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Here’s How iOS 14 Will Change Apple CarPlay

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Apple CarPlay Buick Encore GX
Apple CarPlay (as shown in the 2020 Buick Encore GX) is in line for some big changes
Photo: Buick

Apple’s new iOS 14 operating system is coming soon — and it’s bringing some welcome changes to Apple CarPlay as well. Here’s a look at some of the biggest improvements bound for vehicle touch screens across the U.S.

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Expanded app categories

With iOS 14, CarPlay will be able to support a variety of new and expanded app categories for developers. These include food ordering and delivery, parking, EV charging, and other services sure to come in handy behind the wheel.

More helpful mapping

Drivers who use Apple’s maps app via CarPlay will benefit from new alerts that highlight upcoming red lights and traffic cameras. For EV drivers, Maps can also be set up to show compatible charging stations along navigation routes.

The arrival of CarKey

With iOS 14, more CarPlay users will be able to use their iPhone or Apple Watch as a digital car key. This feature, known as CarKey, will operate using near field communication and has the capability to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle. It can also be used to set limits for teen drivers. Many vehicles don’t yet support digital car keys, but CarKey is likely to encourage this feature’s fast expansion throughout the auto industry.

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New wallpaper options

Once iOS 14 arrives, users will be able to bring more color to their CarPlay backgrounds. Instead of just black and white, five new multicolored wallpaper options will be available via the system’s Settings app.

Updates for Siri

CarPlay users will note a couple of changes for the Siri virtual assistant. It can now be used to send voice messages to multiple recipients, and it can also send out your Maps ETA. CarPlay’s Siri display has a different look, too.

Better audio and messaging capabilities

Thanks to iOS 14 enhancements, Apple CarPlay users should be able to enjoy better audio, messaging, and voice control functionality. Features for these types of apps will also be expanded.

Currently, iOS 14 is out in beta form for developers or adventurous early adopters. These new CarPlay features and capabilities will become more widely available this fall when the finished version of iOS 14 is released.