It has been a little over a year now since Apple fired their first volley into the car entertainment arena, by adding CarPlay in the Ferrari FF – the first vehicle to have a fully functional CarPlay interface.
With a number of CarPlay compatible aftermarket systems, manufacturers slowly rolling out factory fitted CarPlay systems, and a growing number of applications and updates releasing on Apple’s App Store, CarPlay is starting to stretch its legs as being a viable in-car entertainment experience.
So what has changed since it first appeared some twelve months ago? 9to5 Mac have done a great CarPlay comparison between the first and the latest version of CarPlay.
Major improvements have been made with Siri’s performance and there has been some general user interface refinement over the past year. It has been more evolutionary than revolutionary, but let’s be honest, when you compare to recent in-car user interfaces, CarPlay is certainly improving things, even in its very early lifespan!
Clean symbolic buttons now replace clunky, not very ‘Apple’, buttons. Apple’s new unified font update have also been introduced across all its devices, including CarPlay, making the platform’s legibility much clearer thanks to its much bolder typeface.
Where some content has been removed from some screens, in certain places there has been more content added. In stock Apple apps, key additional info has been added over the year to menu options, such as number of podcasts available and unplayed. This helps to reduce the need to drill-down deeper and reduce the time looking at the display whilst pressing through additional sub menus.
Although possible in some third-party apps over the year, live streaming has come to the Apple Music app. With the addition of Beats Radio, Apple Music users are able to stream live radio from Beats Radio.
With iOS 9 there is now some new ‘Getting in/out of the car’ triggers for Apple’s Reminders app. So now you can get contextual reminders as and when you enter (plug in) or exit (disconnect) your iPhone from your vehicle. Audio messages is also now available to iOS9 users, however replying to them still isn’t available.
Overall, I feel Apple may not be heads deep in rapidly making CarPlay the best experience we all want to love. Apps will surely increase over the next year as Apple gets more lax on the rules of its CarPlay apps; they better, otherwise Google and its Android Auto apps will double, even triple over Apple’s own CarPlay enabled apps, and that alone isn’t a good bullet-point to have at any annual keynote!
Apple is surely being careful with this one, applying the baby reins to their latest platform. Hopefully we’ll see more regular updates and more iOS versions release over the next twelve months, including Wireless CarPlay support from manufacturers.
More comparisons can been seen over on the 9to5Mac article.