In 2018, Apple CarPlay started providing support for WhatsApp.
The popular messaging platform complemented the Apple standard by allowing drivers to communicate with others via voice or text while ensuring they stay safe on the road.
WhatsApp on Apple CarPlay is similar to the regular WhatsApp app, but with added features specifically designed for use in a car. The interface is easy to control and you can use Siri to send messages hands-free. You can also receive WhatsApp audio calls via CarPlay.
The rest of this article will discuss in detail how WhatsApp is used in Apple CarPlay, and how you can use it to make calls, send messages or manage your notifications via the app.
Let’s get started!
How WhatsApp Works on Apple CarPlay
Once your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, you can use the latter to make calls and send and receive messages on WhatsApp.
However, there are limitations mostly related to browsing through your messages (which I’ll get to in a jiffy).
To access WhatsApp CarPlay:
- Connect your iPhone to CarPlay, either by plugging it in via the lightning cable or wirelessly (if that’s an option). Once connected, the display will show all your compatible phone apps, including the WhatsApp app. You don’t need to download any special app for CarPlay versions.
- After tapping the WhatsApp app icon on the dashboard, you’ll see three different options: Unread Messages (if any), New Message, and Call (which are exactly what they sound like).
Making Calls on WhatsApp via CarPlay
Making calls on the WhatsApp CarPlay app requires you to make a voice command via Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.
Here’s how to make calls on WhatsApp via CarPlay:
- Say, “Hey Siri.”
- Tell Siri that you want to make a WhatsApp call.
- Say the complete name of the person you want to call. Make sure it’s the same as the name indicated on your contacts list.
OR: Select call on the WhatsApp CarPlay home screen as seen in the above image.
I should note that users of the older version of WhatsApp have complained that CarPlay didn’t allow you to make calls via WhatsApp unless the phone was unlocked and WhatsApp was open.
However, later updates seem to have made this a non-issue. So, make sure all your CarPlay software is updated before you use them together.
Also, placing a WhatsApp call through your phone (instead of through CarPlay) simply opens your contacts and presses the call button.
“I’m busy” options for receiving WhatsApp CarPlay Calls
If you don’t want to take the call while you’re driving, you can select a range of options that will send a WhatsApp message with either of the following:
- “Can’t talk right now. I’m driving.”
- Sorry, I can’t talk right now.”
- “I’m on my way.”
Texting on WhatsApp via CarPlay
Although you can send and receive messages on WhatsApp via CarPlay, I don’t recommend it.
You can dictate messages via your voice, but the functionality is limited compared to just using WhatsApp directly on your phone.
Then again, since CarPlay is designed to be used hands-free on the road, I think it makes sense that WhatsApp messaging via CarPlay is limited.
After all, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds to check a WhatsApp message can compromise your safety as a driver.
Sending New Messages on WhatsApp via CarPlay
Instead of displaying a list of your most recent conversations when you choose New Message from the menu, Siri will ask you who you want to send a WhatsApp message to and what you want the message to say.
This can get annoying if you want to reply to a conversation you had with someone yesterday and want to remember where you left off.
Receiving Message Notifications on WhatsApp via CarPlay
Whenever you get a new message on WhatsApp, you’ll see a banner alert at the bottom of your car’s touchscreen, regardless of the CarPlay app active at the time.
The name of the sender and their number will appear on the app’s main icon, just as they would on an iPhone.
To read the message, tap the Messages or WhatsApp icon, or just touch the banner alert.
There are three options for responding to WhatsApp messages: Read Again, Reply, and Skip.
If you ask Carplay Siri to read the message to you again as soon as you receive it, you’ll be able to dictate a reply to her once she’s done reading it to you the first time.
How To Enable Apple CarPlay WhatsApp Notifications
Before using WhatsApp notifications on CarPlay, you must ensure your iPhone and CarPlay run iOS 14 or later. To check the version of iOS, go to
If you’re not running iOS 14 yet, you’ll need to update the phone before enabling Apple CarPlay WhatsApp notifications.
If you are running iOS 14 or later, follow these steps:
1. Connect Your New Device to the Car’s Infotainment System
Once you’ve verified that your iPhone is running iOS 14 or later, it is time to set up a WhatsApp CarPlay notifications.
- Tap Home in the display of your car’s infotainment system. This will open a menu with an option to connect your new device. Tap that.
- Turn on Bluetooth on your phone and pair it with “Hands.” You can also use a USB cable to plug the phone into the infotainment system. After connection, a consent screen will appear on the infotainment unit – tap yes to accept.
2. Launch the CarPlay Mode
At this point, you should see the CarPlay display on your infotainment system. If it doesn’t appear automatically, look for an icon that says “CarPlay.” Touch it to enter CarPlay mode.
Find all the apps that are available on CarPlay.
WhatsApp should be one of them. If it’s not, make sure that WhatsApp is installed on your iPhone.
3. Allow WhatsApp CarPlay Notifications
Now that WhatsApp is available on your infotainment system, it’s time to allow notifications.
To do this:
- Go to Settings, then select WhatsApp.
- Select Notifications, you should be able to see there Allow notifications.
- Set a sound and toggle it ON.
Common Issues You’ll Encounter with the WhatsApp CarPlay App
Usually, any new feature from different providers will have a few hiccups along the way, and the CarPlay-WhatsApp situation is no different.
Here are some of the most common issues you’ll encounter with WhatsApp in CarPlay and how to solve them.
WhatsApp Notifications Not Showing Up on CarPlay
If WhatsApp notifications are not appearing on your CarPlay display, ensure that the Allow Notification toggle is ON.
If it’s still not working, try restarting your iPhone and reconnecting it to the car’s infotainment system.
You can also try backing up WhatsApp on iCloud, then delete the app from your iPhone. Reinstall WhatsApp from the App Store and then restore your backup.
This should solve the issue.
Can’t Reply on WhatsApp Messages on CarPlay
If you are experiencing failed messages, try force quitting the WhatsApp app on your iPhone and then relaunching it.
You can also try restarting your iPhone or unpairing it from your car’s system and reconnecting it.
Is WhatsApp CarPlay Safe to Use?
WhatsApp is among the most popular messaging apps, with over 2 billion monthly users.
It is owned by Facebook and uses end-to-end encryption to keep messages safe from prying eyes.
The only issue is that Facebook is not necessarily the most trustworthy of companies when it comes to user data.
However, iOS allows users to opt-out of sharing data with Facebook.
WhatsApp is safe to use on CarPlay, assuming you’ve chosen not to share your data with Facebook. Just be aware that any messages you send can be intercepted if your phone is connected to an unsecured public wifi network.
See our full article on CarPlay Saftey for more information regarding this.
Since WhatsApp is a relatively recent addition to Apple CarPlay’s list of supported apps, it still has some limitations to overcome.
Calling someone on WhatsApp CarPlay is pretty straightforward.
Sending and receiving messages via the same route, on the other hand, takes a bit of work, but hopefully, with this guide, you now know the basics.
See our other Carplay messager app articles here: