Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto

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Turned  on Black GPS Monitor / Image Credit: Mike B

Smartphones have become an increasingly important part of our daily lives. It’s no surprise that we want to integrate them into our cars as well. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aim to do just that by providing a safe and seamless way for drivers to use their phones while driving. We’ll break down the differences and similarities between these two popular systems to help you decide which one is best for you.


First and foremost, it’s important to know that Apple CarPlay is only available on Apple devices, while Android Auto is only available on Android devices. This means that if you have an iPhone, you won’t be able to use Android Auto and vice versa. It’s worth noting that some car manufacturers may only offer one of these systems. Therefore, you may not have a choice in the matter depending on which car you buy.


One of the most significant differences between these two systems is their interface. Apple CarPlay has a very streamlined and intuitive interface, with large icons and easy-to-read text. It’s designed to be simple and easy to use, with all your apps and functions accessible from a single screen. Android Auto, on the other hand, has a more complex interface that’s designed to mimic the look and feel of an Android phone. It features a more extensive range of customization options, allowing you to tailor the interface to your liking. However, some users may find it a little more confusing to navigate, especially if they’re not already familiar with Android phones.

Voice Control

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer voice control, allowing you to make phone calls, send messages, and control your music without taking your hands off the wheel. However, the quality of the voice recognition varies between the two systems. Apple’s Siri is widely regarded as one of the best voice recognition systems on the market. Google Assistant (which powers Android Auto’s voice control), is also highly accurate as well. However, some users find that Siri is more intuitive and easier to use than Google Assistant.

Apps and Integration

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One of the most significant advantages of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is the ability to integrate your phone’s apps into your car’s infotainment system. Conveniently, both systems support a wide range of popular apps, including:

– Google Maps

– Waze

– Spotify

– Apple Music

– WhatsApp

– iMessage

However, some apps may only be available on one of these systems.

In terms of integration, Apple CarPlay has the advantage of being fully integrated into the iPhone’s operating system. This means that when you connect your iPhone to your car, you’ll be able to access all of your apps and features seamlessly, without having to switch between different screens. Android Auto, on the other hand, is a separate app that you’ll need to download from the Google Play Store. While this app integrates well with Android phones, some users may find it less seamless than Apple CarPlay.


Man in White Dress Shirt / Image Credit: cottonbro studio

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are designed to improve driver safety by minimizing distractions while driving. They achieve this by offering voice control and simplified interfaces that allow you to keep your eyes on the road. However, there are some differences in the safety features offered by these two systems. For example, Apple CarPlay offers a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode that automatically disables notifications when you’re driving, while Android Auto does not have this feature. Additionally, some users find that Apple CarPlay’s interface is easier to use while driving, which could contribute to increased safety.

The Bottom Line

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer a range of features that can improve your driving experience by integrating your smartphone with your car’s infotainment system. While both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and compatibility with your phone and car. If you’re an iPhone user, Apple CarPlay may be the more intuitive option, while Android users may prefer the more customizable interface of Android Auto.

In terms of future developments, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are constantly evolving, with new features and functionality being added all the time. For example, Apple CarPlay now supports wireless connectivity, allowing you to connect your iPhone to your car’s infotainment system without the need for cables. Android Auto also continues to add new features, such as support for Google Assistant driving mode, which provides a more personalized and contextual driving experience.

While there are some differences in terms of interface, compatibility, and functionality, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and compatibility with your phone and car. Whatever system you choose, make sure to use it safely and responsibly while driving.