Apple CarPlay is a system that allows your phone to interface with a car’s built-in infotainment system. Effectively, Apple CarPlay takes over the display and creates a second home for a limited selection of iPhone capabilities so you have access to them without using the phone itself. In many vehicles CarPlay will used a wired connection between the car and iPhone, but some cars are supporting wireless connections.
CarPlay offers simple features like navigation through Apple Maps, music through iTunes and hands-free calling. It even allows texting, sending messages through dictation and reading received messages aloud. Beyond that, it has a number of supported apps, most of which are focused on audio entertainment, such as Audible, Pandora, Spotify and more. You can see more supported apps here.
Android Auto is fairly similar in nature to CarPlay. It pumps a small portion of an Android phone’s functionality into a car’s built-in infotainment system. It turns the infotainment system display into a second screen for your phone with bigger buttons for easier touch navigation and a simplified Google Now-like user interface. It also supports voice controls.
Android Auto also lets users run a number of supported apps for a more pleasant ride. Music mainstays like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio are naturally on the list, but it also includes a nice variety of audiobook apps like LibriVox and OverDrive. The selection of apps supported by Android Auto is noticeably larger than Apple CarPlay, with alternate messaging and apps like Facebook’s Messenger and Skype as well as alternate navigation via Waze allowed. Here’s a full list of supported apps
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