Apple CarPlay

Upgrade With An Apple CarPlay Installation

While an upgraded car radio can benefit your car’s sound system, navigating the interface might be less than ideal. For years, we have grown accustomed to interacting with our smartphones, a device with decades of research and development and a responsive output. However, for most audio companies, delivering a good sound is the primary goal, while the user interface takes a back seat.

Boston drivers can install a CarPlay radio system for the best of both worlds. This allows the high-quality audio of an aftermarket radio to be controlled by the intuitive and refined UI  of Apple’s iOS.

What Is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay combines your radio and iPhone to allow for the distraction-free use of your smartphone. Since many of us have grown accustomed to the look and feel of our smartphones, Apple CarPlay transplants that experience into your car. You’ll no longer have to waste time learning a new operating system and can instead use a system that closely resembles the iOS experience. 

However, Apple CarPlay does not simply mirror your iPhone’s screen. The UI on your CarPlay radio is uniquely designed to take advantage of the different screens and use cases. Presented will be two rows of apps that are much larger than what is found on your iPhone, allowing easier access while driving. Many input methods include voice commands with  Siri, touchscreen, or physical buttons.

Voice commands highlight the system, allowing you to use the system hands-free. The single interface can do everything from navigation to making phone calls.


How to Use Apple CarPlay

Your first step is to have a new stereo with Apple CarPlay installed. From there, Apple CarPlay supports any iPhone more recent than the iPhone 5. As such, if you own any iPhone made in the past ten years, you should be able to use CarPlay.

Depending on the Apple CarPlay stereo installed, you have two ways to connect your phone to your car. Most aftermarket radios will allow for wireless Apple CarPlay with Bluetooth. However, some options do not have this ability and will limit you to wired CarPlay. In this case, you’ll need to connect your phone to your radio’s USB port.

Auto working is to ensure that your smartphone runs Android 8.0 or above. If you own an Android phone made after 2017, chances are that it’s compatible. 

Depending on the model of your car’s entertainment system, you will either have to connect via a wire or Bluetooth. A wired connection involves plugging your Android phone into the USB port found on your car’s radio. A wireless connection will allow you to connect your phone with Bluetooth.

Wireless Carplay

Fortunately, you don’t need to replace your radio to use wireless Apple CarPlay. With the addition of a wireless Apple CarPlay adapter, you’ll be able to experience CarPlay wirelessly. As an intuitive system, you plug the adapter into one of your USB ports and connect your phone via Bluetooth.

Apple CarPlay Apps

While Apple offers essential apps for driving, you can’t just use any app on your iPhone. Games and video streaming is off-limits as they are too great of a distraction while driving. However, since the available apps are limited, they have all been perfectly optimized for the CarPlay system, meaning there should be no usability issues.

It won’t be surprising to know that most Apple default apps are here. However, there is a selection of third-party apps available as well. Multiple apps can remain open simultaneously, such as having the navigation next to your music streaming app or a phone call.


Navigation is undoubtedly one of the most used aspects of Apple CarPlay. We have become accustomed to how Google Maps and Apple Maps present information. 

While Apple Maps is the default navigation app, there is no shortage of options. Popular GPS apps such as Google Maps and Waze are available alongside international options such as NAVER Map and 2GIS.

If you have an electric car, Apple CarPlay also offers ChargePoint and PlugShare. These apps catalog available charging stations and can navigate you to them.

With Apple Carplay, you’ll be able to use the default iPhone call and messaging apps. CarPlay also integrates with WhatsApp, LINE, and Telegram if you prefer other messaging apps. Siri can read your texts out loud and respond via voice commands, allowing you to carry on text conversations without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.



Whether you need music or podcasts to bump your car’s new subwoofers, there are plenty of audio streaming apps compatible with Apple CarPlay. You, of course, can use the default Podcasts and Apple Music apps.

For music, you can use apps like Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Radio Disney, Tidal, SiriusXMRadio, and LiveXLive.

For audiobooks and podcasts, Carplay offers Audible, Stitcher, Downcast, NPR One, and Vox. The MLB app is also available if you are a baseball fan, allowing you to listen to your favorite team’s radio feed.

A helpful feature within the system is the Now Playing app. This will monitor all your streaming services and give you detailed information about whatever is playing at the tap of a button.

You can access your iPhone’s calendar to keep track of your busy schedule. If something comes up, your car’s entertainment center will notify you. 



Apple’s shortcuts app allows for various automation related to CarPlay. For instance, after entering the vehicle and telling Siri to “Navigate Home,” the system can set up the route for your house, start your favorite radio station, and set your phone to Do Not Disturb. These automatons are highly customizable and can be set to do exactly what you need.

Choosing An Apple CarPlay Radio

When looking for the best Apple CarPlay radio to install, it’s important to note that all of them will have the same CarPlay features. The only difference will be in the connection. You’ll either have a wired connection or the ability to connect via Bluetooth. 

As such, you should look at the features tied to the radio itself to figure out which is best for you. To take full advantage of Apple CarPlay, your radio should have a large touchscreen display. Depending on the radio’s form factor, this screen will either embed in your dashboard or stick out.

Chances are good that any CarPlay-equipped car radio will be relatively well stocked with extra features, such as inputs for your car’s backup camera. While video streaming apps aren’t allowed with Apple CarPlay, if you find a radio that can play DVDs, you’ll be able to play movies while parked. 

Aside from features, it doesn’t hurt to look at the technical specifications. The power output of your radio is essential, and it should be compatible with your car’s speakers. Additionally, if your sound system includes a subwoofer, ensure your radio comes with the necessary ports to install an amplifier

Get An Apple CarPlay Installed Today

Any Boston driver’s commute will improve with an Apple CarPlay install. Our trained team at ProCarSound&Security can get the job done right and even advise you on what CarPlay radio is best for your vehicle. 

If you have any questions or want to schedule an installation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.