Apple CarPlay will finally let you 'pass the AUX' with iOS 17 later this year

Shareplay in car
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple CarPlay has long been one of the best things about using the iPhone while driving. It puts your apps on your car's big touchscreen and it's great for choosing and listening to music. But it has one problem.

Back in the day, people used to choose music by plugging their phone into their car using an AUX cord and then swap that cord around when someone else wanted to play DJ. CarPlay complicated that because it meant taking over the entire display — a problem if you were also using Google Maps for navigation.

Thankfully, iOS 17 is going to fix all of that when it comes to the iPhone later this fall — and it's all thanks to SharePlay.

Pass the ... SharePlay

Apple announced the new CarPlay improvement as part of the wider iOS 17 preview at WWDC 2023, and it's a big one for people who go on car journeys with others.

It all seems pretty simple, really. One master iPhone connects to CarPlay as normal, but all other iPhones in the car will also then be able to connect via SharePlay and take over music-streaming duties. Music playback controls will also be available, too.

We have to imagine that the feature will work with all apps that offer SharePlay support, so you shouldn't be limited to just Apple Music. That's something we might have to wait a little while to get confirmed, and if new updates to existing music streaming apps are required we can only hope they'll arrive quickly.

The iOS 17 update was announced alongside software updates for the Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iPad and is now available in developer beta. The public is unlikely to be able to use any of those updates until around September time, however.

Apple is also expected to ship its best iPhones yet, the iPhone 15 lineup, around the same time. The iOS 17 software will be preinstalled on those handsets when they go on sale, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • scruffypig
    I have never used an “aux cable” to connect my phone to my car radio ever in my life, now or back in the day.