What iOS 10.3 beta Brings to Apple CarPlay

Published On January 25, 2017 | Feature, Preview

Apple released their latest iOS update, 10.3 beta, to developers on Jan 24, 2017, and with it comes a few little welcome features that we’ve been asking for in since our CarPlay improvements we would like to see article some time ago.

Read on to learn more on what i’ve found so far in the 10.3 beta…

  1. Recently used apps in the side dock

    Back in October 2015 I wrote (and mocked up an image below) about how good it would be if we could list our most recently used apps in the side dock. I thought three would be a good amount, plenty of room there to fit three app icons to quickly shift between.


    My concept of recent apps in the dock (October 2015)

    iOS 10.3 beta brings this exact feature to us CarPlay users – Yay! Apple has taken this approach a little differently to my concept, displaying the three most used apps at the top of the side dock, which in turn pushes the time, signal icon and battery level (when using wireless) between these icons and the home button.


    If you navigate between more than two apps, such as music, maps and the odd text message during your journey, then this small feature can make a huge difference to your CarPlay experience. The most recent and active app will always float to the top of the stack of icons, whilst any older apps get removed from the bottom of the stack as new ones get launched. Its a simple yet very welcome feature.

  2. Tap Home button to slide back to the first page (Update: also found in 10.2)

    Again, back in October 2015, my no.1 feature request was to simply tap the home button to be able to slide from any sub screen all the way to your first screen.

    My concept of simply tapping home to return to the first screen

    It’s a simple function that I am surprised that Apple took the time to implement. This isn’t a 10.3 feature either, as it works in 10.2, but it’s taken me until now (whist poking around) to find this feature.

    If you have a number of screens spanning your CarPlay display you’ll be pleased to hear Apple has added this new functionality. Simply tap the home button whilst on a sub screen to scroll all the way back to the front screen. If anyone knows how long this has been in here, leave a note in the comments or tweet me @CarPlayLife.

  3. Road numbers in Map turn notifications (Could also be a <10.2 feature)

    Again, I am not sure if this is 10.3 or something i’ve overlooked until now, but when I ran Apple Maps on 10.3, when this notification popped up, the right side felt slightly different.


    This only seemed to display turns onto roads, rather than street names. It is a simple addition yet functional and helpful if you’re navigating whilst outside of maps, running Spotify for example.

So that’s all for now. I’ll keep poking to see if there is anything new in 10.3 beta. As this is the first, I am sure we will see refinements and hopefully new additions to 10.3.

10.3 is open to developers now, but I am sure Apple will release the public beta as soon as 10.3 beta 2 is available, if not before. With the new addition of recent icons in the side dock, and my personal discovery of the home ‘return’ button, there are plenty more to tick off, but these will have to do for now.

If you have found anything else in 10.3 beta, future version of the beta, or even things I’ve since missed (!), let us know in the comments below.

  • Pup

    Still no 3rd party maps apps allowed? 🙁

    • CarPlay Life

      Sadly not Pup. Until their is some kind of monopoly court ruling against Apple limiting competition of map apps on this platform, I can’t see them allowing 3rd party map apps any time soon.

  • Lola Inski

    This is great news,thanks. I’m waiting for GarageMate to develop an app for CarPlay.

  • How about Mail? Never gonna happen or?

    • CarPlay Life

      The way I see it Peter, any app that requires longer than a glance to read content on the CarPlay display will be less likely to appear on CarPlay. So anything like full text messages and emails. Sure Siri could read out the email, like it does for messages, but emails a more complex and its why you can’t get Siri to read them out for you on your phone (without going through accessibility).

  • Paul Donovan

    I had a quick play with CarPlay in 10.3 PB1 this morning on the way to work. It seems really buggy! It kept either crashing and restarting, or when I navigated away from it back to the car’s UI (Skoda / VW) after a few seconds the screen went blank and it CarPlay took over again. I’d given Apple feedback.
    Edit: in comparison, 10.2 has been very stable and usable.

  • SoNyz

    I using 10.3 and car play, fucking fast and stable, i love it, finally i can use it nice…

    • raulortiz318

      Which head unit are you using? Is third party or stock to your car? Been keeping an eye on the market and it finally seems there is a good selection of units now.

      • SoNyz

        I using SPH DA 120 PIONEER, is nice but 10.2 was full of bug, when i was connection the phone, spotify never started alone, i had start music from phone, from radio it was not working never, sometimes music fast like 5x speed, or sometimes frozen….
        Now is perfect, when i connect the phone, it work perfect, in 3 days everything working perfect without bug or error.

  • SoNyz

    I using 10.3 and car play, fucking fast and stable, i love it, finally i can use it nice…

  • Fred Davenport

    I would agree with the many comments. CarPlay is awesome and use it everyday. But the more I use the more I see things that need to improve.

    Like all, we need Waze on CarPlay.

    Also, most every time I use CarPlay I need to go back to my iPhone to get to what I am listening to to work (Podcasts, Live Radio, Music)

    Is there a place we can send our suggestions to?

  • Fred Davenport

    Are there any new apps for CarPlay that are NOT FM radio apps? Takes for ever to look at the list of apps on the carplay life.com site

  • eightzero

    Can anyone verify the 10.3 beta addresses the (very annoying) auto play issue? I’ve deleted Pandora from my phone; otherwise it commences autoplay on connection to CarPlay. The iOS CarPlay app needs a master “disable autoplay” toggle.