Could Gaming Apps Work With CarPlay?

Published On October 16, 2018 | Feature

Apple’s CarPlay is opening up a plethora of possibilities aside from making a car’s interface look infinitely cooler. It can, for instance, let you stay on top of incoming messages, with Siri reading them aloud instead of being shown onscreen. You can also play music or listen to podcasts. You can even use CarPlay for navigation, whether via Apple Maps or a third-party app like Google Maps or Waze.

Of course, iPhone-owning car owners will naturally want more, like CarPlay Life’s support for Apple’s Mail app. Other apps which we at CarPlay Life would want incorporated include Find My Friends, Twitter, and Weather. And while we’ve already broached the idea that more might be possible with CarPlay, we’ve decided to tackle one interesting question: Could gaming apps work with CarPlay?

The answer, theoretically, is yes, especially considering Apple’s history of pushing the envelope in terms of what the technology can do. In other words, if there is a company that can figure out a way to make gaming apps work on a car’s dashboard, then it’s Apple. Seriously, is playing games via voice control out of the realms of possibility given today’s technology? In fact, there are already voice-controlled games available out there, like Tom Clancy’s End War and Seaman (both released for gaming consoles) and Big Mouth and Pah! (both mobile games). Advancements in voice control technology are coming fast, with Engadget noting how tech companies are “pushing the entire voice computing field forward.” Already, voice assistants are fast becoming a popular computing platform, and it would logically follow that they will have their own games.

Realistically, though, it’s hard to envision Apple integrating gaming into CarPlay. As TechRadar notes in its CarPlay review, there’s a logical reason Apple deliberately excluded games from CarPlay: Playing games on a car’s dashboard is “a disaster waiting to happen.” And that makes perfect sense anyway you cut it.

Interestingly, Apple did include on CarPlay the Major League Baseball’s official app, MLB.com At Bat. Among other things, this app lets users follow the latest MLB news, receive customized push notifications for game schedules and scores, and watch or listen to live games or their replays. This demonstrates how CarPlay does allow for entertainment apps that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Smart devices have revolutionized how fans interact with their favorite sports through extensive game coverage, real-time news, comprehensive stats, and gaming.

The same technology could be used to port all sorts of games onto CarPlay. Game developers have already adapted different genres to become mobile-friendly and as downloadable as apps. Slingo is an online slots platform that has been converted to an app to give its players greater accessibility. Like MLB.com At Bat, the games are designed for mobile use on the move, as the gameplay is relatively simple: click + and – to set an amount and then click “Spin”. This simplicity means that the games could be easily incorporated into CarPlay if the device allowed gaming. In the CarPlay version, players could voice out the exact amount, utter “Spin,” and just wait for the results. However, lag time could be an issue as the games require an internet connection, but this would also be no different than the sports apps already on CarPlay.

Now, whether iPhone users can play these games and others on their cars’ dashboard is yet uncertain. We do know that it can be done, and that the technology — voice control, primarily — is by and large available already. Then again, there are legitimate safety concerns with such a setup, and they might just be reasons enough for Apple not to incorporate gaming apps into CarPlay.