Verdict on Apple CarPlay

We get hands on with new software that turns your car into an iPhone

Apple CarPlay

After waiting patiently for a demo of Apple's CarPlay software in a new Mercedes C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show, we're turfed out of the passenger seat because a 'VIP' is on the way. To be fair, it was Dr Zetsche, Mercedes CEO, who was desperate for a go.

"It's great, beautifully integrated. Is it a revolution? Not quite, we already had iPhone connectivity, but it's definitely the next step," Zetsche told us as he climbed out.

I'd have to disagree. Forget 'mirror link' systems that claim to mimic your phone's display in your car, this is a system developed by Apple to be as familiar as possible to anyone that's ever used an iPhone. As a result it looks, feels, sounds and operates exactly like an iPhone, just on a larger portrait screen.

The idea is you update your iOS 7 software for free, then buy a CarPlay enabled car from a variety of manufacturers beginning later this year. Plug in your iPhone 5, 5c or 5s via the USB socket and you're away.

The home screen features the same, chunky, square icons your used to - click on one and the sub menus have the same names and feel as your phone. The big difference here is that Siri voice control is at the core of the whole experience.

For example, get a message on the move and it will read it out to you as let you dictate a response. Shout out a destination and the Apple Maps app with direct you there with smooth 3D maps using the 3G or 4G connection from your phone. It even scans your latest texts and e-mail for addresses and locations to bring up suggested destinations.

Scrolling through your music folders feels as slick as you'd expect, complete with album artwork, and if you have a subscription to Spotify you can stream any song you like on the move.

OK, so you can argue that none of the features are particularly revolutionary, but the fact that anyone who owns an iPhone could soon have a beautifully integrated infotainment system in their car, complete with sat-nav, voice-control and internet connectivity most certainly is. 

Recommended

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled
News

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled

The 2021 Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled due to financial hardship and poor manufacturer response
30 Jun 2020
Geneva Motor Show
Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show

Welcome to our Geneva Motor Show hub page, scroll down for all our Geneva content...
28 Feb 2020
New 2020 McLaren 765LT: price and specs confirmed
McLaren 765LT

New 2020 McLaren 765LT: price and specs confirmed

McLaren 765LT is the latest Super Series flagship has an output of 755bhp and a starting price of £280,000 – but every example has already been sold
24 Sep 2020
New 2020 Hyundai i30 facelift: UK prices and specifications revealed
Hyundai i30

New 2020 Hyundai i30 facelift: UK prices and specifications revealed

The Hyundai i30 lineup receives revised styling, improved infotainment and mild hybrid powertrain options
24 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New Suzuki Swace estate launched on UK market
News

New Suzuki Swace estate launched on UK market

Based on the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, the Suzuki Swace estate comes to the UK
11 Nov 2020
All-new Renault Kangoo van unveiled ahead of 2021 launch
Renault Kangoo ZE Concept - show pic
Renault Kangoo

All-new Renault Kangoo van unveiled ahead of 2021 launch

First images of the third-generation Renault Kangoo panel van - which will soon square-up to the new Volkswagen Caddy
12 Nov 2020
New Citroen C3 2020 review
Citroen C3

New Citroen C3 2020 review

The Citroen C3 supermini has been updated for 2020, but have the updates boosted its appeal?
12 Nov 2020