Apple’s CarPlay has come a long way since it launched almost a decade ago with support showing up from a plethora of car makers and more developers enabling Apple CarPlay apps.
With such a wide library of apps to pick from, which one should you have installed on your car’s infotainment system?
Here are seven of our favourites.
Best Apple CarPlay Apps For Your Next Ride
iHeartRadio is a great app that combines the best of radio with the features of an on-demand music streaming service that users have come to expect. The free internet radio service offers both live radio stations and custom stations tailored to a user’s music tastes so you can just select your listening mood and go. Best of all, custom radio stations are completely commercial free!
iHeartRadio offers live streaming of stations from around the country to anywhere you might be meaning you can stream Sydney’s The Edge 96.1 while holidaying in Melbourne or listen to Brisbane’s B105 while on a work trip in South Australia.
Whether you’re listening to a live local radio station or a custom-built one, you can use iHeartRadio’s like and dislike buttons which are easily accessible from the CarPlay interface to indicate what you think about a particular song. For a live radio station like Triple J, this will provide valuable feedback for what’s hot and what’s not.
Why limit yourself to local radio when you can listen to over 100,000 radio stations from around the world? TuneIn Radio delivers quick access to all your favourites and the clean interface makes it effortless to search by country and city – a key pick in any Apple CarPlay apps arsenal.
Recently TuneIn partnered up with iHeartMedia so you can listen to many of your local favourites from iHeartRadio within TuneIn as well.
Hands down the best podcast app out there, Pocket Casts will keep you listening to your favourite podcasts while on the road or help you find your next obsession with the company’s smartly curated podcast recommendation system. All the great features you love from the iPhone version of the app are here such as the advanced playback controls that automatically skip through any pauses or silence in the podcast you’re listening to.
Plugshare has arguably the most accurate electric vehicle and Tesla charging station map on the market thanks to a vibrant EV driver community that regularly contributes reviews and photos of public charging stations. Easily filter the EV map by plug type and charging speed so you can make sure the charging station is compatible with your car model before you pull up. You can also tailor your route based around the locations of public chargers which makes trip planning for those long road trips much easier.
In short, if you have an EV then PlugShare is a must have.
Download PlugShare and find your next charging spot.
Apple Maps is available through CarPlay by default but the king of navigation is still Google Maps and it comes complete with live traffic and automated rerouting to avoid heavy traffic. Google Maps has also been updated recently to appear in the new dashboard view of CarPlay so you can have your navigation map running alongside music controls and the phone dialer.
If you’re looking for more fun voice options, check out Google-owned Waze which allows you to have your turn by turn directions delivered by the likes of Morgan Freeman.
Download Google Maps and find your next destination.
Zoom Cloud Meetings or Cisco Webex Meetings
Stay on top of meetings even while behind the wheel with Zoom for CarPlay. Effortlessly join or host meetings and even mute yourself which might be handy if your car’s mic quality isn’t great or has a tendency to pick up too much background noise.
If your workplace uses Cisco Webex then that is also available on CarPlay. While it had some issues early on, the app received a major update recently that puts it on par with Zoom in terms of features including the ability to ask Siri to join your next meeting.
Jumping into the car doesn’t mean you have to stop chatting with your WhatsApp groups. WhatsApp was the first major third-party messaging app to support Apple’s CarPlay and throughout the years it has received numerous updates to make it the go to communication app for CarPlay.
Notifications come through to the CarPlay home screen just as they do with iMessages, appearing briefly at the top of the screen to show you which contact or group chat they are from. You can also use Siri to read out incoming messages and dictate replies or you can save them for later if you’d rather your passengers didn’t hear about what your friend has got up to on the weekend.
Download WhatsApp on the app store.
To see if your car would support any of these Apple CarPlay apps, check if your model supports it.