Android Auto vs Apple Carplay

By: Stewart Creaser

If you’re looking for a car that offers you full mobile connectivity then you’ll be faced with the choice of either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. If you’re faithful to a particular phone manufacturer then the choice may be simple. However if you want the very best experience then it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of both systems and what they offer you.

What is Android Auto & Apple CarPlay?

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both systems which allow drivers to access the phone, messaging, audio and navigation aspects of their phones hands-free via the cars infotainment system.

Car manufacturing is a relatively slow process compared to the technology industry, which means it’s hard for car manufacturers to keep up with the latest tech developments. The introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enables car manufacturers to offer the latest connectivity to consumers, and regular App updates ensure that the systems stay up-to-date.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are free to download, however they are both data reliant services. This means they will use up your data allowance and can be prone to drop outs of data especially in less connected areas.

What can they do?

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay is the smarter, safer way to use your phone on the move. Users connect their iPhone to the car using either a USB port, however newer phones offer wireless connectivity.

The display on the infotainment touchscreen has been designed to look like a simplified ios screen. It offers Apple’s own phone messaging, iTunes, Apple Music and maps as well as a number of third party apps.

The Apps have been reimagined to improve their functionality on the move and reduce the need for you to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel. You can make and receive calls, while text messages will be read out and a response can be dictated. In addition Apple CarPlay is fully integrated so it works with all your infotainment systems knobs, dials and buttons. While Siri voice control has been specifically adapted for driving scenarios, making it more functional on the go.

Apple CarPlay can make suggestions on where you may be heading from your recent emails, texts, contacts and calendars. This helps to streamline your day as it ensures you no longer have to waste time programming your upcoming destination into your Satnav.

Apple CarPlay is compatible with a range of iPhones including the; iPhone SE, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X. However it is not compatible with iPads or iPods.

Android Auto

Android Auto is similar to Apple CarPlay in that it allows your car’s infotainment screen to display content from your mobile phone, receive and respond to calls and messages. It prioritises all the features you’re likely to use on the move.

Android Auto requires your phone to have Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher and requires you to connect your phone using through a specified USB port.

Designed with your safety as a priority, Android Auto functions can be utilised via integrated steering wheel controls as well as powerful and responsive voice controls. This minimises distraction allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.

Plus it works with a wide variety of Apps so that you can stay up to date and connected while on the move.

Android Auto’s home screen like Apple CarPlay, brings up a simplified version of your phones home screen, with useful information and last used Apps displayed for ease of use.

Which cars are compatible?

Many cars now come with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay built-in as standard or offer it as an optional extra.

However if you already own a car and want to add Android Auto or Apple CarPlay functionality it is possible to retrofit. Manufacturers including Alpine, Kenwood and Pioneer all sell units that enable you retrofit Apple CarPlay technology. Whereas Samsung, Sony, HTC and LG offer android handsets to enable Android Auto.

What apps can be used with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay?

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay both allow you to use a host of third party Apps on the move. Some Apps are available free while others are charged. A range of common third party apps compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto includes:

Apple CarPlay Apps

Deezer, TuneIn radio, iHeartRadio, WhatsApp, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, iPlayer Radio, CBS Radio, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Tidal, Audible, NPR One, VOX, Clammr and Downcast. While Google Maps, Waze and Here are set to be available in the near future.

Android Auto Apps

Spotify, Pandora, Rainwave, Facebook Messenger, Waze, Textra, WhatsApp, Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, Voice Infos, Hangouts, Audible, Skype and Amazon Music.

Where can I buy Android Auto & Apple CarPlay cars?

At Stoneacre, we have an incredible selection of New and Used cars available with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay or both.

Take a look at the cars full specification to discover if it is compatible or why not get in touch if you require further information.

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.