For years there's been this growing sentiment among smartphone users who have to drive on a regular basis, and that sentiment usually involved being able to just dock your phone in the car and use the larger screen in the dash to use the things your phone already does very well. As cool as it would be for the infotainment center in the car to just be the receptacle for our phones, many of these in-dash systems do a lot more than what we've seen from CarPlay so far. As a result, at CES this year, we saw several systems where the smartphone bits are treated like an app on a larger system.

A perfect example of this is the new Pioneer systems, much like the one we have a hands on with, which have their own UI and features independent of a connected smartphone. Who knows, maybe in future versions of CarPlay we'll see separate apps that control all of the car functions and there is no underlying system to speak of.