Having only experienced Apple CarPlay on an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 6, I always found my CarPlay experience not be as responsive as I had desired it to be.
Due to Apple’s in-car platform being just a mirror of the device that’s running it, CarPlay owner’s experience is restricted by the power of their devices, be it an iPhone 5 through to the very latest iPhone 7.
It wasn’t until I upgraded recently to a shiny new iPhone 7 that this became even more apparent to me. The power boost in performance over a two year old iPhone 6 was night and day, and it has greatly improved my CarPlay experience.
Generally, multi-tasking between CarPlay apps felt a lot more responsive, dare I say it – even rapid! Even switching between tracks in Spotify felt much faster, with the slight delay between playing tracks noticeably reduced.
Fetching and directing to locations in Maps and the app’s overall rendering capabilities felt like it has been speeded up too. Launching Siri has also had its delay reduced with the hardware upgrade.
I am sure iOS 10 (10.0.2) has also played its part here too, with general improvements made to the operating system for CarPlay and its various fine tuning to stock apps, like Maps and Music.
So this iPhone upgrade, although at the equivalent cost of a whole new head unit, just proves that, if you want a faster CarPlay experience, you (sadly) need to upgrade to a new iPhone.