What Is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

apple car play on dashboard in buick

One of the most sought-after technology in our GMC and Buick vehicles is smartphone compatibility. This feature allows you to connect your phone with your vehicle’s infotainment system and perform a number of convenient tasks. The main technologies developed for smartphone integration are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay is available in many vehicles from the 2014 model year, while Android Auto came onto the scene in 2015. Here’s a quick look at how each of them operates.

For further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our auto experts, who will be delighted to help with your tech questions.

What Is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable you to link your phone with your vehicle’s infotainment screen and stereo. These technologies are available throughout the Buick and GMC lineups, whether you’re driving a full-sized GMC Sierra truck or a compact Buick Encore.

Both pieces of software are designed so you can operate the main functions of your phone through your car’s multimedia system. Tasks you can perform include sending messages, making calls, and playing music. You can also access many of your phone’s apps.

To get started, pair your phone with your entertainment system by using a USB cable. That said, some luxury trims in our Buick and GMC lineups offer wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. In this case, you won’t need a cable to link your phone.

How Do You Get Started?

Whether you’re using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, setting up the system is relatively straightforward. After you’ve connected your phone to your vehicle’s USB port, make sure the Bluetooth on your phone is turned on. You should see a series of prompts to follow on your infotainment screen to set everything up.

If you come across any problems, you can check your owner’s manual for more detailed instructions on how to install the software in your vehicle. One of the most common errors drivers make is that they don’t connect their phone to the correct USB port. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto usually only work if you connect your phone to your car’s main USB port.

What Does Android Auto Do?

android auto screen on mobile device

Android Auto is compatible with phones using Android 10 or a newer system. If you’re still using Android 9, you’ll first need to download the Android Auto app.

Once Android Auto is activated, you’ll see an on-screen display on your infotainment screen, which will allow you to access your phone’s apps. The system can make calls for you, send and read messages, play music, find navigation routes, and do a host of other things. What’s more, you can use voice recognition software to give it commands so you can keep your eyes on the road up ahead while writing a message. Some new vehicles also have buttons on the steering wheel to activate voice recognition so you don’t need to say the prompt out loud.

If you ask Android Auto to assist you with navigation, you can also request that it updates you on the traffic situation along your route. These regular notifications can help you avoid heavy traffic by suggesting an alternative route to your destination. You can also access information about travel warnings, construction work, road closures, and bad weather while you’re on the go.

android auto dashboard menu

How Does Apple CarPlay Work?

apple car play on mobile phone

Apple CarPlay works in much the same way as Android Auto. It runs on all iPhones, starting with iPhone 5 models. There’s no need to download an app onto your phone; the system will be automatically activated for you.

When you want to give a voice command to Apple CarPlay, use the voice prompt, “Hey Siri” (for Android Auto, it’s “OK Google”).

For example, if you want to listen to music through your vehicle’s sound system, you could say, “Hey Siri, open Spotify.” You can then ask it to resume playing your favorite music from where you last left off or tell it to search for an artist or playlist.

apple car play dashboard menu

What Other Benefits Do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Bring?

Besides adding the numerous convenient features we’ve already talked about, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also help improve your safety while you’re behind the wheel. Both technologies were developed to reduce the risk of drivers getting distracted by their phones while on the road. Distraction behind the wheel remains a major cause of auto accidents each year. However, with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, there’s no need to take your eyes off the road, even if you need to call a friend or skip a song on your playlist.

Both pieces of software also offer some handy features for professionals who are on the go. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto can access your calendar, allowing you to make appointments, check if you have any meetings, or add a reminder to your schedule. You can also save a note or a memo for later if an idea comes into your head as you’re behind the wheel.

Find Vehicles With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at Sweeney Buick-GMC

We hope that our overview of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay has answered any questions you have about these useful pieces of software. If you still have a query or would like advice about using either system, contact our team of auto experts here at Sweeney Buick-GMC.

If you’re looking for a new or used vehicle with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, why not check out our extensive inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles? Smartphone compatibility is available throughout Buick’s and GMC’s lineups of SUVs and in GMC trucks. Our vehicles have many other great infotainment features as well, such as large touch screens, powerful audio systems, a wireless hotspot, and satellite radio.

To find out more, contact us at Sweeney Buick-GMC today. You can either reach out to us online or drop by our dealership in Youngstown, where we’ve developed a great reputation for helping Ohio customers with their auto needs.