Ford unveils answer to next-generation CarPlay, but it still includes one new feature iPhone users will love

Ford new digital experience
(Image credit: Ford)

Ford has unveiled its answer to Apple’s next-generation CarPlay with its own new Digital Experience, and while it might not be fully-fledged support for Apple’s latest in automotive iPhone connectivity, it does at least come with new support for Apple’s dual-screen feature, specifically for Apple Maps.  

Ford’s “all-new Ford and Lincoln Digital Experience” will let customers access their digital lives through a “new integrated native experience” that also includes support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The company says the new infotainment system will turn customer vehicles into a “personalized experience” from the moment they enter the vehicle and will feature access to apps for music, audiobooks, podcasts, radio, movies, TV shows, and gaming, the latter three while parked, of course. 

Ford’s answer to next-generation CarPlay

The first example of Ford’s new offering is a 48-inch immersive panoramic display in the 2024 Lincoln Nautilus, which is somewhat reminiscent of Apple’s next-generation CarPlay, unveiled as part of iOS 16 in 2022. Generic renderings of next-generation CarPlay show an extensive CarPlay interface on a panoramic display, with support for instrument gauge clusters, widgets, and more. 

Following in the footsteps of GM, Ford is focusing on its own native infotainment rather than giving Apple the floor with next-generation CarPlay. However, unlike GM, Ford is not ditching CarPlay altogether and has included support for it in this new offering. As 9to5Mac reports, one new addition for iPhone users is support for Apple’s dual-screen CarPlay feature. Dual-screen hasn’t really taken off with carmakers, but 9to5 notes that in the Nautilus at least, “the second-screen Apple Maps interface takes the place of the built-in Google Maps interface in the car’s panoramic display” and sits seamlessly within the Lincoln’s native design and interface. 

According to the report, Ford said it had nothing to announce at this time regarding next-generation CarPlay but “emphasized… that it very much values its partnership with Apple” and is committed to keeping CarPlay in its vehicles. 

Only Porsche and Aston Martin have confirmed they will release vehicles with next-generation CarPlay, starting this year.  

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9