Car video reviews:
There’s No Reason to Be Excited About the New-Generation CarPlay
Both CarPlay and Android Auto have become must-have features for the modern driver, and it’s easy to understand why.

There’s No Reason to Be Excited About the New-Generation CarPlay

Android Automotive in Polestar 2Android Automotive in Polestar 2Android Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EVAndroid Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EV
Since everybody has a phone in their pocket, be it an Android device or an iPhone, and a display in the cabin has become a common feature, mirroring the mobile experience behind the wheel is something that isn’t only helpful but also makes a lot of sense.

This is why both Google and Apple are investing hard on this front, and Android Auto and CarPlay are occasionally receiving major improvements (OK, maybe not at the pace that users would like to see, but new features are still going live every once in a while).

The most recent announcement on this front comes from Apple.

The Cupertino-based tech giant announced at the WWDC conference earlier this week what it described as the “new-generation CarPlay.

While many might be tempted to believe that CarPlay is finally getting an overhaul in their car, well, this isn’t happening. CarPlay as we know it won’t be part of this transformation, with Apple focusing entirely on a new version that’s not as exciting as it sounds.

There are several reasons why the new-generation CarPlay isn’t necessarily the big news that Apple makes it looks like it is. And certainly not as innovative as it appears to be.

First and foremost, everything this new CarPlay version is supposed to bring is already available in Android Automotive. In fact, Apple’s new software seems to follow in the footsteps of Android Automotive, with the same concept, approach, and feature lineup likely to be offered as well.

Android Auto is Google’s evolved version of Android Auto. Just like Apple’s new-generation CarPlay is an evolved version of the current software, that is.

It’s pre-installed in new cars as a full operating system powering the entire experience behind the wheel. Just like, you’ve guessed it right, Apple’s upcoming CarPlay overhaul.

Android Automotive also benefits from deeper integration at the vehicle level, therefore getting access to climate controls, media playback, battery information, and so on. Once again, this is exactly the goal of the upcoming CarPlay refresh as well.

So in many ways, Apple’s new-gen CarPlay is an answer to Android Automotive. Or as diehard Android fanboys claim, it’s Apple’s Android Automotive copycat.

So if you’re excited about what this new CarPlay experience promises, there’s no need to wait such a long time to get it. Android Automotive is already available today, therefore being years ahead of its rival.

Then, it will take way too long for Apple to make this new CarPlay happen. The company claims the very first cars with CarPlay pre-installed will be announced late next year. This means they will be released as MY 2024 cars, so in theory, you may not be able to drive them before the summer of 2024.

If the chip shortage isn’t over by that time (and according to Intel, this is a very likely scenario), customers could get their hands on their new cars in 2025, as the waiting times are sometimes exceeding 12 months.

In other words, while Apple’s announcement sounds like a huge deal, it’s just a project that is currently in the early phases and will take way too many years to see daylight. And by that time, Android Automotive will grow even bigger, with more and more carmakers adopting it.

The bigger question is how Apple plans to overhaul the current version of CarPlay. The company itself said at WWDC that CarPlay has become a must-have feature in new cars, as close to 8 in 10 buyers wouldn’t even consider buying a new vehicle without Apple’s system.

Unfortunately, the upcoming iOS 16, which is the biggest iPhone operating system update in a very long time, isn’t bringing much on the CarPlay front. And given CarPlay updates are tied to new operating system releases, it’s pretty clear users out there would better not hold their breaths for a major refresh.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories