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CarPlay Apple CarPlay Logo.png
Screenshot of CarPlay running iOS 11
Screenshot of CarPlay running iOS 11
Original author(s)Apple Inc.
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseMarch 10, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-03-10)
Stable release
iOS 12.1[1] / October 30, 2018; 10 months ago (2018-10-30)
Operating systemiOS
Available inUses the same language as the connected iPhone
LicenseProprietary commercial software

CarPlay is an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and also act as a controller for an iOS device. It is available on all iPhone 5 and later models with at least iOS 7.1.

According to Apple's website, all major vehicle manufacturers are partnering with CarPlay.[2] CarPlay can also be retrofitted to most vehicles with aftermarket vehicle audio hardware.[2]


To discourage distracted driving, Siri is used extensively, providing Apple Maps voice navigation, and voice-input for text messages. Newscast style weather and stock results are announced instead of visual information. Requests that bring up visual information may be blocked when CarPlay is in use; most native CarPlay Apps deliver audio content with minimal interaction. Developers must apply[3] to Apple for entitlement to develop CarPlay-enabled apps.[4]

When installed on the iPhone host, corresponding app icons appear on the CarPlay home screen. Native apps include: Phone, Music, Apple Maps, Calendar (iOS 13), iMessage, AudioBooks, and Podcasts. Third-party apps generally consist of audio content providers such as iHeartRadio, Radioplayer, Spotify,, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, Clammr, NPR One,, and Audible.[2][5]


iOS 12 supports third-party maps, including Google Maps, Waze[6][7], and other region-specific maps such as Baidu Maps and AutoNavi within China.

iOS 13 adds Dashboard, an alternative to the app home screen, that presents a split layout of maps, media information, calendar, or Siri Suggestions. It also adds Calendar to the home screen, allowing preprogrammed events to link towards map directions to the event location. A new Settings app allows users to switch between light and dark modes, or have it automatically changed when headlamps are used.[8]


CarPlay in action

While most of the CarPlay software runs on the connected iPhone, the CarPlay interface provides the audio and display connection to the car's infotainment system. CarPlay adapts to various display sizes and control interfaces for each vehicle: touch screen, rotary dials, buttons, steering wheel controls, and hands free microphones.

Aftermarket head units may distinctly support CarPlay and/or Android Auto.

Wireless Carplay[edit]

iOS 9 adds support for wireless connectivity. The iPhone exchanges network credentials with a supporting CarPlay receiver over Bluetooth, and then establishes a two-way Wifi connection between the devices.


Cars with CarPlay are available from most major brands.[9] Manufacturers with no CarPlay models include Lada,[2] Tesla Motors,[2] and Infiniti, which has announced 2019 availability.[10]

Aftermarket head units can be purchased from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood, Pioneer,[2] Sony, and JVC.[11]



The concept of CarPlay was based on the little-known (and -used) Apple iOS 4 feature called "iPod Out" that was produced through several years of joint development by Apple and the BMW Group's Technology Office USA in Palo Alto, California.[12] iPod Out enabled vehicles with the necessary infrastructure to "host" the analog video and audio from a supporting iOS device while receiving inputs, such as button presses and knob rotations, from a car's infotainment system, to drive the "hosted" user interface in the vehicle's built-in display. It was announced during WWDC in 2010 and first shipped in BMW Group vehicles in early 2011; the BMW and Mini option was called "PlugIn" and paved the way for the first cross-OEM platforms, introducing the concept of requiring a car-specific interface for apps (as opposed to MirrorLink's simple and insufficient mirroring of what was shown on the smartphone's screen).[13]


Its codename was Stark.[14] Apple's Eddy Cue announced it as iOS in the Car at the 2013 WWDC.[15] In January 2014 it was reported that Apple's hardware-oriented corporate culture had led to release delays.[16] CarPlay was launched as "CarPlay" at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014[17] with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo among the first car manufacturers.[18]


June 2013: BMW officials announced that their cars would not support CarPlay; they later changed their minds.[19]

November 2013: Siri Eyes Free mode was offered as a dealer-installed accessory in the US to some Honda Accord and Acura RDX & ILX models.[20] In December, Honda offered additional integration, featuring new HondaLink services, on some US and Canada models of the Civic and the Fit.[21]

September 2014: A Ferrari FF was the first car with a full version of CarPlay.[22]

November 2014: Hyundai announced the Sonata sedan will be available with CarPlay by the end of the first quarter of 2015.[23]

December 2015: Volvo implemented CarPlay in the 2016 XC90.[24]

January 2016: Apple released a list detailing the car models which support CarPlay.[25]

October 2017: The 2018 Honda Gold Wing became the first motorcycle to support CarPlay.[26]

January 2018: The 2019 Toyota Avalon became the first Toyota model with Apple CarPlay.[27]

July 2018: Mazda added CarPlay support to vehicles newer than 2013 and equipped with the MZD-Connect system.[28]

August 2018: Harley-Davidson CarPlay support was added to 2019 Touring models equipped with Boom! Box GTS radio [29]


The Open Automotive Alliance's Android Auto is a similar implementation used for Android devices.

