One of the best things about buying Apple products is the ecosystem that the company has built around them. You got the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple Watch, the HomePod, and the HomeKit which covers most of your tech needs while seamlessly integrating with each other. Apple has you covered even while you are driving with its CarPlay service. The Apple CarPlay service not only allows you to drive safely on the road while remaining connected, it also brings apps and services which enhances the driving experience. There are a ton of iOS apps which are compatible with Apple CarPlay and in this article we are going to tell you about our favorites amongst them all. So, if you are a regular CarPlay user or just thinking of using it, here are the 15 most useful apps which are compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Note: We could not include screenshots for some of the apps on this list as they were not working in India.
The Best Apple CarPlay Apps (Sections)
- Maps and Navigation Apps
- Messaging and Calling Apps
- Music Apps
- Podcast and Audiobook Apps
- Radio Apps
- News and Sports Apps
- Kids Apps
Best Maps and Navigation Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
1. Apple Maps
While Google Maps is still the kind of navigation, sadly, Apple doesn’t support it for the CarPlay services. What this means is that you are stuck with Apple Maps when it comes to navigating using Apple CarPlay. While it’s not optimal, since that’s the only options available to you, you might as well make the most of it. Also, while Apple Maps might not be as powerful as Google Maps, it has finally begun to give accurate navigation directions and will always take you to your destination without any problem.
Best Messaging and Calling Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
1. iMessage and Phone
One of the biggest risks while driving is if you are constantly answering your phone or replying to your messages. To help drivers reach their destination safely, Apple’s CarPlay service allows users to make calls and read and send messages with just their voice commands using Siri. You can ask Siri to read out your last message, reply to it, or call someone without taking your eyes off the road.
Recently, WhatsApp became the first major third-party apps which support Apple CarPlay. Now users can not only see their latest WhatsApp messages or have it read it out to them using Siri, they will also be able to respond to messages using dictation with Siri. If you are one of the 1.5 billion people who uses, WhatsApp, now you can use it with CarPlay too.
3. Facebook Messenger
While Facebook Messenger doesn’t support messaging on Apple’s CarPlay, thanks to its adoption of CallKit, the app allows you to receive any voice VoIP calls on CarPlay. That means that if someone calls you using Facebook Messenger while you are driving, you will be able to answer those calls. That said, you won’t be able to make calls using the Messenger’s VoIP services which is a bummer.
Best Music Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
1. Apple Music
Apple Music has become one of the fastest growing services of Apple with the service now boasting of more than 36 million paid subscribers. You can use Apple Music to listen to your favorite songs, artists, or playlists just by asking Siri. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, your favorite songs are just a “Hey Siri” away.
While Apple Music is growing rapidly, Spotify still remains the king of music streaming world with more than 70 million paying customers. If you are already using Spotify for all your music needs, you will be happy to know that it supports Apple CarPlay and you don’t have to subscribe to Apple Music just so that you can listen to music while driving. That said, the support for Spotify or any other music service like Pandora or Tidal for that matter comes with a big caveat. Other than Apple Music, none of them are supported by Siri. So you won’t be able to use your voice to play songs and will have to manually interact with the apps on the CarPlay display.
Download: $9.99/month (Free trial available)
Best Podcast and Audiobook Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
While Apple has a native podcasting app, to put it simply, it is trash. If you love your podcasts, you should never use it. Instead, download Overcast which is one of the best podcasting apps on iOS and also supports Apple’s CarPlay. With Overcast, you can listen to my favorite podcasts while driving which will certainly make your commute less tedious.
Download: Free, with in-app purchases
2. Pocket Casts
My favorite podcasting app is Pocket Casts and I have been using it since my Android days. It’s one of the first apps that I install on my new smartphone and I love it to death. It brings tons of features like variable speeds, the ability to remove silences, creating playlists, and more. With Pocket Casts support for Apple CarPlay, you will be able to listen to your favorite podcasts while driving.
3. iBook Audiobooks
Podcasts are good for daily commutes, but audiobooks are better if you are taking that long-awaited cross-country trip or any long journey for that matter. Audiobooks allow you to get lost in the story and makes even the longest journey easily bearable. Since iBook Audiobooks is from Apple, not only you have a large selection of audiobooks to choose from, it also seamlessly integrates with Siri to allow you to easily play, pause, and rewind just with your voice.
While iBook Audiobooks is great, there is no better service to buy and listen to audiobooks than Audible, and thankfully it also supports CarPlay. With its $14.95/month subscription, you get to choose one free audiobook every month. Even if you don’t subscribe to the service, you can always buy audiobooks at their price and there are a lot of books to choose from. In fact, Audible houses the largest audiobooks library and even produces its own podcast series which are really good. With Audible’s support for CarPlay, you can listen to your favorite books and Audible original podcasts while driving.
Download: $14.95/month (Free trial available)
Best Radio Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
Radio stations have been the main source of entertainment for drivers since decades and thanks to the internet now we can listen to thousands of live AM and FM stations near us and from cities across the globe. One of the best apps that allows you to do that is iHeartRadio. With iHeartRadio’s support for CarPlay, you can be sure that every important radio channel in the world is available for you right in your car.
Download: Free with in-app purchases
2. TuneIn Radio
TuneIN Radio is not only one of the most popular internet radio providers out there, but it also brings one of the largest collection of AM and FM radio stations from around the world with the service boasting of more than 100,000 AM & FM online radio stations delivering music, news, sports, and more right to your car. If you love radio and driving, you need to give TuneIN a try.
Download: Free with in-app purchases
Best News and Sports Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
1. NPR One
National Public Radio or NPR brings most important news stories from within the US and around the world along with stories which cover a wide range of topics from politics to technology to finance. With NPR One for CarPlay, you can start with the latest headlines of the day and then move on to stories that matter. You can play, pause, skip and search the stories to listen to what matters most to you.
2. MLB At Bat
If you are someone who loves baseball, you are going to love MLB At Bat which is the official app of Major League Baseball and covers everything happening in the world of MLB games from the Opening Day to the World Series. With the app supporting the CarPlay you can be sure that you will never miss any game or anything else happening in the world of baseball even when you are driving.
Download: Free with in-app purchases
Best Kids Apps Compatible With Apple CarPlay
1. Radio Disney
Long journeys can be hard if you are driving but it’s even harder if you have kids in your car. Kids get bored pretty easily and sitting in the backseat of the car without doing anything is probably one of the most boring places for them. If you have kids, Radio Disney is the best CarPlay supported app to keep them entertained and engaged while allowing you to drive your vehicle in peace. The app offers kid-friendly content and features videos and exclusive clips from artists such as Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and more which your kids can watch on CarPlay supported devices.
Make Driving Enjoyable With the Best CarPlay Apps
While Apple’s wall garden approach doesn’t allow us to enjoy services like Google Maps and Siri integration with third-party apps, it has a number of apps which can not only help you while driving but also make it fun again.Do go through the list and let us know which is your favorite CarPlay supported apps of them all.