Apple CarPlay: How to use iOS in your car – Advantages and compatibility

Everything around us at home is smart: your TV, your vacuum cleaner, your phone and even your fan. For this reason, there are more and more options for our car to be intelligent. One of the tools or services that allow it is Apple CarPlay, an Apple standard so that we can link the mobile to our car and control all kinds of functions.

In the next paragraphs we explain everything you need to know if you want to know how Apple CarPlay is used , what it allows or in which cars and phones are compatible with this service that allows us to concentrate on the road avoiding distractions at the wheel.

Apple CarPlay: How to use iOS in your car

What is it and what is it for

Apple CarPlay is a service that allows us to link the mobile phone to the car to make the vehicle more intelligent. We can ask him to read our messages, use Siri to ask him for a song or know the tasks of the day. We have all the possible options without taking our hands off the wheel or taking our eyes off the road in this alternative to Android Auto for Apple-branded mobiles and users of the apple application ecosystem.

There are several options to control it: using the controls of the car itself to move through the menus, through the touch screen that your vehicle incorporates or using Siri if we want voice control of all the services.

control Apple CarPlay

As it describes itself: “CarPlay is the smarter, safer way to use iPhone while driving. Receive directions, make calls, message and enjoy your music. All from the dashboard of your car. Also, there are now new categories of apps and custom wallpapers for the CarPlay dashboard.”

We can have all kinds of functions and services but it also allows us to open some car models or we can “transfer” the power to family or friends if we are going to lend the vehicle to someone. Not all iPhone models allow you to open the car with the phone in all cars allow it to be done but it is one of the most interesting features of CarPlay.

What it allows: Features and services

What does Apple CarPlay allow us and what are some of the functions that we can have if we install this option in the car by linking it to the mobile phone? We can use it as a browser, to read messages and calls, to check the calendar or to request songs from the Siri assistant.

  • maps

We can use the Apple Maps application to go anywhere. Regardless of the GPS your vehicle has, we can use the Maps app where we will receive turn-by-turn voice directions, 3D views or directions that will allow us to find a gas station or get home.


  • phone and messages

It allows us to listen to voice messages thanks to Siri or allows us to make calls from the phone without having to take our hands off the wheel. We can also send audio messages with Siri from iOS and CarPlay or we can ask her to read all received messages to us.


  • Music

One of the essential options is that we can control the music from the service. We can use Apple Music but also other compatible audio apps thanks to the car’s integrated controls. We can ask Siri to play us a specific album, a song, a record. And there are more than 100,000 radio stations in addition to your songs or lists.


  • Calendar

Knowing what appointments you have today or knowing what meetings are on when you are on your way to work is one of the advantages of using Apple CarPlay. The service will tell us what we have to do and at what time. Or we can even join an online meeting while we are in the car and we have to talk.


Applications compatible with the service

Beyond the services or advantages that CarPlay has, there are many applications that are compatible and that we can use. As they explain from their own website: “CarPlay is compatible with other iPhone music, message and voice apps, and also with third-party applications for parking, charging electric vehicles or ordering food at home. In addition, it supports apps from car manufacturers, so you can control other features of your car without leaving CarPlay.

What are some of those apps? Apple Podcasts, Apple Audiobooks, WhatsApp, Spotify, ChargePoint, Plugshare, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Radio FM Spain, Tidal, Waze, YouTube, Amazon Music, Overcast, Audible, VOX, Downcast, Google Maps, Sygic GPS Navigator and Maps, TomTom, Waze…

As you can see, messaging applications, alternative navigation applications to Apple Maps or even apps to listen to audiobooks.

carplay apps

Requirements and compatibility

Can all cars use Apple CarPlay? Can we use it from any mobile phone we have? What are the compatible models?

Compatibility with iPhone models

Apple CarPlay is compatible with most apple brand phones. We cannot use it from Android, you must take it into account. Currently, we can use it on most Apple smartphones. Of course, not all are compatible with all CarPlay functions. For example, not all iPhones will allow us to open the car with the smartphone.

  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 ProMax
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 ProMax
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12mini
  • iPhone 11Pro
  • iPhone 11 ProMax
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6sPlus
  • Iphone 6
  • iPhone 6Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • Iphone 5s
  • Iphone 5c
  • iPhone 5


Vehicle Compatibility

In which cars can we use Apple CarPlay? There are more than 600 models that allow you to use this service to have an intelligent vehicle. From premium brands on the market to popular brands for all users.

Some of the brands that allow Apple CarPlay in their models are Audi, Citroen, Acura, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ford, Fiat, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Mini, Mitsubishi Motors, Peugeot, Opel, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Subaru, Suzuki, TATA, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo… To consult all the models that are compatible from any manufacturer, we must go to the web Apple CarPlay compatibility.


Also, we have to bear in mind that if we don’t have a compatible car but we want to have CarPlay, we have the option to do so by installing compatible equipment. We can install equipment from brands such as Alpine, Blaupunkt, Clarion, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer and Sony.

equipos Apple CarPlay