Some vehicle manufacturers have their own systems for syncing the car with smartphones, for example: BMW Assist, Hyundai Blue Link, iLane, MyFord Touch, Ford SYNC, OnStar, and Toyota Entune.

General Motors has released an API to allow the development of apps that interact with vehicle software systems.[30]

MirrorLink is a standard for car-smartphone connectivity, currently implemented in vehicles by Honda, Volkswagen, SEAT, Buick, Skoda, Mercedes-Benz, Citroën, and Smart with phones by multiple manufacturers including Apple, HTC, Sony, and Samsung.[31][32]


  1. ^ "iOS 12 is available today". Apple.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "CarPlay". Apple. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "CarPlay - Apple Developer". Apple. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "MPPlayableContentManager Class Reference". Apple. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Statt, Nick. "You can now use Google Maps with Apple's CarPlay in iOS 12". The Verge. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Horwitz, Jeremy (September 18, 2018). "Google Maps adds Apple CarPlay and iOS 12 support, with Waze to follow". VentureBeat.
  7. ^ Seifert, Dan. "Google Maps in CarPlay isn't the dream you've been waiting for". The Verge. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Hall, Zac (June 13, 2019). "Hands-on with CarPlay in iOS 13: New apps, light mode, more". 9to5Mac. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "More than 200 models to choose from". Apple. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Gustafson, Sven (April 6, 2018). "Infiniti plans overhaul of infotainment system by 2021 - But first it'll introduce Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2019". Autoblog.
  11. ^ Singleton, Micah. "JVC's first Apple CarPlay receiver is now available". Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "BMW supports iPod Out by Apple". YouTube. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  13. ^ Kumparak, Greg. "iOS 4's hidden "iPod Out" feature brings iPhone support to your car without the messy third party UI". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  14. ^ Ritchie, Rene (February 19, 2015). "CarPlay: The present and future of Apple automotive". iMore.
  15. ^ Cue, Eddy; Cook, Tim; Federighi, Craig; Ive, Jony et al. (June 10, 2013). WWDC 2013 Keynote. Moscone West, San Francisco, California: Apple. Event occurs at 1:43:28.
  16. ^ Cole, Shane (January 28, 2014). "Organizational strife said to bedevil Apple's iOS in the Car initiative". AppleInsider. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Apple unveils CarPlay iPhone system at Geneva show". BBC News. BBC. March 4, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  18. ^ Dredge, Stuart (March 3, 2014). "Apple CarPlay debuts with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo". The Guardian. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Neff, John (June 12, 2013). "Why BMW doesn't plan to integrate Apple's iOS in the Car [UPDATE]". Autoblog. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Slivka, Eric (November 26, 2013). "Siri Eyes Free Now Available for Select Honda and Acura Vehicles, Deeper Integration Coming Soon". MacRumors. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  21. ^ Slivka, Eric (December 3, 2013). "Honda Boosts iOS Car Integration with New HondaLink Services for 2014 Civic, 2015 Fit". MacRumors. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Lynn, Walford (September 2014). "Ferrari wins iPhone race 1st CarPlay Connected Car". Auto Connected Car. Aproprose. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  23. ^ "Hyundai expects CarPlay to be available in Sonata by end of quarter". Apple Carplay News and Owners Group. Mike Szostech. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  24. ^ "Volvo brings Apple CarPlay to its XC90 crossover". Roadshow. CNET. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  25. ^ "Apple finally put together a full list of cars with CarPlay". The Verge. Vox Media. January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  26. ^ "Honda's 2018 Gold Wing is the first motorcycle with CarPlay". Engadget. October 26, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "2019 Toyota Avalon". Toyota. January 15, 2018.
  28. ^ "Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect". Mazda. July 12, 2018.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Developer Network". General Motors. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  31. ^ "MirrorLink". Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  32. ^ "Members". Car Connectivity Consortium. Retrieved August 9, 2018.

External links[edit]