Apple CarPlay gets new features in iOS 9.3, see all compatible models

It's been about two year since Apple used the Geneva International Motor Show to announce its CarPlay service, "designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car," as per the marketing speak. CarPlay is an integral part of your car's infotainment system, compatible with all iPhones that have a Lightning port, and dubbed to be a "smarter, safer and more fun" way to use those iPhones in a car.

There are the obligatory huge, luscious icons, which are easy to spot and press while driving, and give you immediate access to navigation, calling, music services, and messaging. These can be operated with touch, or via engaging Siri's voice assistant chops via a dedicated, steering wheel-mounted button. CarPlay can also predict your eventual destination, based on a trip log, and Siri can read the directions out loud, while maps appear on the car's display. As far as the music experience goes, besides all the tunes stored on your iPhone or in Apple Music, you are able to use 3rd party apps like Spotify, for streaming anything your heart desires.

With the newest iOS 9.3, though, Apple is shaking up CarPlay, taking up the battle for your dashboard on another level. CarPlay recently earned Autoblog's Technology of the Year Feature award, so let's preview what novelties will iOS 9.3 bring to these accolades:

  • New and For You from Apple Music — since you won't have time to preview a long list of suggestions and catch up with the latest tunes while diving, a curated selection of songs, artists, and albums tailored to your tastes will be available at the touch of a button on your car's display; 

  • Nearby feature in Maps makes the nearest gas station or Rosie's Diner visible with a single tap, plus more of the local points of interest, should you be on a lazy road trip.

Apple's CarPlay is available on brands like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz or BMW, and a number of others, like Ford, Volvo, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroën, Subaru, and Suzuki. Toyota is notably absent, and Ford only has one compatible model, the 2017 Ford Escape. Below are some of the more popular models that are available with CarPlay out of the box... oops, out of the dealership. 

Find the full list of cars that offer CarPlay here


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