Ways to Customize Apple CarPlay to Get the Most Out of It

Ways to Customize Apple CarPlay to Get the Most Out of It


Out of It

If you’ve used Apple CarPlay, you can agree that it gives an exceptional driving experience. In addition to using Apple CarPlay for navigation and entertainment, there are non-basic functionalities you can use to improve your driving experience. This article highlights ways to customize your Apple CarPlay so that you can enjoy your time on the wheel.

Tips and Tricks to Customize Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay comes with many options, including the ability to make hands-free calls when behind the wheel, music streaming, getting directions, and other capabilities to enhance your driving experience.

However, if you’re not a fan of basic dashboard features, you may wonder how you can personalize your CarPlay to get the most out of your receiver. Here are a few hidden secrets you can discover through customization.

Find Your Car

You can enhance “Find Your Car” capabilities by using Bluetooth to connect your iPhone to your vehicle’s infotainment. There’s a Map setting that allows your iPhone to remember where you parked your car. The setting works through GPS, which can help save time when tracing your vehicle in a vast parking area.

You only need to choose Maps from your iPhone Settings app and tap next to “Show Parked


Avoid a Ticket

Apple CarPlay can help identify the speed limit of your current location. To use this feature, turn on the turn-by-turn direction, and the speed limit of your location will be displayed on the screen. It’s, however, essential to understand that while this feature works on most highways, it doesn’t apply to every street.

Create a Radio Station

This feature comes in handy for music enthusiasts. Ideally, this feature allows you to listen to more music similar to what you’re listening to—create a radio station.

To use this feature, tap the three dots on the Now Playing screen. After that, create a radio station from the song you’re listening to.

Additionally, you can use YouTube Music with CarPlay if you have installed the app on your iPhone.

CarPlay Dashboard View

Apple CarPlay shows a single app on a full screen by default. However, using the dashboard view, you can display several apps like navigation directions, maps, calendar events, music, etc.

To access the dashboard view, head to the three horizontal bars in the lower left corner and select the icon that resembles a box.

The dashboard view will condense various apps on the screen. Tap an app you want to have a full-screen view. On the other hand, tap the icon on the lower left corner to return to the dashboard view.

Personalize Your Home Screen

Apple CarPlay comes with many screen customization capabilities. One such feature is the ability to add, hide, or rearrange default and third-party apps from the home screen.

To use this feature, go to “Settings,” select “General,” and then choose “CarPlay.” This lets you see your scream as displayed on your car’s dashboard. Press and hold the icons to rearrange them.

Additionally, CarPlay allows you to split the screen to view two to three different apps simultaneously. For example, you can view your calendar in one window, get driving directions in another, and control music in the third window. To open the split-screen, go to the button in the left corner and tap the widget icon when your phone is connected.

Finally, while Apple CarPlay isn’t a true screen-mirroring receiver, it can allow you to see communication, navigation, and streaming apps from your phone on your car’s screen.

Share Your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) with Contacts

Apple CarPlay allows you to let your contacts track your journey. For example, if you’re heading to a meeting but are delayed, CarPlay can notify people you will meet with how long you’ll be there.

To do this, select Share ETA at the ETA display at the bottom of the screen. After that, choose the contacts you want to share your journey with. Contacts using iOS 13.1 or above will receive a Maps notification to help them track your ETA. Contacts using an older Apple device will be notified through iMessage. Contacts using an Android device will receive a notification via a standard message.

SharePlay with CarPlay

SharePlay allows you to collaborate with someone else’s Apple Music queue on iOS 17. When the driver starts playing the music, the passengers can tap on the SharePlay icon, scan a QR code using their phone, and add songs to the queue over a SharePlay connection. However, this can only work if everyone runs on iOS 17 or above and the person who initiates the SharePlay session has subscribed to Apple Music.

Turn Off Notifications When Driving

You can set up “Do Not Disturb” to prevent notifications from popping up on your screen when driving. To do this, head to the “Settings,” select “Do Not Disturb While Driving”, and tap “Activate with CarPlay.” Once this setting is on, anyone who messages you will receive an automatic reply, so you don’t have to reply when driving. This enhances your safety and offers convenience.

Read and Answer Messages Hands-Free

Taking your eyes off the road when driving isn’t only dangerous but illegal in many parts of the world. CarPlay has many capabilities that allow you to read and answer messages hands-free or even mute them to avoid being distracted when driving.

Head to “Settings” and select “Siri Search”, then turn on “Announce Notifications” through your iPhone.

Once “Announce Notifications” is on, tap CarPlay and choose either announce or silence new messages. If you select “Announce New Messages,” you’ll receive a notification for incoming messages and the message will be read to you aloud. You can enable “Remember Previous Setting” to allow CarPlay to remember your announcement setting from your previous drive, but you’re free to change the settings anytime you want.

Take a Screenshot with CarPlay

Assuming you want to preserve a map location or a tune on your music app, you can achieve that by taking a screenshot with CarPlay. Taking a screenshot with CarPlay involves the same process as your iPhone—simultaneously pressing the lock button and volume up button. This lets you take a screenshot of your CarPlay display and your iPhone, which will then be saved on your phone’s photo album.

Integrate Google Maps with CarPlay

Since Google Maps integrates with CarPlay, you can use features like the satellite map view instead of the standard view. To use this feature, open Google Maps in CarPlay and select the gear icon in the upper right corner. This will display the toggle for the satellite map, which you can tap to get an excellent view.

Customize Your Map View

Apple CarPlay allows you to customize your map view to your preference. Apple Maps has 2D maps and 3D capabilities. On the other hand, Google Maps comes with more customization options, including a satellite view, to have a unique user experience.

Use CarPlay to Control Smart Home Tech

You can use CarPlay to control smart home products that are compatible with Apple Homekit. It can include garage doors, automatic gates, or lights. Using Siri Commands, you can open or close your garage doors remotely from miles away.

Additionally, you can use it alongside Scenes to create a routine for arriving home or office and activating it before you leave your vehicle. A scene, for instance, could include turning on the lights or playing your favorite playlist on your HomePod.

Apps to Help Have an Exceptional CarPlay Experience

There are many apps compatible with CarPlay that you can install to improve your driving experience. In addition to Apple Maps, navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze can help improve your navigation experience.

Music apps like YouTube Music, Spotify, Amazon Music App, and Tidal will help rev up your music experience. Radio Apps like iHeartRadio, Sirius XM Radio, Pandora, etc., will give you access to actual stations and allow you to create custom radio stations.

Additionally, you can integrate messaging apps like Apple Messages App and WhatsApp Messenger with CarPlay to receive and send messages safely when driving.

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