Car Navigation Systems: Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

Touchscreen navigation and entertainment systems hit the automotive market slightly before smartphones took over the world, but despite tech upgrades and improvement in user experience, the little computer you hold in your hand is often far superior to the slightly-larger computer built into your dashboard. 

That’s why most car manufacturers are opting for smartphone integration instead of continuous in-dash upgrades that still fall short, and many newer cars come ready to run auto-specific versions of Android or iOS on the in-dash systems. And if you have an older car, you can install a third-party unit from major brands like Pioneer and Alpine. So if you’re looking to streamline your car’s navigation and entertainment systems, here’s what Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can do for you:

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Interface Basics

Android Auto features customizable wallpaper and a row of icons at the bottom that keeps the rest of the screen clear for notifications, including text messages that can be read to you before you dictate a reply. And Google Now analyzes your driving habits, emails, and other data in order to guess where you’re going and offer navigation assistance. Creepy or helpful? That’s up to you. But look, AI is the future of tech—you might as well get used to it!

Apple CarPlay’s grid interface will be familiar to anyone with an iPhone, with large square icons that are easy to find and select while driving. Like Android, Apple CarPlay will read your texts to you and take your reply dictation, although it doesn’t—yet—anticipate your destination and offer help, which can be a good thing or not depending on how you feel about AI. 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay For Car Navigation

Android Auto uses Google Maps as its satellite navigation system of choice, featuring powerful mapping tools and clear navigation instructions. Google Maps also keeps you informed of changing traffic conditions, marking them on the map, updating your ETA, and even offering alternative routes. The only features Google Maps doesn’t offer is a speed readout and traffic camera locations, but thanks to upgradable apps, those features might be included in a future version.

Apple CarPlay uses, of course, Apple Maps, which has improved significantly since its lackluster launch in 2012. It also integrates well with Siri voice commands, and the more hands-free you can be while driving, the better.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay For CAR Entertainment

Android Auto offers plenty of audio entertainment options, including Google Play Music for your own collection, plus Spotify, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn, which allows you to listen to any online radio station, streaming music service, or podcast.  

Apple CarPlay offers many of the same options as Android Auto—except that it uses Apple Music instead of Google Play Music, obviously. Apple Music is extremely user-friendly and includes New and For You selections that are quite accurate at guessing your tastes based on your music collection, which of course you can access through Apple Music as well. 

Get cutting-edge car tech at Audio Shack in El Cajon 

If your car is less than up-to-date, or if your non-upgradable stock system isn’t cutting it anymore, Audio Shack in El Cajon can help you choose the right third-party head unit for your needs and install your system with a high level of skill and professionalism you won’t find elsewhere. 

And if you want to add on some new stereo equipment to maximize your newly integrated system, we have skilled and certified technicians for speaker and electrical installation. We have the best customer service and lowest prices in San Diego (plus military and senior discounts). No appointment is needed, so drop in today!