If you’re interested in learning more about the top Apple CarPlay apps, you are one of the lucky ones! Either your car has come with Apple CarPlay built-in or you have decided to splash out on the installation. You have followed the incredibly simple set up and now your iPhone interface appears on your car’s display.
You have probably managed to get the basics up and running, but you are ready to learn more about the top Apple CarPlay apps. We suggest you keep reading. As with any new technology, there is normally a wife or kids desperate to get their sticky fingers on your new toy.
When people talk about the best Apple CarPlay apps, your mind is going to jump straight to the best apps that you may already be using on your iPhone.
Top CarPlay apps
There is no denying that WhatsApp is the best communication app full stop, whether you are on your phone or in your car. Google Maps is the default navigation app for most people, regardless of their operating system.
Everybody’s list is going to include WhatsApp and Google Maps as the best Apple CarPlay 3rd party apps. And for good reason. WhatsApp allows you to send text messages and make phone calls with the help of Siri, your messages will be read to you and you can reply with a voice command.
The default navigation app is the Apple Maps, and although we love Apple dearly, Google Maps does have the edge. Now that Apple has allowed Google Maps to be controlled via Siri and voice commands, it is at the top of the list.
Now, we’ll take a look at the top CarPlay apps that aren’t quite so obvious.
To begin the list, it makes sense to start with Apple CarPlay Spotify. Spotify is one of the most popular music apps regardless of whether you use CarPlay and it is one of the top Apple CarPlay apps.
With the Spotify app, you can listen to a ton of songs, albums, and podcasts for free. You can create your own playlists and then share them with friends and family. There are millions of songs to listen to from artists all over the world.
There is a free version of Spotify and a premium subscription if you want to remove the adverts and get extra functionalities. In some countries, students can get a discount too.
By using Spotify Everywhere, you can see if your car has Spotify as a built in-app. If not, you can download it from the App Store and once you connect your iPhone to your car via USB, you can use Spotify either from the dashboard, the steering wheel controls, and voice commands with Siri.
Although not as well heard of, Vox has been around for a while and is an excellent music service that you can use to manage your music and sync with the cloud. As an all-in-one music player, you can access iTunes, Sound Cloud, Spotify, and high-resolution audio formats from your playlists. You will also be able to access over 30,000 radio stations worldwide.
It’s really easy to manage your music from your Mac wirelessly and have it all ready for you on your CarPlay dashboard. Now, you can pull up even your FLAC files. To use Vox with CarPlay, you will need to upgrade to the premium version for $4.99 a month (at the date of this review), but this is well worth it for such amazing quality music.
For the ultimate CarPlay radio app, we have iHeart. You might not have the same access to songs as Spotify or YouTube Music, but you do a lot more in other areas. iHeart lets you listen to thousands of FM and AM radio stations so you can tune in to local or national, or world news stations, weather reports, sports updates, even comedy interviews.
Apart from the radio stations, iHeart is the number 1 podcast app with podcasts from all of the famous contributors and a Top 100 Podcast chart to keep you updated.
IHeart is free with some premium version if you want to unlock extra features. You will be able to use Siri and voice commands to control this music app.
Some of those long trips and daily commutes require a little more than music. Audible has the world’s largest collection of audiobooks. For many of us, we don’t have the time to catch up on the best sellers and the car is a great way to do so. You can choose from a massive range of categories from kid’s books to horror, mindfulness to romance.
The app supports multiple languages and your audiobooks library will automatically sync across your devices. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you will have Audible included. If not, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial, sample audiobooks, and then pay for the ones you like, or pay a monthly subscription.
This is one of the best Apple CarPlay compatible apps for audiobooks.
Waze is another app owned by Google but it is compatible with every iPhone and car that supports CarPlay. Some will consider it the best CarPlay Navigation because of the larger community behind it.
Instead of only relying on satellite images for traffic updates, the Waze community frequently posts images to inform other users. Your car’s dashboard will show you your route, ETA, and police alerts.
Waze supports Siri, so there is no need to take your hands off the wheel. There is also an option to listen to your favorite music straight through Waze. As it’s completely free, it really is one of the best CarPlay navigation apps.
New to the market last year, TomTom Go is a solid alternative to Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze. It has the usual route planning, real-time traffic updates, and speed camera warnings but then a couple of additional features that stuck out.
We liked how there are multiple voices that you can choose from to guide you. And, we found the moving lane feature quite handy – a gentle reminder of which lane is yours at a junction.
It is free but there seem to be a few kinks that need to be ironed out when it comes to using Siri.
We can see how some are turning their nose up while others are probably thinking, please, no more Disney. But, let’s face it, the magic of Disney will help at on those long car journeys. It is one of the CarPlay best apps for kids.
With Radio Disney, families can sing along to some of the classics, listen to interviews, and other child-friendly content. We all know that if the kids are entertained, that long journey becomes much easier.
It is true that CarPlay is lacking a little when it comes to third-party apps for communication. After WhatsApp, one of the best is Zoom. Zoom’s popularity has shot up since the latest health crisis and is being used for personal and business conference calling.
Via the CarPlay display, you can make Zoom calls, accept invitations to join meetings, and mute calls. Say “Hey Siri” to activate voice commands or use the screen on your infotainment system to search for contacts.
With Apple CarPlay, Zoom is limited for safety reasons. You will only be able to make and receive calls, not videos. Having half of the office on your display would be distracting.
It’s not easy choosing a handful of CarPlay compatible apps when there is a big CarPlay apps list. On top of the Apple CarPlay 3rd party apps we have mentioned, you still have all of your favorite built-in Apple apps like iBook Audiobooks and Apple’s calendar app for the organisation.
Our top Apple CarPlay apps list has a little bit of everything to keep all of the passengers entertained, sane, and safe!
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