys remotely via iCloud. Letting someone borrow your car? Simply share your digital key via iMessage, and boom, done. You can set specific driver profiles to give whomever the specific access you would like them to have to your car, whether it's your teen driver, partner, a friend, etc. Apple is working with car manufacturers to allow you to unlock and start your cars from a pocket, a purse, etc., and is hopeful to see this implemented in 2023.
Watch the video from Apple about Car Play here.
Calls & Messaging
Making and answering calls & texts has never been easier. Using Siri, you can simply make calls, listen to voicemails and return calls, along with receive answering texts. Simply have Siri read your texts aloud and ask you to reply. You have features like sharing your ETA from Maps or marking it as unread for later. These features allow you to have a 100% hands-free experience.
Whether you use Apple Music, Spotify, etc., you can easily access your favorite artists, songs, and playlists from the on screen app. Hear a new song you love? Favorite it with a touch of the screen. Looking for something new? Simply browse. Want to be completely hands-free? Ask Siri to play the song, the artist, the station, etc.
If you’re like my family, you live your life by your calendar. Being able to see your day ahead in your car is one of the best features (personally). If you’re someone who travels for work a lot or simply can’t make an in-person meeting, you can join via dial-in or get directions to your next destination from your calendar event.
Next Generation Car Play
Apple explains it best: "This next generation of CarPlay is the ultimate iPhone experience for the car. It provides content for all the driver’s screens, including the instrument cluster, ensuring a cohesive design experience that is the very best of your car and your iPhone. Vehicle functions like radio and temperature controls are handled right from CarPlay. And personalization options ranging from widgets to selecting curated gauge cluster designs make it unique to the driver.” Vehicle announcements coming in late 2023.
Along with all of the features listed above, there are several apps you can use from the comfort of your car's phone screen, including a Dunkin’ order! I’m sure we will continue to see more and more apps supported by our cars, especially with the next generation of car play. Apple has an extensive list of cars that support car play, likely more to come in the future. I am excited to see what 2023 will bring and cars that bring some of these new features to their best life.