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Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto Comparison and Goodness

We all know how the smartphone integration programs like CarPlay and Android Auto work. They allow you to access maps for navigation, make calls, play music, send texts, open the calendar, etc., all while driving. Although the function of these two programs is essentially the same, the Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto debate is still on among users.

As of 2023, google has updated many Android Auto features such as enhanced Assistant integration, a more convenient map, improved in-car displays, more intuitive notifications, a status bar, etc.

On the other hand, Apple is also working hard to make CarPlay more user-friendly as the latest version has better aesthetics, improved Siri integration, and easier access to communication features. So, which one is better?

Let's dive deep into the features of each program and find out which one will be the right choice for you.

To mirror certain features of an iPhone, Apple introduced an advanced smartphone integration system known as Apple CarPlay. With Apple CarPlay, you can display and control your iOS device using your vehicle's in-built display (the head unit).

The program requires iOS 7.1 or later to connect to your car. You can either connect it with a wire or use a two-way WiFi connection to go wireless.

Definition of Apple CarPlay

With CarPlay, you can access the following apps, services, and features:

  • Phone app for making calls with voice command
  • Apple Music, Spotify, YT music, etc., to make your rides more fun
  • Calendar for checking dates and setting events
  • Message App to send text messages using Siri
  • Apple Maps for navigation
  • You can enjoy news, podcasts, and audiobooks
  • Settings

Apart from the stock applications, you can also install third-party apps for playing audio, navigation, weather news, messaging, parking, and food ordering.

What Is Android Auto?

Developed by Google in 2015, Android Auto is another popular smartphone integration application for Android users. Similar to CarPlay, Android Auto also displays specific contents of your phone on the dashboard information & entertainment head unit.

No matter which Android device you use, the user interface of Android Auto remains specific to the vehicle.

Definition of Android Auto

Besides, the program runs on both button-controlled and touchscreen-supported head units. For hands-free operation, it integrates google voice assistant to make calls and send text messages.

Android Auto supports the following apps and features:

  • Google maps for precise navigation
  • Many different Music apps such as Google Play Music, YT music, Spotify, Amazon music, and even Apple Music!
  • Messaging app and popular social media messengers including Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc.
  • Phone app to make calls
  • Web search options
  • Settings app for customizations
  • Supports numerous third-party apps available on Google's Play Store

Differences Between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Of course, both programs share many similar features. Yet, the overall user experience is different for each program as Apple and Google have sprinkled their special quirks to make things more convenient.

Let's compare the two programs and check out which one is better.

System UI

As you might expect, the user interface of CarPlay is similar to your iPhone. CarPlay's dashboard UI includes multiple apps on the home screen for easier access.

Besides, the recently used apps are also in the lineup allowing you to make things quicker.

What we love about this interface is that it offers you a split screen for multitasking.

User Interface Apple CarPlay

You can check which music is playing or who called you last all while navigating your way using the map. Although Android Auto has included this feature in the recent 2022 update, it will still take time to reach all the users.

As for the apps and wallpapers, the app icons on CarPlay are larger and easily accessible. Android Auto includes more apps on a single screen which might be not as easy to use. The wallpapers on CarPlay are more vibrant and polished than Android Auto.

If we consider the overall look of the system and its smoothness, CarPlay definitely takes the cake. It looks and feels better ad functions smoothly without any lags. Android Auto, on the other hand, might jitter or crash occasionally.

Verdict: With its convenient UI and user-friendly interface, Apple CarPlay is the winner here.

GPS Maps

If you've used Apple and Google maps for navigation, you already know which is the better one. Since Google map collects data directly from the satellites, you get a better view of the roads and more accurate directions.

Even more, changing the route on Android Auto requires only one tap while you need to go through the route options again to take that alternative road with CarPlay.

GPS In Android Auto

Finally, on Andriod Auto, you can tap and pan the whole territory only by touching the screen as you do on your Android phone. As for CarPlay, you have to use old-style arrows to explore the map.

Verdict: Thanks to its intuitive GPS, Android Auto is the better option in this case.

Music Playing and Podcasts

Both CarPlay and Android Auto support the most popular music apps and streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube music, Amazon music, etc. Android Auto has the stock music app Google play music and CarPlay has Apple's very own Apple Music.

