Today I brought my car into the shop to get some work done. It was costly enough that I decided to spend the extra $25 to get a rental car for the day. I love getting rental cars from dealers because they are usually the latest model vehicles with all the bells and whistles. Today was no exception as I got to drive around in a 2017 Honda CR-V decked out with leather and everything else you can imagine.
One of the biggest perks is something I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time, Apple CarPlay. I immediately plugged my phone in this morning and started playing before I left the parking lot. CarPlay (and Android Auto) are dead simple to use. When you plug in your device the screen is taken over by a UI similar to that of your phone. No more clunky auto manufacturer attempts at a user interface. You get something clean and familiar.
It took mere seconds to get my phone screen up on the dashboard, with it’s limited set of icons that are CarPlay enabled. Most apps don’t make sense on a dashboard, so only a few have been modified to work. Thankfully, Google Play music is one of them. Operating CarPlay is just like operating my phone. The menus are familiar, and you simply press the screen and select, just like on the phone. Things are optimized to be efficient and easy to use, with no clutter.
As I used CarPlay over the course of the day I fell in love with how it wasn’t distracting, but in fact got out of the way. Changing music involved a quick poke with my finger on the next track, or simply pressing the steering wheel controller. Siri was there for any other interactions I wanted to have, meaning it was easy to pull up directions and travel times without taking my eyes off the road. Best of all I didn’t need to worry about pairing anything to Bluetooth.
I don’t know that a new car is in the cards for me for a while, so I’m starting to think about getting an aftermarket deck installed. I’m curious if anyone out there has ever gotten a CarPlay/AndroidAuto deck put into their vehicles, and what their experiences are?