An Apple Carplay radio is a car stereo with a touchscreen and an interface that can make Apple ‘car play’ the iPhone to the stereo’s display.
Apple and Google are the top mobile phone OS developers. They have each made it possible with the help of the correct interface to allow the radio’s screen to act as if it was the phone itself. Apple’s version of this is CarPlay, and Google’s Android version of this is Android Auto.
CarPlay controls the phone touch screen to the car stereo display. Your apps appear in a better format for a landscape screen, no matter what your phone’s orientation at the time. You can interact with the car stereo screen like your phone. A larger screen, in a better position for the driver linked to a car radio, is an ideal upgrade for your in-car entertainment.
Wired or Wireless
The connection for your phone to the stereo via the carplay system can be made with the USB cable supplied with the phone or over wifi. The type of interface used to provide the Apple carplay service will ultimately decide if wireless carplay is an option. It will be essential to confirm this before purchase if the wireless carplay is what you want to use. Wired carplay can charge your phone, albeit possibly quite slowly, while you carplay the iPhone.
Although they often get called Apple CarPlay Radios, the radio part rarely plays a part in the sounds. Streaming over the internet, iTunes, and even some old-school MP3 tracks shared with you are played on the car stereo.
The head unit is the name for the modern car stereo with a touch screen. These may have Apple carplay or android auto as standard. Others can be adapted for carplay, or they may be unable to use the carplay feature. You need to pick the right one to support your desired features.
Apple carplay in the radio or Android auto in the stereo may not be the only reason to buy a compatible aftermarket headunit. Sound quality can be a significant factor, as can the cost or reliability. You may need a new apple carplay radio to replace your stereo or find a suitable adaptor. It all depends on what you already have; even down to the software version in a factory installed headunit can make the difference.