iOS 15 Hands-On: 4 New Features Coming to Apple CarPlay!

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Enjoy my first-look at iOS 15 Public Beta 2 on Apple CarPlay. You can join the Public Beta to gain access to this first public release of iOS 15. So Far it has been pretty stable for me. Some quirk website stuff in Safari, but other than that, iOS 15 is pretty good.

This demo was running on my Alpine X902D-G7 via a new upcoming wireless dongle from Ottocast – review coming soon – so subscribe to learn more about this new dongle.

Wallpapers

Four new wallpapers have been added in iOS 15

The 4 features are pretty lightweight but for some it can be pretty powerful. There is still, and never will be, no custom wallpapers. There are four new wallpapers for CarPlay. To me they feel a little nicer than the original set they released. They have a lava lamp bubble texture to them. The default feels colourful yet it doesn’t fight with the app icons that sit on top of it. Following this we have some duo tone wallpapers, one in blue, one in red and there is a neutral black and white flavour. The pattern remains the same across all four new wallpapers, which is a shame for what could have been some added variety.

Driving Focus

Next we have Driving Focus. This replaces Do Not Disturb While Driving. Other than the less lengthy title, the function is pretty much the same, albeit with some additional depth. You can set up contacts and apps that can break through your restrictions, otherwise everyone else in your contacts and app library will be blocked from displaying on your CarPlay display. You can have it enable manually via the Settings option, or have it trigger automatically when connecting to Bluetooth, or when you connect to CarPlay – nice!

Announce Messages

Lightweight options again for Announce Messages on CarPlay. Full control is in the app.

The third new feature is Announce Messages. Siri will now have access to any push notification text and it will automatically read it aloud. This can be anything from Messages to WhatsApp discussions. This feature might not be great whilst others are in your car, so luckily you can toggle this off in each app, and if you have blocked it for Driving Focus, they won’t fire anyway. You first get a little chime, before Siri steps in with the message, so you have some time to quickly mute the announcement on your car system, if the timing isn’t right.

Apple Maps

Updated Maps icon and small improvements to Apple Maps itself. More coming in the Fall.

Finally, the fourth new feature, is a new lick of paint for Apple’s Maps app. There is some more evolutionary improvements here. Most minor. I don’t use Apple Maps much, so I was noticing things that may have already been in iOS 14. Animations in route mapping, brighter richer colours, more house-based details with zoomed out, where the take backs from my exploration of Apple Maps in iOS 15. Improved maps will come at the end of the year, with more improved cities and landmarks more likely coming into next year.

iOS 15 doesn’t bring a major milestone of improvements to Apple CarPlay. It looks like any major changes to its UI will take a backseat until iOS 16 rolls around next year – we can only live in hope. There is also Car Key and lossless audio in Apple Music. No spacial audio for music yet, but I hope we might see that in a future update as a car system would be perfect for this.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Intro
1:00 – iOS 15 Public Beta 2
1:14 – New wallpapers
2:07 – Driving Focus
3:29 – Announce Messages
5:33 – Apple Maps
7:05 – The rest

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