Using your phone safely: that’s what Apple CarPlay vsAndroid Auto take care of in a nutshell. The way they do this is largely the same, but there are differences. In this comparison, we put the two systems against each other.
Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto: these are the differences
To safely use your smartphone on the go, Apple and Google have created CarPlay and Android Auto respectively. These platforms ensure that you can use the most important functions of your phone – such as calling, navigating and playing music – on the go, without taking your hands off the wheel.
In addition, both ‘apps’ have a voice aid, so you can operate the entertainment system with nothing more than your voice. The two do broadly the same but are certainly not identical. In this Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto comparison, we consider the biggest differences.
Differences between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- iOS versus Android
- App support
- Voice control
1. Which phone do you have?
The biggest difference between the two is obvious, but we cannot leave it unmentioned: CarPlay is for iPhones, Android Auto for smartphones with Android. So CarPlay will not work on Android phones and vice versa. Do you have both an iPhone and an Android device at home? Then you suddenly have a choice and this guide is a lot more relevant.
Until recently, there was an important difference between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The latter was not officially available in the Netherlands for years, but Google has now announced that this will change. Android Auto will soon be officially available in the Netherlands, although the service was already available here via a detour. Moreover, the platform had been embedded in the operating system for some time.
You can also use CarPlay officially in the Netherlands, provided your car can of course handle it. Speaking of which: in terms of car support, both platforms differ little from each other. You can use Android Auto and CarPlay in most new cars without any problems. Check the websites of the platforms for an overview of all supported cars.
Android and iOS, the operating system of the iPhone, look very different and so do the car versions. CarPlay is without doubt an Apple product and is similar in design to the operating system of the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The icons are for example square, the background is imported from iOS and on the left you see a control panel with shortcuts to apps, among other things.
Android Auto, on the other hand, has a distinctive Android design with round logos and an ‘app drawer’ where you scroll vertically, instead of horizontally as with CarPlay. The most important elements – such as the menu button, Google Assistant and music player – are pinned to the bottom of the Google platform.
Do you want to customize the look of the entertainment system? With CarPlay, you control this largely via the dashboard itself, while with Android Auto you use the smartphone app for almost everything. You do need an iPhone to remove CarPlay apps from your dashboard or to change the order.
To download apps you use the App Store on iOS and the Play Store on Android. The app offer between both systems is therefore not the same. For example, you can use Apple Music on Android Auto, but most Apple apps are not available. Conversely, you can navigate in Apple CarPlay with Google Maps, for example, but most other Google apps do not work.
5. Voice assistants
You are not allowed to play with your smartphone behind the wheel. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, therefore, invest heavily in voice control. With CarPlay you use Siri to make calls, for example, in Android Auto the Google Assistant helps you on the road. Both voice assistants have their advantages and disadvantages, but in most studies, Google’s voice control comes out as the smartest.
Are you out and do you know which platform you will be using? The installing Apple CarPlay is a breeze, as you can see in the video below. The same goes for Android Auto, although you may have to put the system (depending on your Android version) on your phone first.