Apple CarPlay is being used for everything nowadays.
Everything, but playing YouTube, that is.
While CarPlay offers a variety of options for music, maps, calls, and calendars, many people are still wondering if you can use it to play YouTube videos.
You can’t watch YouTube directly with CarPlay since Apple doesn’t support this for safety reasons. However, there are workarounds, such as going through a third-party app to watch it.
Today we’ll look at why you can’t watch YouTube with CarPlay, and how you can get around this for certain situations.
Why You Can’t Watch the Apple CarPlay YouTube App
Watching YouTube while driving presents very real safety issues. The primary reason it’s an issue to watch it with CarPlay is the safety problems and liability for the companies involved.
This is the same reason why you cannot watch Netflix, Hulu, or any other video stream with CarPlay.
In most areas, the law does not permit a screen that plays movies in a vehicle to be visible to the driver.
In the event that you get into an accident because you were watching a video on CarPlay, Apple then holds the liability for that and can be sued massively.
Workarounds To Watch YouTube With Apple CarPlay
There are situations where it may be appropriate to use Apple CarPlay to watch YouTube.
It can be enormously useful if you aren’t the one driving or if you are currently parked in your vehicle.
The nice part about some of the solutions we’re about to discuss is that you don’t need a jailbreak to do them.
The key, instead, is to utilize various phone features and work with third-party apps.
Watching YouTube Through Screen Mirroring
This isn’t going to work with every vehicle, but it’s a great way to watch YouTube for most newer cars. In this situation, you’ll simply want to start YouTube on your phone and then mirror it to the stereo screen.
The process for this is the same as it is for screen mirroring to a television.
Just select the vehicle’s screen instead, but will be through the non-carplay software.
Using Third-Party Apps To Watch YouTube
Another way to watch YouTube on CarPlay is to use a third-party app. This does take a little more effort than a screen mirror, but it’s almost guaranteed to work in any situation.
You can use a few different apps for this, but my favorite is CarBridge. CarPlay alone doesn’t allow you to add YouTube to the list of apps you’re using, but CarBridge does exactly that. (If you don’t like this option see my CarBridge alternative options)
However, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind before installing CarBridge.
First, you’ll need to ensure your phone is in portrait mode. You’ll also want to ensure low power mode is off and that background refresh is on.
All of these things can be done through your iPhone settings.
Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll just need to connect the phone to the vehicle’s CarPlay display. You can do this wirelessly or through a USB.
Here’s a quick description of how to get to YouTube on the CarBridge app:
- Go to your phone settings and click on the CarBridge app.
- Tap Bridged Applications.
- Tap on YouTube to add it to your bridged applications.
- Browse and watch.
*This only works with IOS 15 and lower at the time of writing. If you have updated CarPlay to IOS 16, you will have to wait for this to become compatible.
**Additionally, this is not an apple approved system, so expect bugs and issues if you go down this route.
What’s the Difference Between Audio and Video? They’re Both Distracted Driving
It may not seem like it at first, but there’s a big difference between audio and video when it comes to driving.
While you can get caught up in an Audible audiobook in CarPlay just as much as you can in a movie, there is a difference.
Television is designed to keep you engaged.
The scenes of the show or video flash on the screen at a systemized rate that keep you completely engaged.
In addition, when we watch television, no matter what type of screen it’s on, our brain goes into an Alpha State.
Our brains are always producing various types of waves:
- Delta Brainwaves (1-3 Hz): These are the slowest of all brainwaves. They take place when we are in deep, healing sleep. They are most associated with the subconscious.
- Theta Brainwaves (4-7 Hz): Theta waves put us in a sort of dream state. They appear most often with deep meditation and during the time between being awake and asleep.
- Alpha Brainwaves (8-12 Hz): Alpha brainwaves are slower and larger. They put us in a state of relaxation, with the brain almost in a state of idleness. It’s simply waiting to respond if it has to, but awareness significantly decreases during this time.
- Beta Brainwaves (13-38 Hz): These are smaller and faster. Beta brainwaves are where we spend most of our time, and they’re where we are most aware of the world around us. They are associated with alertness and high concentration.
- Gamma Brainwaves (39-42 Hz): These are the fastest brainwaves. They are also the most subtle. These brainwaves control perception and consciousness.
So, why do brainwaves matter?
They matter because your brainwaves define how aware you are while driving. Videos almost put you in an alpha brainwave state from the moment you begin watching them. This is due to the frequency in which the video vibrations happen.
This means that you are significantly less aware.
Audiobooks, music, podcasts, and so on do not put you in an alpha state most of the time unless you are listening to something specifically designed to do so.
Therefore, you are significantly more aware as you are driving.
On top of that, watching a video while driving takes your eyes off the road and puts them on the screen.
While one can argue that the same thing happens when selecting music to play or when reading the GPS, it happens for less time during these activities.
Typically, you switch back and forth during this time, whereas you are much more likely to simply stare at the screen when watching YouTube.
If you want to use YouTube videos with CarPlay, it is possible, but not without going through a third-party app or screen mirroring in most situations.
Using safer options such as audiobooks, music, and podcasts is significantly better.
There are thousands of different things to listen to, and they’re almost always as entertaining as any video you could watch.
If you mainly want to listen to YouTube videos or Music, you should consider downloading the YouTube Music CarPlay app, which is compatible and works great, although you will need a YT premium membership to use this in CarPlay.