An introduction to Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto)

If there’s been something that’s never really worked all that well since the introduction of the smartphone, it’s how they integrate with your car.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise as car manufacturers work many years in advance and they want to control as much of how you interact with their vehicles as they can. However, customers have been crying out for them to add support for Android Auto and CarPlay, the systems written by Google and Apple respectively to enable their mobile devices to communicate with vehicles.

Gradually support has improved and most manufacturers now offer both Android and Apple variants. Some (I’m looking at you BMW) are trying to charge their customers an annual fee to access the service (do what?) but most simply include it as part of the package.

And it does make a difference!

Yes, on older cars without Android Auto or CarPlay, you can still plug in your phone via USB or WiFi and see your contacts and sometimes music on the in-car display, however the implementation has been pretty unconvincing. What Android Auto and Apple CarPlay give you is access to the apps you might like to use on your phone while you’re in your car using a familiar interface. They also support Google Assistant and Siri making the whole experience even better. Say what you like about Siri, but when it comes to natural language queries, it’s generally far better than Alexa and therefore much better for when you’re on the move. Google Assistant is also no slouch in this area and is the pick of the bunch for this kind of task.

In the video accompanying this post, I take a brief look at Apple’s CarPlay and discuss it’s merits (and those of Android Auto, although not being an Android user I can’t demonstrate it in the film). I’ve only just started using CarPlay so if you have any questions please post them to my YouTube channel (or below) and I’ll make a follow up film.

Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to hit that like button!

What Mac did I buy in November 2018?

December 18, 2018

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Getting a water softener

December 12, 2018

I’ve wanted a water softener for many years and in the video above, I finally take the plunge! In case you don’t know, there’s a very good chance that you live in a hard water area. I certainly do. In actual fact, even if you don’t live in a hard water area, your water is […]

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Couch To 5: Week 9: The End of the Beginning

May 30, 2018

This is my final vlog of the Couch To 5K programme when an unfortunate technical problem in the last 5 minutes almost scuppers my final run! In this video I reflect on the programme and start a somewhat unsuccessful Mexican wave. This process has been something of a revelation to me. 9 weeks ago, I […]

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Couch to 5K: Week 8: Penultimate Ponderings

May 23, 2018

It’s getting near the end now, and so this week I discuss how I made it this far and what’s still to come in the final week. There are no terrible jokes in this video. It must be the hard work in making it to the seemingly dizzying heights of 28 whole minutes. However, despite […]

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Couch to 5K: Week 7: The Toxic Twelve and a Half

May 16, 2018

I’m working my way through the NHS/BBC sponsored “Couch to 5K” challenge taking me from no running to 30 minutes of running 3 times a week in just 9 weeks. This is week 7 where I tackle regular 25 minute runs. In this vlog I discuss how far a marathon is in metres, whether high […]

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Couch to 5K: Week 6: Pushing boundaries

May 9, 2018

It’s week 6 of the Couch to 5K programme where I attempt to go from only ever running to the toilet after a particularly hot curry to something equating to actually bonafide exercise in the form of real-proper-moving-generally-quickly running. It’s turning into quite a journey! In the accompanying video to this post, I try to run on some sand, wear an […]

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Couch to 5K: Week 5: Breaking records

May 2, 2018

Here’s another weekly video following my progress on the Couch To 5K programme. This is week 5 where I contemplate whether I can actually run for 20 whole minutes and wonder if I’ve been using my washing machine correctly. The prospect of that very long 20 minute run has been looming large on the horizon […]

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Couch to 5K: Week 4: Hot and cold

April 25, 2018

Another week has shot by, and I’ve now completed the fourth set of runs as I attempt to get from my couch to running 5K in just 9 weeks. I’m using the NHS and BBC sponsored app “Couch To 5K” available for iOS and Android devices, and also as a Podcast. You can download it […]

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From Couch to 5K: Week 3: Seconds become minutes

April 21, 2018

Things are starting to hot up now and I don’t just mean the weather! Couch to 5K is a programme to get you from your couch to running somewhere in the region of 5,000 metres in just 9 weeks, so inevitably at some point the length of time you need to run in one go […]

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