carplay: Explained: Difference between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – Times of India



The never-ending tussle between Android and iOS continues as users on each platform brag about the superiority of their individual mobile operating systems. The struggle between the platforms is not just limited to household devices like smartphones and tablets but has also extended to the infotainment system present in automobiles. These car infotainment systems can perform more functions than a mere entertainment unit. Google’s automobile infotainment system is known as Android Auto while the one developed by Apple is called Apple CarPlay. These infotainment systems are usually not the sole deciding factor for buying a car, however, they can turn out to be one of the key factors to consider. Recently there were reports about some BMW cars that are shipping without Android Auto or Air CarPlay for the prevailing shortage of semiconductors. Here we will discuss how the Android Auto system is different from the Apple CarPlay and which one is better for what users.
Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Which one has a smoother interface?
The user interface is the first thing that consumers interact with after they boot into Android Auto or CarPlay. The home screen on Apple CarPlay looks resembles a display similar to that of an iPhone or iPad. The icons on this interface are large and easy to press while the screen scrolls horizontally. Scrolling through various pages on CarPlay is usually smooth as it has no lags or jitters. To get a premium feel, the animations are fluid and the interface is quite polished.
Unlike Apple CarPlay, Android Auto comes with a vertical scrolling interface similar to the ones present in Android smartphones. The most-used apps will be displayed on the top row followed by all the other apps. The interface will remind users of their Android phones but the lack of smoothness won’t satisfy the users like their handsets. Some users have also complained about occasional frame drops while scrolling through the interface that affects the user experience.
Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Navigation
Navigation helps in driving in the right direction and it is the most important use case for these automobile systems. CarPlay uses Apple Maps by default, but users can also switch it to Google Maps. In terms of directions and fluidity, Google Maps work well on CarPlay, however, it lacks some basic features. Firstly, it takes up almost the entire display and shows less information compared to Android Auto. Users cannot scroll/pan within the map with their fingers and some users have also complained about the slow-responsiveness of the touch screen on CarPlay as it runs Google Maps. Users need to enable arrow keys to pan around the map which can be both annoying and distracting while driving.
Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Calling
Calls on Android Auto don’t interrupt the Google Maps navigation on the screen as an incoming call is displayed as a banner at the top of the screen that takes minimal real estate. However, receiving a call on CarPlay covers the entire screen with the incoming call UI. This compels the users to manually return to the home screen and tap on the Maps icon again to relaunch navigation. However, the cellular coverage in the area you are driving and the device you’re using also determines the calling experience.
Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Notification banner
The notification banners work differently on both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The banner appears at the bottom of the screen for CarPlay where users can tap on it to interact. On tapping it, Siri can read the notification out loud and asks if a reply is needed. Whereas, on Android Auto, a smaller banner is displayed at the top for incoming notifications. Users can either tap on it to read it or can use the other two options — dismissing the notification and even muting notifications from that contact. The option of using Assistant to read out or reply on notifications is also available on Android Auto.
Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay: Voice Assistants
The voice assistants on both the systems can be triggered by using the wake word ‘Hey Google’ or ‘Hey Siri’ respectively. Moreover, Android Auto also offers a dedicated button to summon the Google Assistant which is not present in CarPlay.


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