Despite being announced just over two years ago, Apple’s CarPlay is only now becoming available as a built-in option in select new 2015 and 2016 vehicles by Chevrolet, Honda, Volkswagen, and other car manufacturers.
Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal has published a review of CarPlay after testing the system inside a 2016 Corvette Stingray on a New York City road trip. Overall, she offered praise for CarPlay, but noted that the service “isn’t a complete joyride.”
Stern noted a positive experience using Siri to control Apple Music and making requests.
“But DJ Siri to the rescue! All week she has accurately taken my requests, playing them via Apple Music (but not Spotify or any other third-party apps). “Siri, Play ‘Little Red Corvette.’ ” “Siri, play me Madonna’s top songs.” “Siri, who sings this song?” She does it all—though I wouldn’t object if she were a tad faster.”
She also give high marks to CarPlay’s messaging capabilities and Siri’s accuracy at transcribing words.
“Text-message integration is where CarPlay feels miles ahead of any competition from car makers or even Google.
Siri was, surprisingly, better at helping me respond than Google’s built-in voice assistant. Siri accurately transcribed my words nearly every time. (She forgivably struggled a bit when I was driving with the roof down.) And she’ll read the message back to you before sending.”
On the negative side, Stern found Apple Maps to be inferior to Google Maps at providing routing information based on traffic conditions. She also notes that CarPlay lacks the useful functionality of some Google services, like Google Now.
“Siri also struggles when it comes to finding businesses. Sure, she can identify the closest gas stations, and she knows mega-retailers like Starbucks and Target. But when I told her to go to my favorite coffee shop in my New Jersey hometown, she found it… in Limerick, Ireland. Google knew what I was talking about right away.
Google Now might have even guessed I wanted to go there, even before I searched. Culling information from your email, calendar and Web searches, Google’s prediction-based assistant swings into action when you plug your Android phone into an Android Auto-equipped car. In addition to displaying core information like weather and reminders, it anticipates your next destination.”
Stern describe CarPlay as the future of in-car technology and said that, if she were in the market for a car right now, she would add Apple’s CarPlay to her want list. Apple’s CarPlay enables drivers to use Siri for hands-free access to Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, and other apps like Spotify and Rdio.