CarPlay is an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and a controller for an iOS device. It’s available on all iPhone models beginning with iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1 or later. According to Apple’s website, all major vehicle manufacturers are using CarPlay.
With iOS 13 and later, the CarPlay Dashboard brings a simpler view of the road ahead. The dashboard gives you a single place to keep track of Maps, audio controls, and Siri Suggestions, which provide easy access to things like your Calendar events. You can even use the dashboard to take control of your HomeKit accessories, like door openers.
To set up CarPlay:
- Start your car, then make sure that Siri is on.
- Connect your iPhone to your car:
- If your car supports CarPlay with a USB cable, plug your iPhone into the USB port in your car. The USB port might be labeled with a CarPlay icon or a smartphone icon. Be sure to use an Apple Lightning to USB cable.
- If your car supports CarPlay both wirelessly and with a USB cable, plug your iPhone into the USB port in your car. An alert on your iPhone will offer to connect you wirelessly on your next drives.
- If your car supports only wireless CarPlay, press and hold the voice command button on your steering wheel. Make sure that your stereo is in wireless or Bluetooth mode. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, and select your car. Check your car manual for more information.
To use Siri to control CarPlay
Depending on your car, there are two ways you can use Siri to control CarPlay:
- Press and hold the voice command button on your steering wheel. Then ask Siri a question or to do something.
- Touch and hold the CarPlay Dashboard or CarPlay Home button on your touchscreen. Then ask Siri a question or to do something.
Siri also makes suggestions in CarPlay for what you might want to do next, such as drive to your next meeting. Siri Suggestions and CarPlay work seamlessly to keep your favorite apps at your fingertips.
If you have HomeKit-enabled accessories, like a garage door opener, you can use the Siri suggestions that appear on the CarPlay Dashboard, or simply ask Siri to do things like “Open the garage door” when you get close to your house.
(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple’s support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)