The Connected Car: Still a Long, Long Way to Go. Right, CarPlay?

Back in June when I went to visit my parents, I rented a Ford Escape which, to my surprise, came equipped with Apple CarPlay. This was my first experience with Apple’s vision of the connected car and to be honest, I found it…lacking. Okay, frustrating might be a better word.

When I saw the familiar icons pop up on the dashboard, I expected things to work exactly as they did on my iPhone. That’s the whole idea, right? To flatten out the learning curve to a zero gradient?

Nope. There were quirks in the UI that didn’t behave the way my iPhone did. Touching an icon often did not have the desired result or take me to where I wanted to go. After a while, I gave up. Best focus on driving, you know?

And I’m not the only one to have issues. Check out this blog from Shelly Palmer:

Apple CarPlay does not put your iPhone interface up on the car’s display screen. It puts familiar iOS icons on the display in a manner that gives you easy access to Apple maps, messages, music and your iPhone. The phone integration is exceptional. Your favorites, contacts, recent calls and voicemail are just a knob twist away. And while CarPlay integrates only a few entertainment apps – Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR, At Bat, a podcast player and some others – its future is clear. You are only a software update (iOS 10) away from “a little piece of heaven.” CarPlay gives you access to Siri and has a very nice speech-to-text system for safe messaging while driving.

If I plugged my Samsung Galaxy s7 into an Android Auto–compatible car, I would have access to similar features, plus Google Now and Google Maps. If you’re an Android person, it’s as useful as CarPlay – actually more useful when you consider the quality of both Google Now and Google Maps. Wait until Google adds Waze to Android Auto – you will shop for a car based on its Googleyness.

Which brings me to a harsh, cold, horrible, unfortunate, evil reality. Even with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, I still need to car-mount my smartphone.

There’s more to the article. Go here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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