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.