Install Apple CarPlay: You need to know

Install Apple CarPlay: You need to know

Do you want to install Apple CarPlay to make calls in your vehicle or use real-time navigation? We explain how to do it.

Before you can install Apple CarPlay, you must of course make sure that your vehicle supports the system at all. According to Apple, more than 500 models are already compatible with CarPlay. The complete list of vehicles with CarPlay support can be found here . Alternatively, you can retrofit CarPlay and install a compatible car radio.

You must also have an iPhone that is compatible with Apple CarPlay. Fortunately, the manufacturer has set the hurdle relatively low: All models from the iPhone 5 have CarPlay as long as they run with iOS 7.1 or higher.

Install Apple CarPlay

If the above requirements are met, the actual configuration of the system can begin. The good thing: You don't really have to install Apple CarPlay, there is no application that you can download from the App Store.

Instead, you connect the iPhone to the vehicle either via a Lightning cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth or WLAN (if supported by the car).

    • If the Auto CarPlay offers via USB cable, you connect the iPhone to the USB port of the vehicle. The USB port may have a CarPlay or smartphone symbol.
    • If the car enables wireless CarPlay, press and hold the voice control button on the steering wheel. Make sure that the car radio is in wireless or Bluetooth mode. Then go to "Settings"> "General"> "CarPlay" on your iPhone, tap on "Available Cars" and select your car. You can find further information in the operating instructions for your car.

Some vehicle models then automatically display the CarPlay home screen when you connect the iPhone. If the screen is not displayed, select the "CarPlay" logo on the car screen.

The iPhone can still be used in the active CarPlay mode – of course only by the passenger and not by the driver himself. If the passenger wants to use an app that is not compatible with CarPlay, he can do so on the iPhone screen without leaving CarPlay .

Apple CarPlay

© Apple 2015

Depending on the vehicle, Apple CarPlay can also be connected wirelessly to the iPhone.

Use Apple CarPlay

For the operation you make sure that the voice assistant Siri is activated on the iPhone. To do this, the following option must be active on the smartphone: "Settings> Siri & Search> Press side key for Siri / Press home key for Siri". You can then control Siri in the car in two ways:

  • Press and hold the voice control button on the steering wheel. Ask Siri a question or ask her to take an action.
  • Press and hold the CarPlay dashboard or CarPlay home button on the car touchscreen. Ask Siri something or let her do something.

By the way: Siri also suggests things in CarPlay mode that you can do next, such as driving to an upcoming appointment. If you have HomeKit-enabled accessories, such as a garage door opener, you can use the Siri suggestions that appear on the CarPlay dashboard. Or you can simply ask Siri to open the garage door when you approach your house.

Alternatively, you can operate CarPlay with the integrated controls of the car, i.e. via a touchscreen, rotary control or a touchpad.

Configure CarPlay apps

On the iPhone you can configure which apps the CarPlay homescreen shows in the car and in which order.

  1. To do this, go to the following menu on the smartphone: "Settings> General> CarPlay".
  2. Select your car and tap "Customize".
  3. Use the "+" and "-" buttons to add or remove apps.
  4. Tap on an app and drag it to the desired position to change the order in which it is displayed.
  5. The next time the iPhone is connected to CarPlay, the apps should appear on the display in the order selected.
Configure Apple CarPlay

© Apple 2020

On the iPhone, you can set the order of the apps for Apple CarPlay.


  • More than 500 vehicle models now dominate Apple CarPlay.
  • An iPhone 5 or later with iOS 7.1 or higher is required.
  • The connection between car and iPhone is made via Lightning cable or wireless (Bluetooth / WLAN).
  • It is not necessary to install Apple CarPlay. If the connection is successful, the system starts automatically.
  • For Apple CarPlay, Siri must be activated under "Settings> Siri & Search> Press side key for Siri / Press home key for Siri".
  • Apps can be added and removed under "Settings> General> CarPlay". The order of the apps can also be changed.

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