16 Cool CarPlay Tips and Tricks Every Driver Should Try

Get ready to delve deeper into Apple CarPlay, an exceptional in-car technology that redefines your on-road experience. For those already familiar with CarPlay, you appreciate the convenience it provides, from intuitive navigation to real-time traffic alerts. But, are you aware of the wealth of additional features just waiting to be explored?

In this enlightening guide, we’re excited to share ten exceptional tips and tricks designed to expand your CarPlay proficiency. You’ll discover how to diminish distractions with Focus Mode and enjoy hands-off communication through Siri, among other advanced features. Prepare to uncover the full potential of Apple CarPlay and boost your driving experience to unparalleled levels.

If your car has Apple CarPlay, you probably can’t imagine hitting the road without it. Apple CarPlay not connecting can only lead to losing focus and access to invaluable apps, information, and navigation tools.

But if you’re only using Apple CarPlay to listen to music, see real-time traffic information, and get directions, you’re missing out. Check out these 16 cool ways CarPlay can take your driving experience and car interior to the next level.

1. Eliminate Distractions With Focus Mode


When working, studying, or sleeping, iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature is a lifesaver. For driving, this role belongs to Apple’s Focus mode. Enable this mode, and no calls, messages, or other notifications will go through while driving. Of course, you can tweak the settings to make an exception for specific people. As for others, you can set up an automated message letting them know you’re driving.

2. Get All the Crucial Details

CarPlay can do much more than give you simple driving directions. With the upgraded maps, you can also see the speed limit, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and 3D models of surrounding buildings and businesses when navigating a route. If navigation isn’t your strongest suit, you can also receive turn-by-turn directions, which are significantly more precise.

3. Never Lose Visual Contact

Apple CarPlay has two appearance modes: light and dark. Set your device to automatic switching, and your CarPlay will switch between the modes depending on the outside driving conditions. Are you driving at night or through a tunnel? CarPlay will switch to dark mode to avoid blinding you. The same goes for driving when it’s light out when the light mode is in full effect.

4. Take Advantage of the Dashboard View

Until recently, you could only view one app at a time while driving. So, using your Maps and Music player simultaneously called for switching back and forth between them, which isn’t ideal for when you’re driving. With the dashboard view, however, you can see several apps at once and even split the screen between a few. No more bouncing back and forth between the apps and losing focus.

5. Enjoy Hands-Free Communication


If you don’t want to get distracted but still need to make calls or send messages while driving, you can use Siri to control CarPlay. Say something like, “Hey Siri, please send an audio message to [the recipient’s name],” and record your message. Siri can also share your ETA with the person or people you’re meeting. You only need to say something like, “Hey Siri, share my ETA with [the name of the person you’re meeting].”

6. Charge Up in No Time

If you’re driving an electric vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that CarPlay can help you find the nearest charging station in a few clicks. Just type in “EV chargers” in the Apple Maps search bar, follow the provided directions and charge up.

7. Never Forget Where You Parked

Let’s be honest – we’ve all forgotten where we parked at least once. With CarPlay, you don’t have to focus so hard on remembering the surrounding area or taking a photo of it. You only need to launch Apple Maps and look for the parked car icon. Tap it, and you’ll receive precise directions on returning to your vehicle.

8. Expand Your App Library

Apple has been gradually increasing the number of apps it supports through CarPlay. So, make sure to check for new additions occasionally and add your favorites to the display using CarPlay’s settings. For instance, you can switch from Apple Maps to Google Maps or Waze if these navigation maps are more to your liking. You can also add various parking and food delivery apps to your display for a more convenient and personalized driving experience.

9. Feel Free to Multitask


CarPlay used to be directly connected to your iPhone, meaning it would mirror whichever app was opened on it. Did a car passenger launch the Music app on your phone? Say goodbye to navigation on CarPlay! Luckily, Apple changed this, so don’t be afraid to multitask in the car (as long as it doesn’t distract you from driving).

10. Jazz Up Your Wallpaper

Not every CarPlay trick has to do with functionality. This one, for example, allows you to customize your CarPlay wallpaper and make it reflect your unique taste a bit more.

11. Use Siri for Music Selection

One of the most valuable features of Apple CarPlay is its seamless integration with Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. When it comes to music selection, Siri becomes your ultimate co-pilot, enabling you to keep your hands firmly on the wheel while navigating your favorite tunes. By simply activating Siri with a voice command, you can instruct it to play specific songs, artists, albums, or playlists from your music library. Whether you’re in the mood for some classic rock or soothing jazz, Siri can swiftly cater to your musical cravings, ensuring a delightful and personalized listening experience on the road.

12. Get Weather Updates

Staying informed about weather conditions is vital for safe and prepared driving. With Apple CarPlay’s weather apps, you can receive real-time weather updates without hassle. Before embarking on your journey, simply access the weather app through CarPlay, and you’ll have access to essential information such as current temperature, precipitation forecasts, and weather alerts. By knowing what lies ahead weather-wise, you can adjust your driving plans accordingly, anticipate challenging road conditions, and plan for potential detours, making for a safer and smoother trip.

13. Send and Receive Payments

In today’s digital world, the ability to manage financial transactions on the go is a game-changer. Apple CarPlay’s support for payment apps allows you to send and receive payments effortlessly. Whether you need to split the bill at a restaurant, reimburse a friend for gas money, or pay for a parking spot, CarPlay can facilitate secure and convenient transactions while you focus on driving. Utilizing this feature, you can seamlessly handle financial matters without juggling devices or risking distraction, ensuring a smooth and efficient journey.

14. Use Voice Search for Navigation

Navigating to unfamiliar destinations can be challenging, especially when you’re on the road. With Apple CarPlay’s voice search functionality, getting directions is now a breeze. Instead of fumbling with the keyboard, simply activate Siri and provide the address or location you want to reach. CarPlay will promptly process your voice command and generate the best route for you. This hands-free approach to navigation enhances safety and minimizes distractions, allowing you to stay focused on the road while obtaining precise and reliable directions to your destination.

The Ultimate Driving Companion

As you can see, Apple CarPlay checks all the boxes for the ultimate driving companion. It guarantees a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Discover all the ways CarPlay can help you stay connected, informed, and entertained while keeping your focus on the road ahead.

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