Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: this is how each technology works in the car | Economy


A few years ago buying a car was a relatively simple thing, some variables were taken into consideration such as the price and cost of maintenance, consumption and mechanical performance. The protagonist today is the infotainment, which has transformed the car into a “mobile”.

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Before vehicles were split between petrol and diesel engines, the split is now between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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These systems, in practice, do the same, transferring the functions of a smartphone to the screens of car radios.

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The first is a development of Google and the second belongs to Apple, and its big difference lies in the type of smartphone users, Google system for Android and CarPlay for iPhone users.

The use of these technologies promotes safe driving as they allow the driver to always keep their eyes on the road and avoid distractions with the phone. Thus, through the controls at the helm, the touch screen or voice commands, it is possible to access all the telephone functions, from the simplest ones such as making and receiving calls and listening to music to sending and receiving messages without manipulating the device.

For brands, taking this step to incorporate one or the other system or make them compatible with their cars has had some setbacks. Some were reluctant to implement the software out of a zeal for security and privacy. But that’s a thing of the past. Today a new car without Android Auto or CarPlay is inconceivable. Although there are.

The first step for vehicle manufacturers was to adapt their radios, which are now more than just radios an “ entertainment center ” – to enhance their functionality and incorporate touch screens and choose which software or application to adopt. whether Google or Apple, although most support both technologies.

In addition to offering CarPlay or Android Auto, each brand has created its own multimedia system with applications that enable connectivity. For example, Ford “christened” its SYNK system; Media Evolution is the one for Renault or Media Nav; Nissan Connect; MyLink from Chevrolet, Mazda Connect or Kinet from Kia, developed in Colombia by Myron & Müller.

These allow you to control vehicle functions such as starting the engine or air conditioning, opening the doors, raising the windows and checking its status, among many others.

CarPlay and Android Auto are applications that are located inside the radio so that it can be connected to the mobile phone, but the Internet used is that of your mobile phone.


One of the most important features is its navigation system via Google Maps, which provides routes and provides step-by-step instructions to a destination. It also saves your route history, offers access to music and internet access, calls and messages. Needless to mention, a data plan is required.

Commands also follow voice commands, so you can reply to messages using voice-to-text technology. The radio does not require voice recognition as Android Auto functions are accessible via the car’s touch screen.

It should be noted that the phone screen will lock when Android Auto is active, but it can be unlocked manually. Android Auto also allows the use of applications such as Skype, WhatsApp and Spotify, among others.

Now, not all Android phones can use Google software. Devices with Android 5.0 and later that have a data plan can run Android Auto. Those with Android 9 or lower should download the free Android Auto app from the Google Play Store. Android 10 phones come with built-in functionality. A working USB port is required to connect to the car.


It is designed for iPhone users and brings phone functions to the vehicle screen. The software allows you to make calls, send and receive text messages, and listen to music, among other uses or applications you have downloaded such as Waze. You can also access the functions using Siri, Apple’s assistant, as Ok Google does in Android Auto.

It can be navigated using the radio touch screen or steering wheel controls. As with Android Auto, the iPhone screen freezes when CarPlay is active.

Android and Car Play are not part of the vehicle configuration, so the driver has to exit the application to make the vehicle settings. An iPhone is essential. All models starting with iPhone5 are supported, but this device will need to run at least iOS 7.1 or later to work. Some vehicle models also support wireless CarPlay via Bluetooth. In others, the iPhone will need to be connected to a port using a certified Lightning to USB cable.

Finally, just as Apple updates its iOS operating system, it does so with Car Play too. This allowed him to access new features and above all the possibility of adopting third-party applications as happened in 2018 when he added Google Maps and Waze to his navigation.



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