Apple CarPlay Download: How To Install & Get Started

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If you’re only now looking to get started using Apple CarPlay, you’re a little late to the game. This handy stripped-down version of iOS has been communicating between iPhones and car infotainment systems, making life simpler and safer for drivers since 2014.

But don’t fear; it is never too late to get started.

You do not need to download Apple CarPlay; it comes preinstalled on all iPhones, dating back to the iPhone 5 released in 2012. Most automakers support CarPlay. If your vehicle does not support CarPlay, you can purchase third-party displays that do and install them in your car.

This article will explain what you need to get CarPlay working in your vehicle and help you get started using this nifty little piece of software.

Apple CarPlay Download: What You Need To Get Started

whatsapp carplay on lock screen

Since CarPlay works by communicating between your phone and your vehicle’s display unit, you will need to ensure that both nodes of communication in this chain are CarPlay compatible.

That is, you must have an iPhone that is Version 5 or newer and a car that supports CarPlay. 

1. Phones That Support CarPlay

As I’ve mentioned, you do not need to download Apple CarPlay or install it.

All Apple phones built since 2012 support CarPlay, so most iPhones (Such as the iPhone 6) still in use will already have it installed.

Moreover, Apple CarPlay is free to use. Of course, data charges will apply depending on whatever plan your phone is on. 

Note that CarPlay is not compatible with iPads, iPods, and, of course, android phones.

2. Cars That Support CarPlay

Similarly, most car manufacturers today offer compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto.

Unless your car is quite old, it most likely will be CarPlay compatible. 

There is one notable exception to this rule, though: Tesla. Like everything else they do, Tesla has their own proprietary interface for in-car information and entertainment. However, while Tesla’s software is pretty neat, it is not free.

If you are unsure whether your car supports CarPlay, consult the list of compatible vehicles on Apple’s site. There are over 600 models and counting. 

If you’re considering buying a new car and CarPlay is a priority, you can check directly with the vehicle manufacturer or auto dealer to make sure your new vehicle will support CarPlay.  

Workaround for Vehicles That Don’t Support CarPlay

Many older vehicles are not CarPlay compatible.

This is mainly because older cars have limited or non-existent electronic interfaces.

But that does not mean you cannot use CarPlay. 

The most straightforward workaround to the problem is to use a third-party smart display. Many aftermarket car displays made by brands like Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, and JVC will integrate CarPlay. By installing such third-party automotive components in your vehicle, you can enjoy CarPlay integration no matter how old your car is.

Before purchasing a smart car display, ensure that you will be able to install it in your vehicle easily and that there is sufficient room – either on the vehicle’s windshield or dashboard – where the device can be fitted. 

It goes without saying that you will also need an Apple CarPlay compatible iPhone to use CarPlay using a smart car display.

If you’re looking for an affordable aftermarket smart display, consider this INTELLIDASH PRO Wireless Car Display (available on It’s easy to install and compatible with both CarPlay and Android Auto. It also works wirelessly, so once you’re set-up, you can use CarPlay over WIFI, bypassing the need to use a CarPlay Lightning Cable.

Getting Started Using CarPlay

iPhone Cable Connected to CarPlay

Depending on your car or display system, you can use CarPlay by connecting your phone to your car directly–through a lightning USB connector–or wirelessly via your car/display’s Bluetooth connection.

In either case, the setup procedure is very simple and quick.

Once set up, you can control CarPlay using Siri commands or your car’s manual controls.

Depending on the vehicle, manual controls may include a touchscreen, dials and knobs, a touchpad, and even buttons built into the vehicle’s steering wheel.

Remember to update your car’s CarPlay firmware the first time you use it.

You can also customize CarPlay according to your preferences by adding apps that you find most helpful when driving. Some of the most popular apps for CarPlay include Google Maps, Waze, Audible, and Spotify.

Now you’re all set to make the most of your time on the road. Drive safe!


Apple CarPlay makes the time you spend behind the wheel more fun and keeps you safe.

It comes free with most iPhones still in use, although you cannot use it with iPads, iPods, and Android phones.

Moreover, CarPlay is extremely easy to set up and use. 

Most newer cars, other than Tesla’s, support CarPlay.

If you’re unsure whether your vehicle does, consult Apple or your car maker’s website.

Finally, third-party smart car displays are a great way to add nifty electronics to an older automobile. Just be sure you’ve got enough room to fit one of them.

Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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