New iPhone Update, New CarPlay Problems With No Fix in Sight

Apple CarPlay interface 6 photos
Photo: Apple
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Apple rolled out iOS 15 with much fanfare earlier this week, and just as expected given it’s such a major release, it comes with significant improvements and new features.
As far as CarPlay users are concerned, however, there’s not much they’re getting after updating to iOS 15. The only significant update is the 3D navigation mode in Apple Maps, but right now, this feature is only available on iPhones, with CarPlay users to get it later this year.

On the other hand, it looks like installing iOS 15 does have an unexpected outcome for CarPlay users.

Several of them are now complaining that after updating their devices to the new operating system, CarPlay no longer runs correctly, and making a phone call has become quite a struggle.

It’s all because, after a few seconds on a call, CarPlay simply switches the sound to the phone, despite the active call still shown on the screen in the car. In other words, the audio is routed to the iPhone, even though the connection to the head unit is still active.

In some cases, all the audio is eventually directed to the phone, including navigation guidance and even the music, be it from Apple Music, Spotify, or another application. There’s no way to restore the expected behavior, other than disconnecting the iPhone completely and reconnecting it to the head unit.

The good news, however, is the problem isn’t necessarily widespread, as it only shows up for some users, yet a pattern doesn’t seem to exist to be able to figure out who is impacted and who isn’t. Everything appears to be working properly with an iPhone 12 Pro in my car, but the problem doesn’t necessarily seem to be tied to the phone model users to power CarPlay.

Unfortunately, no workaround seems to exist right now, though some users here on reddit suggest that changing cables could sometimes bring things back to normal.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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