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CarPlay vs. Android Auto – Comparing Google and Apple in Your Car

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CarPlay vs. Android Auto – Comparing Google and Apple in Your Car

CarPlay and Android Auto both launched some time ago and now both are available in hundreds of vehicle models as well as in aftermarket solutions, which you can install into your car. While many vehicles support both Android Auto and Car Play, you might be deciding which to choose. More importantly, if you’re getting a new phone, comparing the two can help you to choose an operating system.

While everyone has their own preferences, and choosing between Android and iPhone is usually a matter of personal preference, this article will go over the basic differences between the two.

Interface

CarPlay – Apple features a sleek interface that relies on simplicity to get you almost anywhere you want to go in just a few taps. This system is very trimmed down, so there isn’t much to do on it, but you can access apps, messaging, music, and maps. CarPlay looks like a simplified iPhone interface. The status bar is on the side and displays the time, connectivity, and an on-screen home button.

Android Auto – Android Auto is a little bit more complicated than CarPlay and features a row of apps to choose from as well as a number of installable apps to add additional features. Android Auto does make it a little bit harder to select items while you’re driving, but does feature popup notifications with destination directions based on your previous search. Android Auto doesn’t really look anything like it’s original interface, but instead breaks all of the systems up into 5 sections which display different apps.

Voice Control

CarPlay – CarPlay features a modified version of Siri which allows you to adjust music, get directions, dictate messages, read messages and email, and more.

Android Auto – Android Auto features a surprisingly sophisticated voice control option that easily competes with Siri. Google Now is sophisticated, but the two come up about even.

Google Next – Google has one unique feature, Google Next, which suggests destinations and options based on your previous search.

Navigation

CarPlay – You get Apple Maps and that’s it for now

CarPlay – You get Google Maps, and Android comes out the clear winner. Android Auto also does a better job of integrating with maps during use.

Messaging

CarPlay – CarPlay allows you to use Messenger which accepts text and iMessage apps, and if you’e connected Jabber and email, email chat from Google and Jabber as well. You can reply using Siri, and see the messages in a neat little notification on the menu bar.

Android Auto – Android Auto makes it easy to integrate Whatsapp, Skype, Kik, and more, and other messaging apps. However, messages end up in one of the five sections, called cards, on the screen, which can be a bit confusing, and does make it hard to see how many messages you have.

Audio Streaming

CarPlay – With iTunes Streaming (for Apple Music subscribers), Spotify, Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and more, CarPlay offers an extensive array of music streaming options. In fact, with 13 in the app store at the time of writing this article, Apple offers more ways to stream and listen to music than Android Auto.

Android Auto – Like CarPlay, Android Auto offers native music streaming with Google Play Music as well as third party apps like Spotify and iHeart Radio, with a total of 9 options.

 

Which one is better? In most cases, it should actually depend on your preference in operating system. Android comes off with a few more apps and a bit more functionality, while Apple comes off as sleeker and slightly easier to use. If you need the maps. Google Maps still does it better, but, other than that, they’re about even.