Apple CarPlay overrides your car’s native infotainment system and promises to put a familiar, distraction-free interface right at your fingertips. It’s also loaded with compatible third-party apps that give your car nearly the same level of functionality as your iPhone or iPad. We’ve put together a list of the best CarPlay apps available in 2021.
Apple Maps works seamlessly with CarPlay. When you open it, you’ll see an overview of your location. Click on the Destinations link and the app will suggest places you can go to based on your location and what you’ve recently discussed in text messages and emails. The Search function allows you to quickly find eateries, gas stations, and more. Apple Maps gives you turn-by-turn directions that are easy to follow. You can also ask Siri to direct you to the nearest restaurant, gas station, and more. CarPlay also supports Google Maps and Waze.
Once you install CarPlay in your car, you’ll be able to make and receive calls without using your phone. You can open the app, browse your contacts, review recent calls, open the dialer, or check voicemail. But we don’t recommend scanning through a list of contacts while driving. So, it’s better to use Siri to say something like “Call John.”
This app has one of the best collections of content in the world. Download it to access over 120,000 stations. You can stream radio and listen to sports, news, music, and other audio formats. To enjoy more perks, get the premium subscription. For only $10 a month, you’ll get play-by-play access to different sports channels. You can root for your favorite NFL or MLB team while driving. You’ll also be able to listen to more than 130 ad-free music stations.
If you have a long commute, or simply like to listen to audiobooks every day, get the Audiobooks.com app. It allows you to download audiobooks directly to your iPhone. You don’t have to sync the phone with your computer, and you can stream audiobooks through data connection or over Wi-Fi.
The app has a huge library and you get your first 3 premium audiobooks for free. After you’re done reading those, you can choose a new audiobook every month for $15 per month. Audiobooks also lets you access more than 700,000 podcasts. You can easily discover new audiobooks by following narrators, authors, and book series. The app also sends you notifications about new releases.
Apple CarPlay supports navigation apps and many other apps on your iPhone. You can listen to your favorite songs through iTunes or Apple Music.
If you like podcasts and you’re looking for an alternative to Apple’s proprietary podcast app, have a look at Overcast. This app comes with a myriad of welcome features, including voice boost and smart speed, the latter of which allows you to speed up conversations without distorting the audio. You can also search, browse, or download podcasts for offline use. The app features push notifications, too, so you’ll never miss a new episode of your favorite podcast. It’s currently chock-full of ads, though you can purchase a premium subscription for $10 a year for ad-free listening. Recent versions feature improved search and sync, shared clips up to 90 seconds long, and customized podcast downloading, deleting, and sorting.
CarPlay is one of the best things to happen to cars. Go ahead and customize your car experience with the best CarPlay apps!