Apple CarPlay came out in March 2014, but its adoption took some time for automakers. Some of the earliest vehicles to feature or support Apple CarPlay rolled out in 2016. Today, all major brands and most of their models have native support for Apple CarPlay.
Apple CarPlay will likely be the ideal infotainment interface for your car if you have an iPhone 5 or any later model. Even BMW has stopped charging an annual subscription fee for the service, joining other auto manufacturers.
However, Apple CarPlay doesn’t work with all vehicles.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out?
Apple CarPlay was officially introduced to the world on March 3, 2014, and subsequently released in the Ferrari FF, which was the first vehicle to hit the road with the infotainment system as a native feature, and the mirroring interface pre-installed in the iPhone 5, 6, etc.
Apple CarPlay has evolved over the years, and the core features are still valuable, such as the following:
- Making, receiving, and returning calls and voicemails. (Even with the Whatsapp CarPlay App)
- Receiving and sending messages with audio support.
- Several live radio CarPlay apps and other apps.
While CarPlay has used Apple Maps to provide live directions since its first version, it now has many more CarPlay navigation apps that support the platform. For instance, Apple CarPlay can transform your iPhone into car keys for some vehicles.
You can now use Apple CarPlay for one or more of the following:
- Unlock your car
- Start your vehicle
- Share your car keys
This feature came out in 2021. Plus, apart from the convenience of using Siri and voice-enabled functions, you can use Apple CarPlay to interact with the controls of your vehicle’s infotainment system, such as the following:
Apple CarPlay is likely to offer more features in select vehicles rolling out soon, and some of the announcements are expected in late 2023.
Below are a few anticipated attributes of the next-generation Apple CarPlay:
- Instrument cluster
- Temperature control
- More integrations with the car’s internal computer
That said, Apple CarPlay has experiential differences based on your car’s brand and model, including the probable issues you may encounter. Your Apple CarPlay may have a lag or audio delay, an echo when someone calls you, etc. It might also keep getting disconnected.
Like many people, you may wonder whether or not a particular brand’s model of a specific year has native support for Apple CarPlay. Here are the years when different automakers adopted Apple CarPlay for their popular vehicles.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Ford?
Apple CarPlay came out in Ford vehicles in 2017. However, some 2016 Ford models can use Apple CarPlay if they have SYNC 3, software version 2.0, or later. More than 20 Ford models released since 2017 have native support for Apple CarPlay.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in BMW?
Apple CarPlay came out in BMW in 2017, but the interface may be compatible with some late 2016 models featuring iDrive 5.0 or later versions. More than 30 BMW models rolled out from 2017 through 2023 support Apple CarPlay, and it isn’t chargeable anymore.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Mercedes?
Apple CarPlay came out in Mercedes in 2016. As many as 8 Mercedes-Benz models rolled out in 2016 had native support for Apple CarPlay. That number has gone up to more than two dozen. Mercedes-Benz was among the first few automakers to feature Apple CarPlay.
While BMW wasn’t interested in adopting CarPlay at the outset, and also after its initial release, 3 brands teamed up with Apple even before the official launch:
The partnership has only become stronger over the years, with Mercedes-Benz developing native support for the Spatial Audio feature of Apple Music. Of course, such features or developments won’t be universal across the sector because automakers adopt Apple CarPlay in distinct ways.
Even if your vehicle doesn’t deliver the Spatial Audio experience, you can still use Apple Music or other CarPlay music apps with all vehicles.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Toyota?
Apple CarPlay came out in Toyota in 2018 in the UK with the Aygo model and in 2019 in the US with the Avalon. More than 20 Toyota models rolled out since these years have native support for Apple CarPlay, including the popular Camry, Corolla, Prius, and more.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Honda?
Apple CarPlay came out in Honda in 2016 with the Accord and Civic models. The Honda CR-V, Pilot, and Ridgeline started featuring Apple CarPlay in 2017. Subsequently, Honda Clarity, Fit, HR-V, Insight, Odyssey, and Passport have native support for Apple CarPlay.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Nissan?
Apple CarPlay came out in Nissan in 2017 with the Micra, Maxima, and Murano models. All popular Nissan vehicles launched since 2018 feature Apple CarPlay, including the models introduced in 2022, such as the Ariya, Frontier, Largus, and Pathfinder.
When Did Apple CarPlay Come Out in Jeeps?
Apple CarPlay came out in Jeeps in 2017 but only worked with the Compass model. The Grand Cherokee and Wrangler Jeeps didn’t feature Apple CarPlay until 2018. Later, Apple CarPlay became a standard for the Cherokee, Gladiator, Grand Wagoneer, etc.
Like the evolving versions of Apple CarPlay, automakers continue to improve the interfaces for their vehicles. Thus, you should ensure you update to the latest CarPlay firmware, subject to compatibility, regardless of when Apple CarPlay came out and which year your vehicle was manufactured.
As more cars are produced every year, and older models are phased out, we’ll continue to see CarPlay as a default in most cars and a feature that many consumers will expect to see.