Today at Apple’s annual developer’s conference, the company revealed the biggest update to CarPlay since its release. The revamped in-car system looks dramatically better, leaving behind the faux iPhone layout for something that looks better suited for us in cars.
Until now, CarPlay was left largely forgotten since its debut in 2014. Most vehicles are now compatible with the system, but since its release, in-car systems have dramatically improved to the point where most are better than what Apple developed. This update looks like a large step in the right direction.
The biggest change seems to be the amount of information that can be displayed using CarPlay. The previous version’s home screen is just a grid of apps. It’s not helpful. Now, with this new version, the home screen can display a map, media playback and HomeKit devices like a garage door or lights.
Last month Google announced a large update to its Android Auto platform, which has long outclassed CarPlay. The difference has always been profound with Android Auto able to handle tasks and display apps in a manner better suited for cars. But now, with the new version of CarPlay, Apple’s in-vehicle system seems to have a lot of the functionality found in Google’s counterpart.
The announcement left a lot of questions. Will this work on older model vehicles built on older hardware? What versions of the iPhone will it work on? How does it handle scaling to different resolutions found in different vehicles?