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iGBiPhone12 Apple CarPlay tips every driver should know in 2024

12 Apple CarPlay tips every driver should know in 2024

Over time, Apple CarPlay has grown by leaps and bounds. Part of its appeal lies in its simplicity and ease of use. Most car manufacturers now incorporate CarPlay with their audio systems, increasing its popularity.

You can now find EV charging stations on Maps, use Siri to do more or add a new calendar view. Whether you just got started with CarPlay or have been using it for years, here are some Apple CarPlay tips you must know.

1. Focus on your driving

Although having top-of-the-line features is crucial, safety must not be disregarded. The same appeals to CarPlay as well.

By focusing on the road and using CarPlay safely, drivers can fully leverage this technology without compromising on the well-being of those traveling with them.

iOS now has a special Focus Mode for Driving. Using this Focus Mode on your iPhone, you can limit the distractions before you begin your journey. Here’s how you enable it:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Focus Driving.
  3. Scroll down to the While Driving menu under TURN ON AUTOMATICALLY.

    Tap Focus Driving ACTIVATE in Settings
  4. Here, you can select either of the following: Automatically, When Connected to Car Bluetooth, or Manually.
  5. Toggle on Activate With CarPlay.
  6. Head back to the main interface and choose the People option.
  7. Allow calls and notifications from your desired contacts.

    Toggle on Activate With CarPlay People Allow calls and notifications in settings

That’s it. Now, every time CarPlay is connected, your iPhone will avoid distractions so you can drive smoothly.

2. Stop Notifications

When it comes to ensuring a safe and focused driving experience, one of the essential Apple CarPlay tips every driver should know is how to disable notifications.

With the constant influx of messages, emails, and social media alerts bombarding our smartphones, it’s easy to get distracted while on the road. So, you can choose which notifications you wish to receive and avoid in CarPlay by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings Notifications.
  2. Select any app of your preference.
    I have opted for WhatsApp.
  3. Now, toggle off Show in CarPlay.

    Select Notifications WhatsApp Show in CarPlay in Settings

3. Set up Multitask while using CarPlay

Maximizing the multitasking capabilities of Apple CarPlay can greatly enhance the driving experience. Earlier, CarPlay used to project iPhone screens regardless of the situation. But this has now changed.

Now, you users get a single dashboard view with separate windows for Maps, Music, and more. So, you don’t have to take your eyes off the navigation just to change songs. How cool is that?

The dashboard view is what you see as soon as Apple CarPlay is connected. But if you are in an interface of an app (say Music or Maps), then you may have to hit the < Back icon to return to the multi-window dashboard view. And if you are in the App Library in the car, you may have to swipe left to get there.

4. Add Automation

While we’re at it, let’s explore various ways to streamline and automate your driving experience.

Let’s say you want to begin your journey with a particular song every time. Well, the Shortcuts app is at your service. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Access the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Automation → Tap Create Personal Automation.
  3. Select CarPlay to proceed.

    Tap Automation Create New Automation CarPlay in Shortcuts
  4. When prompted, select Connects → Hit Next from the top-right corner.
  5. Choose Add Action to select the outcome of the shortcut.
  6. Alternatively, you can choose an action from the Next Action Suggestions.
    I have opted for Play Music.
  7. Now, tap the Music feature and select a desired track, playlist or artist.

    Select Connects choose an action tap Music in Shortcuts
  8. Hit the (+) icon to save your preference.
  9. Once ready, hit NextDone.
    If you feel like it, toggle off the Ask Before Running and Notify When Run features.

    Add music tap Next Done in Shortcuts

This is just one way to automate CarPlay to your liking. You can further set up actions like sending a message or opening an app as soon as your iPhone is paired to your car.

5. Dictate new text messages

Dictating text messages while driving can be a useful and safer alternative if you wish to send out an urgent text. With Siri, this task becomes even more convenient on CarPlay. To use this feature effectively:

  1. Access the Messages app on your car’s dashboard.
  2. Tap the pencil icon from the top-right corner.
  3. Choose the contact and narrate the text verbally.
  4. Once dictated, review it for accuracy before sending it off by saying Send. Siri will do the rest.

Though simple, remember to speak clearly and concisely, using punctuation commands such as period or question mark when necessary for proper formatting.

Moreover, remember that distractions should always be minimized while driving; dictate text messages only when it’s safe to do so and comply.

6. Customize CarPlay Wallpaper

Customizing the wallpaper on your Apple CarPlay adds a personal touch to your dashboard view. Changing it from your car’s touchscreen is very easy.

  1. Tap on the Settings icon in your dashboard display.
  2. Scroll down to the Wallpaper option.
  3. Here, you can select a design that suits your preference.

Note: With regular updates, you can always count on the wallpaper to bring fresh options to your digital space.

