Apple unveiled its brand new next-generation CarPlay nearly two years ago alongside iOS 16 at WWDC 2022.
At the time, Apple hailed the original CarPlay as having "fundamentally changed the way people interact with their vehicles," stating the next generation of CarPlay would go "even further by deeply integrating with a car’s hardware."
The announcement wowed at the time, but it wasn't until nearly 18 months later that we got our first official announcement of actual cars that would feature the new iteration, and the hype has somewhat died down since. So what is Apple's next generation of CarPlay, and who will support it?
Apple next-generation CarPlay: Confirmed manufacturers
Apple has confirmed the following manufacturers are committed to supporting next-generation CarPlay:
- Land Rover
Since then, Aston Martin has announced it will support next-generation CarPlay, so we can also add it to the list.
Apple next-generation CarPlay: Supported vehicles
Only two manufacturers have announced support for next-generation CarPlay in upcoming models, Aston Martin and Porsche.
Aston Martin says it will debut the system in its 2024 DB12 coupe and the convertible DB12 Volante model.
Porsche did not specify any specific vehicle models or a time frame.
- Aston Martin DB12 coupe
- Aston Martin DB12 Volante
It appears Apple is working with manufacturers to create bespoke interfaces for their cars. Porsche's interface features a custom background wallpaper in the style of its Pepita seat pattern, while Aston Martin's will feature custom British Racing Green colors and "Handbuilt in Great Britain" wraparound text.
Apple next-generation CarPlay: Features
Apple's next-generation CarPlay features deep, system-level integration with your vehicle. That means it will allow you to control things like the climate and your radio directly via CarPlay.
It will also feature integration with certain metrics and data, such as speed, fuel level and range, temperatures, and more.
Next-generation CarPlay features different gauge cluster designs, and widgets, so you can add information like apps like Weather and Music directly to your dashboard.
It will also feature Apple Home integration, with obvious use cases such as controlling your HomeKit enabled garage door directly from your car.
Is next generation CarPlay struggling to catch on?
Part of the challenge of the new version of CarPlay is just how ambitious it is. As standard, if you plug in your iPhone at present you can listen to your music, use some of your apps, or make calls, usually with a Siri button on your steering wheel or dashboard.
As would be expected from car manufacturers, they're hesitant to allow a third party to be so tightly integrated with a customer’s vehicle — especially with a company that appears to have its sights set on building its own vehicle in the future.
With subscriptions for heated seats, improved top speed, and more, Apple’s attempts to cut in are likely proving more difficult than expected. In fact, General Motors dropped support for CarPlay in all forms back in March, forcing users into its own in-car software.
More recently, Ford unveiled its new 2024 digital experience, but this is distinctly not Apple's next-generation CarPlay. It's Ford's own native next-gen infotainment technology with regular CarPlay built-in.
All of this means that Apple is likely going to cut some deals with a bunch of car-makers, or risk rolling out its new vision for CarPlay to a smaller subset of cars. There’s definitely an argument that the car companies should leave the software to the software experts, be that Apple or Google - my 2020 Nissan’s touchscreen interface is a mess, to the point where I exclusively use CarPlay. Sure, things have undoubtedly improved since then, but with iOS CarPlay seeing regular updates, let’s hope manufacturers see the light.
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Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.
Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.
He’s also the Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.
- Stephen WarwickNews Editor