Can You Use Apple CarPlay & Instagram?

CarPlay allows you to use your iPhone while driving.

You can use it to listen to a podcast, make a call, navigate to the nearest sushi restaurant, or even read a message from WhatsApp.

However, there are apps that Apple doesn’t let you access through the CarPlay technology. 

You cannot use Instagram on Apple CarPlay unless you jailbreak your iPhone. Apple only allows drivers to access navigation, news, messaging, and audio apps. To enhance road safety, Apple CarPlay doesn’t allow access to other types of apps – including social media apps like Instagram. 

instagram carplay location on the app store

Using Instagram and other social media apps like Facebook and Snapchat while driving is too risky, as I’ll discuss in this article.

I’ll also show why jailbreaking your phone to enable Apple CarPlay Instagram is a bad idea. 

Apple CarPlay Is Designed for Safety 

Performing any non-driving-related tasks while driving is risky.

Vehicles move fast, and taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds can result in an accident. 

That said, sometimes it’s necessary to perform such tasks. The goal is to find the safest way to do so. 

Here is how CarPlay promotes road safety: 

  • It restricts the iPhone apps you can access. 
  • The CarPlay interface is simple to reduce the time and cognitive effort it takes to perform tasks. 
  • Most of the tasks are controlled through Siri, enabling you to use your voice and keep your eyes on the road. 

 

The apps that Apple CarPlay allows are either directly relevant to transport, such as navigation apps, or relatively safe to use while driving, such as podcast apps. 

Here are the groups of apps that CarPlay officially allows: 

  • Audio apps that offer internet radio, podcasts, news, sports, and audiobooks
  • Messaging and VoIP apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which are exclusively voice-driven and controlled with the help of Siri commands.
  • Automaker apps that control useful, built-in vehicle features like climate control. 
  • Navigation maps like Apple Maps and Google Maps. 
  • Parking apps to help find parking services. 

 

Allowing the use of social media apps like Instagram would defeat one of the primary goals of Apple CarPlay: safe driving. 

Using Instagram While Driving Is Too Risky 

taxi crash

All non-driving activities pose a certain amount of risk. However, some activities are much riskier than others. 

While assessing the risk that a non-driving activity poses to your road safety, you can use the following parameters: 

  • Visual demand. Does the activity require that you take your eyes off the road, and for how long?
  • Cognitive demand. How much attention and mental effort does it take to accomplish the task? 
  • Time. How long does it take to complete the task? 
  • Physical effort. How much manual manipulation does it take to finish the task? Does it require that you take your hands off the steering wheel? 

 

The Instagram app scores poorly for each of the four parameters listed above. 

To begin with, it’s naturally visual and is designed to be engaging. Instagram algorithmically populates your feed with the content that you are most likely to enjoy. 

As for cognitive demand and time, your brain has to be involved to find an Instagram post funny or otherwise engaging. So whether it’s a reel, story, or live session, your eyes will likely be tempted to linger on the screen. 

As for physical effort, even if you resist the urge to double-tap on a cute photo, you’ll probably find yourself swiping left to see more if it’s a carousel or swiping down to see more content. 

It’s a recipe for disaster, so Apple CarPlay Instagram is not an option on an Apple device that hasn’t been tampered with. 

Why Jailbreaking to Enable Apple CarPlay Instagram Is a Bad Idea 

carplay Instagram mock up

Jailbreaking an iPhone alters the phone’s original operating system to enable extra functionality. 

Here’s a YouTube video of a successful jailbreak, which allows the user to add 

access to apps that are usually out of bounds on CarPlay:

Jailbreaking is not a straightforward process and will differ depending on your iPhone model and the jailbreak expert you listen to. 

If the jailbreak is successful, you’ll have to install a third-party app to redefine the connection between the CarPlay app and your car’s system. 

Some of the risks of jailbreaking your iPhone include: 

  • If something goes wrong during the process, you might end up with an iPhone that doesn’t work. 
  • You can’t use Apple’s built-in update system to update your phone. Once an update is released, you have to wait for the jailbreak community to develop a corresponding version of the update. 
  • It voids your warranty, meaning if something goes wrong with your iPhone, Apple will not be able to help you. 

 

Conclusion

You cannot use Apple CarPlay Instagram unless you jailbreak your phone, a risky process that is not guaranteed to work. 

Apple CarPlay does not allow you to access Instagram.

It does not allow apps that are not central to transport or that demand your attention in a way that compromises your road safety.

Alex
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
StereoUpgrade.com

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