fbpx Apple CarPlay v Android Auto: Which Does Your Car Need?

Apple CarPlay v Android Auto: Which One Should You Have in Your Car?

Posted on 26th May 2023
Apple CarPlay v Android Auto: Which One Should You Have in Your Car?

When it comes to buying a new car on finance there are often many things you want to consider. Reliability, cost, and fuel efficiency, are all standard concerns, but aside from these, there is always one that sits close to matching the priority they are given.

The entertainment, or shall we say infotainment options.

Currently, there are two big players in this field and that is in large part because of our smartphones. Where in the past, car manufacturers had in-built systems that may help navigate us or play our music, today we rely on the geniuses behind Apple and Android to do that and a whole lot more.

So which system comes out on top? We broke down the differences between the two.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple has long been seen as innovators of great tech. The fact that “i” gets attached to almost anything seen as tech-inspired or futuristic goes someway to showing the huge impact the Apple brand has had on the world.

With Apple CarPlay that innovation continues, launched in 2014, the Apple CarPlay system allows you to connect your iPhone to your car’s inbuilt display. This then gives you access to maps, apps, music and more. You can even use Siri, the Apple voice assistant, to control what is shown on the screen, to make calls and to send messages among many other things.

Seeing as driving whilst using your phone is prohibited, the CarPlay system still allows you to make use of the key features whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

At the time of writing, it is thought that around 600 different vehicles are supporting Apple CarPlay, some of which will do it wirelessly, others via USB.

What is Android Auto?

For Android Auto you could read Apple CarPlay but just for Android phones. Although there are a few differences. Google Assistant provides your voice-activated control and Google Maps is the default rather than Apple Maps.

Perhaps seen by many as the biggest benefit is that Android Auto can integrate with many more third-party apps than its Apple counterpart. It was first launched in 2015 and can connect via USB or wireless although, full wireless connectivity is only available if your phone operates on Android 10.0 or above. The latest info from Google claims that 150m vehicles are using Android Auto at present.

What are the differences between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Both systems are fundamentally the same and as we mentioned above, some of the differences are in fact subtle. For example, Siri or Google Voice Assistant are two different things but will give you much the same results. It is when it comes down to some other key features though that the differences are really noticed:

User interfaces

Apple CarPlay has often been preferred by many due to the way it can show more information at any one time. A multi-window layout meaning that you can quickly access different features without having to scroll and search for what you need. Add in the customisable features and it soon adds a touch of personality to your infotainment system.

This is no longer the case though; Android had a huge update for the Auto in 2022 and this led to a split-screen UI that brings similar benefits to those that the Apple system does.


Until recently, Apple CarPlay could only offer navigation with Apple Maps which led to many preferring the Google Maps service provided by Android.

Google Maps is incredibly detailed, and its ease of use makes it popular with many, Apple CarPlay on the other hand isn’t quite so friendly with its navigation systems. Things just don’t work the same, and things that were done in an instant with Google Maps take longer with Apple Maps. A constant process of selection, going back, going forward and so on can be dangerous when driving, so it is kind of a bonus that Google Maps has now been adopted by Apple. It just now comes down to a choice of selecting the one you want to use.

Using your voice command system for navigation also seems to be better with Android Auto. Your commands to the map system are much better understood so should you need to change destination or make a request, Android Auto will get you the response you need much quicker.

Calls and messages

We all know the risks of using your phone whilst driving, so the introduction of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a welcome benefit for us all. In this world of constant connectivity, it is more likely than not that you will be receiving a phone call, a message, an email, or an update whilst you drive. With Apple CarPlay these will appear in banners across the bottom of the screen which can be frustrating especially if you are using the map features. On Android Auto though, not only do these notifications appear at the top of the screen but you can dismiss or mute them allowing for less disturbance on your journey and a choice of which notifications you deem relevant.

When it comes to calls, Apple CarPlay still has something to learn from Android. If a call comes in, the full screen is filled with the call information, hiding the previously displayed visual. Android subtly shows this to you at the top of the screen and if you do answer, the first operating system stays on the call page whilst Android Auto will show controls in the dock.

Third-party apps

Apps can be such a useful part of any device you use and when it comes to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, it is the Android system that leads the way. At present, there are thought to be well over 100 apps supported by Android Auto compared to approximately 20 for Apple CarPlay. That being said, whilst driving, the most common apps you will need are likely maps and music. Both of which are well catered for on each system.

So which one you choose is down to you. Both have subtle differences and if we were to choose ourselves, we would probably look towards Android Auto.


Fortunately, many vehicles now come with at least one of these functions and some may even come with both. For many people there will never be a change from iPhone and for others never be a deviation from Android. So, if you are looking to utilise your phone, in-car, check the compatibility between models. At Euphoria Finance we have access to over 50,000 vehicles and can help showcase the perfect Android Auto or Apple CarPlay vehicle for you. As a car finance direct lender we love to say yes, in fact, we help those looking for poor credit car finance find the best possible cheap car finance deals.


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