Apple CarPlay Gets Massive Overhaul, New Functions

Apple CarPlay, which can be found in a growing list of new vehicles to provide a more intuitive infotainment experience for users, has just received its most important redesign since debuting in 2014.

The tech giant offered a presentation yesterday at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California—a few weeks after Google unveiled a significantly improved Android Auto.

For starters, the CarPlay Home screen is refreshed with a modern look that features rounded corners, new table views and a redesigned status bar. The all-new CarPlay Dashboard view gives drivers a single place to keep track of maps, audio controls and Siri suggestions.

A redesigned Calendar app offers a quick view of the day while you’re on the go, so you just have to tap to get directions or dial in to a meeting. Meanwhile, the revised Apple Music tab makes it easier to discover new songs and old favourites. Automakers can also choose to showcase album art.

A key safety update is the possibility to enable Do Not Disturb While Driving in CarPlay so notifications won’t come through. Drivers will also appreciate the Light mode that provides an alternative, easy-on-the-eyes light view, particularly at night.

Independent app views mean an app open on iPhone doesn’t affect what is open on the CarPlay screen, so passengers can pick a song on their device while the driver can keep looking at Maps.

Speaking of which, the company reportedly drove 6.5 million kilometres to completely reconstruct Apple Maps and offer more realistic details for roads, intersections, buildings and more. The new CarPlay provides easier route planning, search and navigation, as well as Junction View. The latter helps drivers eliminate wrong turns and directional misses by lining them up in the correct lane before they need to turn or enter an elevated road. Siri guidance has been improved, too.

Automakers will like the latest updates because they can now develop CarPlay systems that show information in a second screen (such as in a cluster or head-up display), perform “Hey Siri” requests with native microphones or change the size of the display dynamically.

The redesigned Apple CarPlay is set to be released with the new iOS13 update this fall.

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