To be fair, both programs work just fine when it comes to playing music and podcasts.

music in apple carplay

Yet, while using Spotify on Android Auto, you don't get the chance to fast forward or backward the audio. CarPlay offers a bit more convenience here as it has both these options.

Verdict: Although both options are equally good, CarPlay is slightly more user-friendly in our opinion.

Voice Assistant

CarPlay uses Siri to take commands from the user whereas Android Auto has Google Assistant. According to most users, Google assistant easily beats Siri when it comes to responsiveness and understanding accents. Even if you give commands in broken English, Android Auto's voice assistant will quickly catch it.

That's not the case with Siri though. Besides, Android Auto has a separate button to activate the voice assistant in case the voice command doesn’t work. Unfortunately, you'll have to continue saying 'Hey Siri' to activate voice commands as CarPlay doesn’t have any such dedicated buttons.

Verdict: Android Auto easily takes the top place here.

Sending and Receiving Calls and Texts

When you get an incoming call, the call UI takes up most space on your screen on Apple CarPlay. Once you pick up the call, it fully covers the screen. This can be a bummer when you're using the map to find a route.

Moreover, on CarPlay, when you send or receive a text, the message content doesn’t appear on the screen for safety reasons. So, there’s no way to look for typos or fix them.

On the other hand, Android Auto shows you the text content only for a few seconds. This way, you can check the text out without compromising safety. What makes it even better is that Android Auto's call banner doesn’t take up the whole screen.

You can pick up or cut the call using the notification bar while comfortably using other apps like the map or music player.

Verdict: Android Auto wins all the way!

Wireless Connection

As mentioned, both programs support wireless connection. However, when it comes to stability, Apple CarPlay is a better choice as users experienced fewer abrupt disconnections with it. Besides, it drains less battery and doesn’t often get hot after long use.

Android Auto is less stable and sometimes produces a great amount of heat when used for a long time. It also drains more battery than Apple CarPlay.

Verdict: Apple CarPlay is more stable and a better choice in this case.

Third-Party Options

You can install third-party apps on Android Auto using the Play store and on CarPlay using the App Store. The third-party apps run smoother on CarPlay and look better, thanks to the polished user interface. Android Auto is also good but looks less polished than CarPlay.

Also, on CarPlay, the apps are easier to control and customize.

Third-Party Options of Apple Carplay
Verdict: Apple CarPlay is our topper here.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Apple CarPlay

Benefits of Using Apple CarPlay

  • You can connect your iPhone to your car for making calls, playing music and podcasts, and send texts
  • Allows installing popular third-party apps
  • Offers a polished, user-friendly interface and eye-catchy wallpaper
  • Smoother UI and faster performance
  • Gives access to Apple's voice assistant Siri
  • Can be connected with a wire or wirelessly
  • Features Apple map for easy navigation 
  • Doesn't get hot even after hours of use

Drawbacks of Using Apple CarPlay

  • GPS map is less intuitive and gives less precise directions
  • Sometimes voice assistant can't catch certain commands and accents
  • Call UI takes the whole screen covering other important apps like map
  • Doesn't display text or notification contents while driving

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Android Auto

Benefits of Using Android Auto

  • Supports calling, messaging, and playing music from your Android device
  • Features a very detailed GPS map with precise directions and useful additional information
  • Allows playing games when the car is parked and supports third-party apps
  • Call UI takes only part of the screen allowing you to use other apps
  • Notification dock can be customized
  • Split screen option for multitasking
  • Google's voice assistant is fast to catch accents
  • Shows text content only for a few seconds to ensure safety

Drawbacks of Using Android Auto

  • Less attractive user interface that might lag or jitter occasionally
  • App icons are short and more crowded which creates a distraction while driving
  • Less stable wireless connection
  • Drains more battery than CarPlay when connected wirelessly

So, Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto: Which One Is Topper?

Depending on the discussion above, we can conclude that Android Auto is a better option for your car than Apple CarPlay. Android Auto has a more convenient navigation option and a highly responsive voice assistant.

Taking calls and sending texts is easier with Android Auto. Although it doesn't have the fast forwarding option on the music apps, it still plays clear audio without any interruption. Hence, Android Auto is our final pick.

Wrapping Up!

So, there you have our take on the Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto debate. Yes, we chose Android Auto over Apple CarPlay, it all comes down to your personal choice, to be honest. So, weigh down the positive side and drawbacks of each program and select one that meets all your needs.

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