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Android Auto Vs Apple CarPlay – Which One Best For Your Car?

Nowadays, it is impossible to go anywhere without a portable source of entertainment. Whether you are in public transport, or a private vehicle, you will surely find yourself going through your phone to check new updates on your social media platform, looking for the latest album releases from your favorite artists, or at least opening up the maps for navigation. But as you may already know, using a smartphone is very risky, and one should avoid that at all costs. And for that, both Apple and Android smartphones have really great alternative options.

We are talking about Android Auto for android connectivity and Apple CarPlay for Apple devices. Both of these options are highly popular with their respective user base. So often you will often find these groups arguing about which service has better features and offers more comfort to the user. Therefore, we are going to take a look at both of these options in depth and try to find a conclusion to this debate.

But before that, let us first understand both options in detail and check out what they offer.

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto is a service developed by Google that allows users to integrate their Android smartphones with their car’s dashboard display, providing a safer and more convenient way to use their phone while driving. Android Auto enables users to directly access almost all smartphone features on their dashboard, such as navigation, music playback, messaging, and even phone calls through the car’s infotainment system. This gives users a completely hands-free experience, making it safer to use on the road.

Once you connect your Android smartphone to your car via USB cable or Bluetooth, Android Auto automatically launches on the car’s display and presents a simplified interface designed to minimize driver distraction. Users can also use voice commands or the touchscreen to control their phone’s functions, and the app can read messages aloud via the ease-of-accessibility options and respond to them via voice commands to help drivers keep their eyes on the road.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is also a similar service developed by Apple that allows users to integrate their iPhone or any other Apple device with their car’s entertainment system, allowing you to use your smartphone and all of its features without needing physical access to the device. Like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay also focuses on minimizing distractions by providing a simplified interface on the car’s display. So unlike your smartphone’s UI, there will be fewer steps needed to access any application or service, and the UI will be larger for better visibility.

To use the Apple CarPlay, you just need to connect your Apple smartphone to your car’s system either via a USB cable or via Bluetooth for a wireless connection. Once you do that, Apple CarPlay will automatically launch on the car’s digital display, and you can access a variety of essential features right away. If you own an iPhone operating on iOS version 7.1 or above, you can use the Apple CarPlay service.

What are the Differences Between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

Now that you have a basic idea about both of these options, you must have noticed that the range of features available on both of these services is somewhat similar. At the end of the day, both of these options are basically designed to minimize users’ smartphone interaction and integrate hands-free access into your car’s infotainment system. However, we can assure you that it is not the case, and you will notice a lot of differences in these services when you verify each and every essential feature in depth.

So, we will compare Android Auto and Apple CarPlay services based on these features. But before that, let us first look at some of the most crucial features you would want on your hands-free infotainment system and why these features are necessary in the first place. Here, we will discuss some essential features like the AI Voice assistance, user interface, navigation system, calling support, entertainment options, etc.

1. Voice Assistant

The most important feature that you will certainly find helpful in your day-to-day life is the support for voice assistance. Even on your smartphone, you must have been familiar with, or more likely dependent on the voice assistance feature so far. With new OS versions, voice assistance has been upgraded a lot, and now these services are capable of handling much more detailed instructions and commands.

Fortunately, both of these services feature voice assistance, making your driving experience much simpler and safer. Google’s android auto utilizes the Google assistant for this functionality, whereas the CarPlay service uses Siri to handle voice commands. With both of these options, you will get similar functionality and results that you find on your smartphone, making it possible to directly ask the voice assistant to call a contact, find the nearest route to the destination, or find a particular address for you.

2. Interface

The user interface of such a service also plays a vital role when it comes to accessibility and ease of usage for the user. Unlike using a smartphone, you cannot possibly put as much attention to using the system when you are driving, nor will it be possible for you to keep your hands off the wheel in order to click on smaller icons and links to access a certain feature, Therefore, the user interface of almost all car infotainment systems are designed to minimize that and provide easy and fast access to the user without any problem.

Even though both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are somewhat similar services, the user interface and overall accessibility features are quite different. A lot of users prefer the Apple CarPlay in terms of UI as it can show a lot more information at any given instance on a single screen, minimizing user input. It also has a multi-window feature that can show information from various different applications at the same time.

