Tech - September 2016

Apple Carplay Gives A New Meaning To Hands-Free

The number of people using their phones while driving is ever increasing, whether it’s taking calls, sending a Whatsapp or even recording a Snapchat. This is not good, but unfortunately, it will never be completely stopped. Since we use our devices all the time, when we step into our cars, it has become second nature to carry on using our phones for whatever reason. Cars have also become easier to drive nowadays and in a sense require less attention from the driver, due to various driver aids. These factors make using a device while driving something more difficult stop. We have all heard the saying,“If you can’t beat them, join them”. Apple has adopted this phrase with their new CarPlay feature in IOS 9. Apple says that Car-Play is a smarter and safer way to use your iPhone in the car. How so?

How does Apple CarPlay work?

Apple CarPlay takes the features you want to use while driving and puts them into your car display. Not every app is supported, but things like Maps, Phone, Messages and Music are all available in an IOS Style layout. CarPlay even allows you to use the knobs, dials and buttons in your vehicle for ease of use of the application. Siri is also available to control functions, so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road. You can even have your messages read out aloud, and you can reply using your voice.

Other available apps included in CarPlay are podcasts, audio books, Spotify and other internet radio applications. Social media apps are not currently supported, maybe they will introduce Facebook and Twitter updates through Siri at some point, but we can’t imagine Instagram ever getting compatibility. The whole point here is to help you keep your eyes on the road, and since Instagram is an image-based app, it’s probably not going to happen.

Well done to Apple for trying to come up with a solution for a problem that causes many unneeded deaths every year. Obviously, the best option is to have no phone at all while driving but that unlikely for many. This system merges the two worlds between your phone and your infotainment system, which is better than a simple hands-free system because it stops you from looking down and engaging with your cell phone.

How to connect with Apple CarPlay?

The connection is very easy, simply plug in your iPhone to the USB port or connect via Bluetooth. Head over to “Settings” – “General” and press the “CarPlay” option, and voila, your car and IOS are now one flesh. So how do you know if your car is supported? See the image below to see if your vehicle is part of the supported list.  If it’s not, you may also have support if you use an Alpine, Kenwood or Pioneer after-market System.

Remember guys as handy as these systems are, the best distraction is no distraction. Situations on the road can change in a split second, so keeping your phone off and keeping your eyes where they belong is always the best option. Travel safe and Happy Tech Tuesday.