Comparing CarPlay and Android Auto: The Ultimate Showdown

When it comes to connecting your smartphone to your car’s infotainment system, two major players dominate the market: CarPlay by Apple and Android Auto by Google. These systems allow drivers to access their phone’s apps and features safely while on the road. In this article, we’ll compare CarPlay and Android Auto to help you decide which system is better suited for your needs.

Comparing CarPlay and Android Auto

Before we dive into the step-by-step tutorial, let’s understand what we’ll achieve. We’ll compare the key features of CarPlay and Android Auto, such as user interface, app compatibility, voice control, and more. This will help you make an informed decision about which system to use in your vehicle.

Step 1: Evaluate the User Interface

The user interface is the first thing you’ll notice when you connect your phone to your car.

CarPlay has a familiar interface for iPhone users, with large icons and a clean layout. On the other hand, Android Auto features a card-based design that’s easy to navigate and provides quick access to your most-used apps.

Step 2: Check App Compatibility

Both systems support a range of apps, but there are some differences.

CarPlay supports a wide variety of Apple and third-party apps, whereas Android Auto has more limited support for third-party apps. This might be a deciding factor if you rely on specific apps while driving.

Step 3: Consider Voice Control Capabilities

Voice control is crucial for minimizing distractions while driving.

Siri powers CarPlay’s voice control, and it’s generally very responsive and accurate. Android Auto uses Google Assistant, which is also highly capable and provides a more conversational experience.

Step 4: Look at Messaging and Calls

Staying connected on the go is essential for many drivers.

Both systems allow you to make calls and send messages using voice commands. However, CarPlay might have a slight edge here due to the seamless integration with iMessage.

Step 5: Assess Navigation Options

Navigation is one of the most used features in any car infotainment system.

CarPlay offers Apple Maps, which has improved significantly over the years. Android Auto provides Google Maps and Waze, which are widely considered superior in terms of accuracy and features.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of CarPlay and Android Auto. This will help you choose which system is better for your individual needs and preferences.

Tips for Choosing Between CarPlay and Android Auto

  • Consider which smartphone you use. If you’re an iPhone user, CarPlay might be the more natural choice.
  • Think about the apps you use most often while driving and check if they are supported by either system.
  • Test out the voice control systems to see which one you find more intuitive and responsive.
  • Evaluate how important navigation is to your driving experience and choose the system with the best options for you.
  • Keep in mind that some car models offer better integration with one system over the other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly?

Yes, both CarPlay and Android Auto offer wireless connectivity in certain car models and head units.

Do I need a specific cable to connect my phone?

For a wired connection, you’ll need a USB cable that’s compatible with your phone. For iPhones, that would be a lightning cable, and for most Android phones, a USB-C or micro-USB cable.

Can I customize the layout of CarPlay or Android Auto?

Both systems offer some level of customization. You can rearrange icons on CarPlay and choose different widgets or information cards on Android Auto.

Is there a difference in the cost between CarPlay and Android Auto?

No, both systems are generally offered as standard or optional features in compatible vehicles without any additional cost for the software.

What happens if I switch from iPhone to Android or vice versa?

If you switch phones, you’ll need to set up the new system. It’s worth noting that some cars offer both CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can switch seamlessly.


  1. Evaluate the user interface.
  2. Check app compatibility.
  3. Consider voice control capabilities.
  4. Look at messaging and calls.
  5. Assess navigation options.


In the battle of CarPlay vs. Android Auto, there’s no definitive answer as to which is better. It largely depends on your personal preferences, the type of smartphone you use, and your specific needs while driving. Both systems offer a safer and more convenient way to use your phone’s features on the road, and they continue to improve with updates and new app integrations.

If you’re in the market for a new car or a compatible head unit, it’s worth trying out both systems to see which one feels more intuitive to you. Remember, the ultimate goal is to minimize distractions while driving, so choose the system that best helps you stay focused on the road. Whether you’re team CarPlay or team Android Auto, safe driving should always be your top priority.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy