Skip to main content

This small CarPlay tweak in iOS 13 makes it much easier to use

What you need to know

  • Apple added one slight change to CarPlay is iOS 13 that makes navigating between apps much easier.
  • The most recent app dock now consists of three default slots for maps, audio player and a third miscellaneous app like Phone or Messages.
  • This ensures that apps like Apple Maps or Apple Music are always easily accessible, no matter which apps you opened most recently.

Apple released iOS 13 last week adding a slew of new features. One of those new features is a completely redesigned CarPlay that adds, among other things, dual-screen support and a new side-panel view that shows off the map and audio player on the same page.

However, there is one under the radar tweak that Apple made that's making life much easier for CarPlay (opens in new tab) users.

No, it's not the ability to use your phone without changing the CarPlay display. It's the default setting of the three most recent apps on the side dock.

Apple first added the feature to make switching between apps much easier instead of having to go back to the home page to open a particular app. However, since this isn't your smartphone, there are only a select number of apps you actually use. If for some reason you swap between a second maps app or audio player, the three most recent apps could comprise of two maps app and third app you don't really need.

Thankfully, that has changed.

CarPlay

CarPlay (Image credit: Apple)

iOS 13 revamps the CarPlay most recent dock by reserving the first app solely for maps, the second app for audio players like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and the third app for miscellaneous apps like Phone, Messages, Calendar and Settings. If you swap between Apple Maps, Waze and Google Maps, only the top app will change to the maps app you last selected. The same applies to the other two apps.

The new change ensures a map and audio player app is always present when you need them, which in reality are the apps you use most when you drive. And if you take a lot of phone calls or respond to messages while driving, Apple also took this into consideration.

Apple's slight tweak could very well go unnoticed by many, but it didn't by me. I use CarPlay all the time and I can't tell you how many times, swiping between apps, I was left with three apps that weren't Spotify.

If you use CarPlay, what you think of the new dock change in iOS 13. Do you like it or miss the way it worked previously? Let us know in the comments down below.

Everything you need to know about CarPlay

1 Comment
  • So my side dock works exactly the way you describe and that is an improvement. What I'm not fond of is the panel section. Mine divides into three sections, with Maps on the largest panel, the either eta or suggestions on the right top panel, and now playing on the bottom right. I use Google maps predominately and my large maps panel seems to only display Apple Maps and Apple Map Suggestions on the right top panel, even when I'm not using them. If Google Maps is showing in the dock, I'd rather have those components on the main panels.