iOS 10.3 Releases With CarPlay Shortcuts & Apple Music App Updates

Published On March 29, 2017 | News, Preview

This week saw the release of iOS update 10.3. Apple’s latest iOS software update brings just a mere handful of features and updates for its CarPlay platform. So what should we be excited about? Well, not much if you don’t use Apple Music or use a bunch of CarPlay enabled apps at the same time. However if you do, you might want to read on…

New for CarPlay in iOS 10.3

The soul feature that comes in 10.3 is the new Shortcuts feature.

You’ll notice that, when you update to 10.3 and fire up CarPlay, that the sidebar/dock now contains up to three recently accessed apps. It is unfortunate that Apple has chosen to always add their own Maps app as one of the three, so you’re really looking at two recently accessed apps in the sidebar. The most recently accessed app will float to the top of the stack of icons, and the Maps app will jump about and get pushed to the bottom when it hasn’t been switched to.

I can see what Apple are going for here – in that they are adding ‘focus’ to you using their navigation app – but it would be preferred if we had the option to ‘opt-in’ to this functionality in the Settings > CarPlay area.

It isn’t a major concern for me, because I would mostly flip between Spotify, Podcasts and Apple Maps apps, but once more varied apps enter the CarPlay domain, the need to see my three favourite apps may become more wishful.

Updates for CarPlay in iOS 10.3

Apple Music has had a few noticeable updates in 10.3.

The Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album. Whilst the addition of ‘Daily’ curated playlists and new music categories can also be found in Apple’s own Music app. Being a Spotify user, I can’t really comment on these features, but I am sure Apple are doing their best in polishing their own Music app to compete with other steaming music apps currently available on CarPlay.


iOS 10.3 also feels a little snappier, and it also feels little more stable when launching apps, such has when an app was been closed for some time, where they would struggle to play audio, requiring interaction to wake the phone and nudge the app into action.

I am finding myself having to struggle less with CarPlay with each new iOS revision, and that can only been a good thing. Featured CarPlay updates however, seem to be very thin on bullet-points with each update from Apple. Here’s hoping that WWDC in June will bring new and exciting features to iOS CarPlay.

If you’ve seen anything new in iOS 10.3, let us know in the comments below.

  • MiniEggs1999

    In a short time I had in a loan Skoda Fabia I found over all it worked OK although getting it to play Audiobooks usually involved starting the app on the phone first.

    It was a touch screen but I liked the right hand knob could still be used for navigation as touchsceens are not easy on the move even trying to hit the large icons

    Apple maps was OK (it got me there) but really needs pinch to zoom

    I notice it only shows notifications of new iMessage/SMS and not emails (I thought it might read those to you)

    Oh and whilst the podcast app mirrors what is on the phone it would be nice to have an alphabetic series order like you get when using AVRCP over bluetooth to access the iPhone content

  • MPx3000

    The most recently used apps doesn’t work for non-apple apps. I primarily only use Casts for podcasts and the Music app and nothing “most recently used” seems to be changing.

  • Juan Flood

    I was expecting more improvements for CarpLay with this 10.3 new IOS version. Sorry to see that are this little changes. And still waiting for more apps to work with CarPlay, not only FM radios…

  • Fred Davenport

    Yup, I also was disappointed with the 10.3 upgrade.

    • Three icons on the left, one is ALWAYS Apple Maps…never have or will use Apple maps

    More issues still not resolved:

    * show battery level on CarPlay home screen
    * Apple Maps is awful, improve or delete it
    * can not find contacts when looking for a phone number
    * very hard to create a new destination in Apple Maps
    • Waze App
    • ESPN and other sports radio apps
    • Show the outside temperature while in CarPlay
    • allow a screen saver/background images
    * Recents in CarPlay phone only show 20(ish) recent calls, iPhone shows 100+
    * Overcast does not show the time/date of the podcasts, like it does on the phone
    * Waze, Waze, Waze
    * Please no more FM radio Apps, how bout some or at least “One” sports radio app
    * Show time, temp, battery life and connection bars across the top of the CarPlay screen like the phone does
    * Wallpaper and Screen Saver, like the iPhone does
    No Weather
    No Waze
    No Google Maps
    No Outside Temperature shown next to the Time of Day like every car has 🙁
    No Photos, Flickr or any other photos apps
    No Screen Saver, like my 2011 car a traded in has
    No ESPN Sports Radio
    No NPR, CBS, and may other news Radio stations
    No Contacts. Phone shows all my contacts; CarPlay shows barely any

    If I can view my texts, why not Instagram, Twitter, FB and others

    How bout a web browser?

    Most all these I can view on my iPhone in the car, but not in CarPlay

    Was CarPlay made in 2007 or 2016?

    – Recent calls on phone; only 15 are shown in CarPlay, while 100+ are displayed in iPhone.

  • Felipe Díaz Bodelón

    I have the new Volvo V90 CC with Apple Car Play and I still prefer to use my iPhone connected trough bluetooh. I’m completely disappointed with Apple Car Play for two simple reasons:
    1) I have to connect my IPhone trough a cable to have apple car play on my car screen, what is that??? We are at 2017!!
    2) Waze is the most important navigation app! And it is not available.

    • snic2030

      1 – Wireless CarPlay has been available since iOS9. The lack of wireless compatibility now remains with your car manufacturer to update the infotainment system’s software.

      2 – Currently you can only use Waze/Google Maps via the ‘workaround’. The following link has some insight as to why this is currently restricted.

      • Felipe Díaz Bodelón

        Thanks! good to know that wireless compatibility is on Volvo side now.

        • Fred Davenport

          Felipe, you could not of said it better! I agree and also no longer use CarPlay. Pretty cheering that Apple is always one of the three most recent apps on the left, even though I never use Apple Maps. 🙁

  • Johnny Mnemonic

    There are 2 simple things I have been wanting in CarPlay for 18 months now since getting it in my XC90 and those are Waze and Album Art. Well, 3, as wireless capability is sorely needed but that’s on Volvo’s part now. I simply don’t see the reluctance to add Waze support. It would be so much safer having us use Waze through CarPlay than using it through our phones connected to CarPlay like some of us are doing. And album art showing… I mean come one, wth? How unsafe or hard would it be to have it displayed instead of the horribly blurred background images we have now?