On the other hand, Android Auto is designed so that all of the focus is kept on the application you are using currently. It is a relatively safer approach, and it manages to reduce redundant information on the display, reducing distraction and making the flow of information much faster. Android also released a complete overhaul of the system back in 2022, which included a split-screen option for multi-app access. And just like your Android smartphone, there are a lot of perks that you can access by accessing the advanced option on Android Auto.

3. Navigation

Navigation is probably the most important and most used feature of a smartphone when traveling. And the navigation system in general has been improved a lot with precise GPS available on almost all smartphones along with high-speed internet connectivity, which makes it possible to get turn-by-turn instructions until you reach your destination. With the smart navigation system, you can also add stops during your commute, get an idea about the traffic condition, and look up faster alternatives to save time.

Regarding navigation, we will prefer the Apple CarPlay over Android Auto since it offers the benefit of both services. With Apple CarPlay, you can use Google Maps and also some other 3rd party navigation services if you are already used to them to avoid the hassle of going through a new system. On the other hand, Android Auto only has access to Google Maps since Apple’s navigation services are exclusive to Apple devices.

However, you will probably find yourself using Google Maps over Apple Maps since it is highly reliable, slightly more accurate, and has a much wider coverage area. You can also rely on Google Assistant’s precise transcription and parsing of your navigation commands, giving it an edge over Siri.

4. Calls And Notification

As we mentioned before, one of the most important aims of using either of these services in your car is to get hands-free access to your smartphone when you are driving so that you can keep your focus on the road without missing out on important calls and notifications. For that, both of these services support hands-free calling features as well as notification pop-ups which are easily readable even from a distance.

Unlike other features, there isn’t much difference in both of these technologies when it comes to calling and voice quality over hands-free calls. But, you do get the advantage of Apple Messages on the Apple CarPlay system which is missing from the Android Auto service. And if you own an Apple device, then it would be safe to assume that Apple Messages are one of your preferred communication applications over 3rd party apps.

But, the range of 3rd party connectivity applications available on Android Auto is simply much more exciting and you will find support for all your favorite applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype, and even Google Allo. So if you usually need multiple different applications or social media platforms to keep in touch with your loved ones, you should definitely prefer Android Auto.

5. Music

We can all agree on the fact that car rides are simply tedious and tiring without the right type of music to accompany you on the road. Therefore, the first thing that you will find on almost all car infotainment systems is access to a digital music player, which can be connected to your car’s speaker for a flawless listening experience. The same goes for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as both of these services will allow you to use the 3r party music player of your choice. So, you will have access to a wide library of music from streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, etc, offering millions of tracks for you to listen to.

The default music player application on Android Auto is Google Play Music, whereas the same for Apple CarPlay is Apple Music. If you are into music, you must already know that Apple Music has always been the preferred choice for most listeners due to its highly improved algorithm for suggestions as well as high-quality music thanks to the high bitrate of the audio files. If you own an Apple device, you must already have a highly customized account on Apple Music already, making it the ideal choice to listen to music in your car.

6. Other Apps

Apart from navigation and calling, there are a variety of 3rd party applications that you will need on your car’s infotainment system to get actual entertainment in your car. This includes video streaming services or OTT applications such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or a variety of 3rd party music streaming services. Apart from that, there might be a certain set of applications that you use on a daily basis, and might be a requirement for you when you are driving as well.

To compare both options, you will find that the Android Auto Service has access to a wider range of 3rd party applications compared to Apple’s CarPlay. While Apple’s CarPlay supports about 20 3rd party applications, Android offers access to more than 100+ 3rd party applications. So, there is a much better chance of finding the application you need the most in the compatibility list of Android Auto. However, both services are actively increasing the support for 3rd party applications, which is good news; sooner or later, you will probably be able to use any of your favorite applications on either.


We hope that you have now fully understood both of these services in detail and found out what you can expect from Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto once you set it up in your car. As we all know, it is very important to have a reliable support system in your car that helps you with essential services like navigation and hands-free communication and offers you a wide range of entertainment options to keep you entertained throughout the journey. For that, there are currently 2 options available on the market: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

So, there is still the underlying question that might confuse a buyer: which option is better? While both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are pretty famous choices and offer a wide range of options, we must give an edge to Android Auto service due to its wide range of support for 3rd party apps and accessibility options. Even though the UI design and overall interface of Apple CarPlay are also pretty good, Android Auto has improved a lot since its release, especially with the last big update, which brought a complete UI overhaul. Google has also announced the Auto Refresh feature on Android Auto, which will make the system even more reliable and useful in the future.

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