If you are having trouble choosing the right wallpaper, select something visually appealing that will not distract you while driving. Furthermore, keep in mind that choosing dark wallpaper may reduce glare and make it easier to view in bright daylight conditions.

7. Stay hands-free with Siri

It’s essential for all drivers to familiarize themselves with Siri’s capabilities to make the most out of Apple CarPlay’s hands-free experience.

You can connect Siri to CarPlay by dictating Hey Siri/Siri on supported vehicles.

Alternatively, to invoke Siri, you can touch and hold the CarPlay Dashboard icon (square box and three lines) or the CarPlay Home button (eight dots) on your display.

Once Siri is activated, you can use all CarPlay controls with just a verbal command, ensuring a smooth driving experience.

For instance, you can ask Siri to control music playback or access third-party apps on your will. You can further make calls, send messages, or access Apple Maps through simple voice commands while keeping your eyes on the road.

8. Let contacts track your journey

By now, you’re equipped with the necessary knowledge to operate CarPlay at your fingertips. However, there are a few lesser-known features that can greatly enhance your driving experience. One of these useful features is the ability to let contacts track your journey in real-time.

Suppose you’re driving and running late to pick up or meet someone; you can share your ETA with Apple Maps.

Using this feature, you can ensure that loved ones or colleagues stay updated on your progress and estimated arrival time. This feature is particularly valuable for long trips or when driving in unfamiliar areas where safety may be a concern.

9. Add or remove apps

We don’t need many apps while we are on the drive. So, if you find your CarPlay App Library cluttered, you can remove some unused apps. And if there are some apps that you need on the dashboard, you can also add them from iPhone Settings.

Before we begin, remember that not all apps are supported by CarPlay. Here’s how you can add or remove those that are supported:

  1. Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Access General CarPlay to proceed.
  3. Select your paired car when prompted.

    Tap General CarPlay select your Car in Settings
  4. Choose Customize to monitor the supported apps.
  5. Here, you can find the default paired apps. These cannot be removed.
  6. Scroll down to view more apps that support CarPlay.
  7. Tap the (+) icon on the left for the apps you wish to include in CarPlay.

    Tap Customize tap to add apps in Settings
  8. Alternatively, tap the (-) iconRemove when prompted if you wish to remove a manually added app.
  9. Finally, simply press and hold the hamburger icon to rearrange the app to your liking.

    Tap the icon Remove Hamburger icon to alter apps

With these foundational Apple CarPlay tips at hand, drivers can curate their experience for optimal convenience and enhanced productivity on the road.

10. Locate EV charging station

As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, it is essential for drivers to understand how to locate EV charging stations when using Apple CarPlay.

With the integration of navigation systems and smart technology into modern vehicles, finding a nearby charging station has never been easier. To begin,

  1. Ensure that your iPhone is connected to the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay.
  2. Once connected, open the Maps app on your CarPlay or simply ask Siri for directions to the nearest EV charging station.
  3. Alternatively, you can manually search for charging stations in a specific area by typing EV charging stations in the Maps search bar in CarPlay.
  4. Apple CarPlay will display a list of available charging stations, including their ratings and distance from your current location.

Alternatively, you can search for EV stations on your iPhone using the Maps app. Just make sure you are safely parked on the side before you pick up the iPhone.

11. Find where you parked your car

Out of all the CarPlay hacks we’ve discussed so far, this one is my favorite. Imagine going to the supermarket and forgetting where you parked your car. We’ve all been here dozens of times. But not anymore, as with Apple CarPlay, you don’t have to remember where you parked your car.

Your iPhone automatically drops a pin on Apple Maps, saving the exact location of where you park your vehicle.

Later, when you return to the parking lot, you can easily locate your car. Simply open the Apple Maps app on your iPhone and look for the Parked Car icon or text.

By tapping on it, you will see not only the pinned location but also additional crucial details, such as the duration of parking and how far you are from it. All you need to do is turn on navigation and walk towards it.

12. View your Calendar

This one is specially dedicated to everyone who keeps forgetting their upcoming appointments. Yes, you’ve read it read. Allow me to shed light on the idea of monitoring your Calendar app right on your car’s dashboard.

Once connected, you can access your Calendar app and view all your scheduled events right from the dashboard. This feature ensures that drivers are always aware of their upcoming appointments and commitments, enabling them to plan their day effectively while on the go.

Drive like never before!

And there you have it, a collection of game-changing Apple CarPlay insights that will undoubtedly rev up your driving encounters. So, the next time you hit the road, remember these tips to stay seamlessly connected and focused on the journey ahead.

Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Nidhi

    A tech-aficionado whose superpower lies in blabbering interminably about new technologies. After 4+ years and 4500+ content pieces that helped diverse companies grow, I followed my passion and made iGeeks Media my home. When not gushing over technology, you will find me immersed in a fictional world, either reading or creating one.

    View all posts

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