What iOS 10.3 beta Brings to Apple CarPlay

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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.

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