Since its introduction in 2014, Apple CarPlay has become a standard feature in over 600 car models across 70 different brands.
From Ford to Ferrari, car companies have prioritized making their infotainment systems compatible with Apple devices.
Apple CarPlay is updated through iOS updates on your Apple phone or device. On the other hand, updating the infotainment firmware in your car is not necessary, although it is easy to do so and may save you from potential issues arising from outdated apps.
This article will show you how to update Apple CarPlay, and what these updates have included in the past.
Do I Need To Update CarPlay in My Car?
You do not need to update CarPlay in your car. Instead, updates to CarPlay are provided by Apple through software updates on your phone or device, and there is no need to update CarPlay firmware. Apple CarPlay works through your car’s infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple.
Therefore, CarPlay updates come through your Apple devices and not your vehicle, as your vehicle isn’t manufactured by Apple.
Also, you must keep your devices up-to-date to make sure you have the newest features. Besides, these updates usually contain patches to fix bugs Apple has found in the software.
How to Update Apple CarPlay?
You can update Apple CarPlay by installing the most recent iOS update on your Apple device. Although not every software update will have patches specifically for CarPlay, keeping your device up to date is important.
Use your Apple device to open Settings>General>Software Update to check for available updates. There’s no CarPlay App.
After the update, you may need to reconnect your device to your car if you’re having trouble.
To reconnect your device:
- Navigate to Settings>General>CarPlay on your Apple device.
- Select your vehicle.
- Select “Forget This Car.”
- Restart your car.
- Restart your device.
- Connect your device using a USB cord or Bluetooth and follow the setup prompts.
What Is the Current Version of Apple CarPlay?
As of May 2022, the most recent version of the software is iOS 15.4.1, with iOS 15.2.1 being the last update that specifically addressed bugs with Apple CarPlay.
Many new CarPlay features were introduced with iOS 15, including CarKey, Focus, and Announce Messages with Siri. Here’s a quick rundown:
- CarKey: This is a feature that allows you to use your iPhone as a key to start your car. It also offers additional safety features, such as your car only starting if the phone (and, by extension, its owner) is inside the vehicle.
- Driving Focus: An overhaul of the previous ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature, iOS 15 allows you to customize which contacts and apps can send you alerts while you’re driving.
- Wallpapers: iOS 15 adds several new wallpaper options to CarPlay.
- Maps: The updates to Maps are making it more specific and accurate. However, these updates are only for large cities as of this writing. See more about: Apple Maps CarPlay settings.
- Announce Messages with Siri: Carplay Siri can now automatically read your messages aloud and allow you to respond without having to take your eyes off the road.
What Were the Past Versions of Apple CarPlay Software?
CarPlay features began in iOS 8 and have continued to expand with every subsequent update. These updates have included many new capabilities and lots of bug fixes to the software.
Past iOS updates included:
- iOS 8 allowed Apple devices to connect to CarPlay wirelessly.
- iOS 9 added the ability to play audio messages in your car and expanded the compatibility of Apple Music.
- iOS 10 provided convenient shortcuts for frequently used apps and Apple Music features.
- iOS 11 didn’t add any new capabilities to CarPlay but fixed many bugs that were causing problems with audio functionality.
- iOS 12 allowed CarPlay to support third-party navigation apps in addition to Apple’s Maps software.
- iOS 13 was a very significant update for CarPlay. It featured a completely new dashboard and added Calendar and Apple News apps. It also updated Maps, Music, and the information for incoming calls. A Do Not Disturb feature was also added (recently replaced with Focus in iOS 15).
- iOS 14 updated Siri to be able to send messages, warn drivers of accidents and speed traps, and share your ETA with contacts. CarPlay also became compatible with the intercom feature released on HomePods and added Chinese and Japanese keyboards.
- iOS 15 Enhanced city maping for Apple maps including displaying turn lanes, bike lanes, and crosswalks (In supported cities: London, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco). Fixed bugs related to third-party apps not responding and HomeKit issues.
- iOS 16 This update was all about the “next generation of CarPlay” and prepares for upcoming features that are expected in late 2023, which will allow for a more cohesive car and CarPlay experience allowing for more interaction with the cars instrument cluster displays, control of the radio and HVAC, although this will depend on the model vehicle you have. In this update, there are also more apps for driving tasks, such as fueling, road information, towing help, and more. Lastly, there is a new setting that allows you to skip the confirmation step when sending messages. You can enable this in Siri’s settings.
As promised, updating Apple CarPlay is easier than you think. CarPlay software is updated through iOS updates on your phone, which you can find in the Settings app on your device.
The more recent your iOS version is, the fewer issues you’ll have updating it.