CarPlay Takes Over the Road
f all of Apple's products and services, CarPlay is one of the least talked about and understood. Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in 2013 and released in 2014, Apple CarPlay allows users to operate their iPhones using compatible cars' built-in displays. CarPlay is available in around a hundred new car models from top manufacturers and is poised to become a critical part of Apple's ecosystem in the coming years. Our smartphones have become the center of our digital lives, and how cars interact with our phones is now a critical component of any auto maker's operating system. Experts from Morgan Stanley estimate that a car's software com- prises about 10 percent of its total value, but they predict that number will grow to upwards of 60 percent within the next decade. CarPlay is Apple's bid to control that user experience and thereby make itself essential to every car's operating system. In addition, Apple is rumored to be creating its own car. If this is true, CarPlay will almost certainly serve as the foundation for Apple's own automobile plans.
Part of the reason why CarPlay hasn't caught on is that you must have a 2014 or later car by select manufacturers in order to use it. There are, however, a few aftermarket solutions for those of us who can't afford a brand new luxury automobile. In order to give CarPlay a test drive, I installed a Pioneer CarPlay-compatible touchscreen display in my car.