Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which would you rather go for?


Posted by: Okenwa Emeka

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The battle between Android Auto and the Apple CarPlay seems to never end. And it's truly difficult to find the most suitable one for yourself. Read this article to know more about these car infotainment systems!

You must have heard of either the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay or both. These two probably form the most used and the most useful digital car assistants that are found in the modern car infotainment systems. They both provide a platform through which you can connect your smartphone to your car’s infotainment unit.

There have been on-going debates as to which of them is preferable. The fact is that except for some subtle differences, a few changes and certain updates unique to each app; they are almost similar.

To better assess the two, we need to know the differences between both. Here Naijauto will be reviewing each of the system based on their availability, functionality and control.

1. The Apple CarPlay

It was first released in 2014 and was indeed designed to supersede previous car systems that were of similar design. It is designed in such a way that it is user- friendly, highly accessible and safe for driving.


Car infotainment is also called In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI), providing entertainment and information in the car

1.1. Availability

Before now, the Apple CarPlay was available in only about 200 car models worldwide or a little above that but recently it has increased to more than 400 new car models thus, making it a strong competition to the Android Auto.

1.2. Control unit

It is designed in such a way that car owners do not have to use their phones while driving. The Siri app will be automatically activated once you want to open your message app on your iPhone. Hence, you can access your calls or messages using voice commands or manual means. There is also the voice- to- text function for sending message and the text- to –voice function that allows your messages to be read out to you. You can control CarPlay using Siri, touchscreen display and physical buttons as well.

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1.3. Applications

There are lots of apps available on the Apple CarPlay but they are not much when compared to the number in the usual App store.

1.4. Navigation

The recently updated CarPlay’s iOS 12 now comes with features that permit the use of third- party navigation apps. However do to certain limitations like that of the one that has to do with Siri restricted support on third party navigation apps, they Apple maps may not seem convenient for use.


The Apple carplay is user friendly and designed to supersede other car infotainment systems

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2. The Android Auto

It was unveiled in 2015, which is a year after the Apple CarPlay was released. It came with almost similar features and apps. But, it did have its own features that distinguished it from the Apple CarPlay.

2.1. Availability

Globally, the Android Auto is available on not less than 500 cars of the recent models. This gives it a clear-cut edge over the Android Auto. It also exists as a standalone mobile app that makes use of your phone while you drive. You however need a head unit to enjoy this app better in your car.

2.2. Control unit

Just like the Apple CarPlay, its programmers made it easy for one to access their phone without physically or manually operating the phone while driving. This is achieved with features like the voice commands and the text- to- voice functions. Also, when you have your smartphone connected to the Android Auto, pressing on the home button will automatically direct you to a screen with the Android Auto logo. In this way, it stops you from using your phone while driving.


Android Auto is available in not less than 500 cars of recent models

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2.3. Applications

The Android Auto does have a larger collection of third-party apps. This includes media players, audio books and messaging apps.

2.4. Navigation

The Android auto navigation system is basically the Google maps we are all familiar with. This navigator has a pretty good interface that come s with voice or manual commands.

3. Conclusion

Preference for any of these two car infotainment systems will largely depend on the type of smartphone one uses. It will however be fair to say that the Android Auto is better considering the fact that it is available on greater percentage of car models, it offers a better navigation system and it can still be run on the phone itself even when the vehicle doesn’t have the infotainment screen.

The Apple CarPlay on the other hand is more limited. You need at least an iPhone 5 and it also doesn’t support iPads.

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Okenwa Emeka

Okenwa Emeka


Okenwa Emeka is a prolific writer who combines his content creation skills with a strong passion for automobiles to make engaging articles for Naija car lovers. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing CAM with a diploma in digital marketing. 

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