Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

Using iOS 7.1.1 in a Car with CarPlay

  • Print
  • + Share This
In this article, Jason R. Rich explores how many of the world’s top auto makers are incorporating iPhone integration into their vehicles, and how this changes how a smartphone can safely be used while driving.
Like this article? We recommend

We’re all constantly told that texting and driving is a bad (and potentially deadly) combination, and that holding a smartphone up to one’s ear while driving is a major distraction. Yet, as each of us becomes more reliant on our mobile devices and has the need to stay connected even when our attention should be elsewhere, it’s becoming harder and harder to simply put the iPhone away when operating a vehicle.

Apple, in conjunction with 16 popular car manufacturers, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar, Nissan, and Toyota, has developed a new initiative called CarPlay, which allows some 2014 (or later) model year vehicles to be more iPhone compatible than ever before.

CarPlay typically works in conjunction with the in-dash infotainment system that’s being built into many new vehicles. It allows for a direct connection to be established between an Internet-connected iPhone and a vehicle via Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. As a result, drivers can focus on the road while driving and still be able to use some of their iPhone’s most popular apps, features, and functions—all without taking their eyes off the road.

This iPhone interaction is accomplished by allowing the iPhone to be controlled by using voice commands and the use of interactive icons and menus displayed on a vehicle’s in-dash infotainment system’s screen. Special buttons or dials are also being built into the steering wheels and/or dashboards of some newer vehicles.

How this CarPlay technology is being incorporated into specific vehicle makes and models varies, but it is becoming more universal. The CarPlay technology allows for drivers to activate Siri on their iPhone (even when the iPhone is in a pocket, briefcase, or purse) in order to acquire driving directions (via the Maps app), answer or initiate calls using voice commands in conjunction with the Phone app, respond to or compose text messages or emails using voice commands in association with the Messages or Mail apps, plus control the Music app built into the iPhone in order to access and play music that’s stored on the device.

Control an iPhone’s Music App Remotely from Your Vehicle while Driving

In some cases, a vehicle’s own touch screen is used to operate an iPhone remotely. All of the music, personal Playlists, and Music app functions that are available directly from your iPhone can be enjoyed while driving within a CarPlay-compatible car. However, CarPlay also allows iPhone users to utilize their smartphone’s Internet connection in order to stream audio programming directly from the web, but play that audio through a car’s speakers.

This is accomplished using specialized CarPlay-compatible apps. While the Music app offers access to iTunes Radio (for streaming music and audio programming, like NPR), a growing selection of optional audio streaming apps, such as Podcasts, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher, are also already compatible with iOS 7.1’s CarPlay feature.

In cases where specialized apps are operating on the iPhone but being controlled from the in-dash infotainment system’s screen, the icons and interface related to what’s displayed within the car’s display closely resembles the screen of the iPhone’s apps.

CarPlay Goes Well Beyond What Siri Eyes Free Previously Offered

As with Siri Eyes Free, when Siri functionality is used in conjunction with CarPlay, voice commands are accepted by the iPhone, which then responds to the driver’s requests, commands, or questions using its male or female voice. Thanks to iOS 7.1 improvements, the iPhone-generated voice sounds more human-like than before, and is easier to understand.

While you’re driving, nothing is displayed on the iPhone’s screen. In some cases, however, certain menus, data, and command icons are displayed on the touch-screen of a vehicle’s in-dash infotainment system. Otherwise, if a verbal request is made that requires content to be displayed on the iPhone’s screen, for safety reasons, this content is intentionally not accessible while driving.

In the past, some of this functionality was offered through iOS In The Car and Siri Eyes Free. However, it wasn’t until the release of iOS 7.1 that CarPlay was introduced and began offering a more universal way for an iPhone that’s being used within a vehicle to operate. Currently, CarPlay is accessible exclusively using the iPhone 5/5C/5S, but not older-model iPhones or the iPad.

How CarPlay Works

The focus of CarPlay is to offer a more integrated and seamless experience between the iPhone and a vehicle’s in-dash infotainment system within vehicles that have been specifically designed to offer this functionality. No Bluetooth receivers or accessories are required for an iPhone to establish a link with CarPlay-compatible vehicles. Instead, these vehicles are coming pre-equipped with a Lightning port jack built in.

Thus, a connection between the smartphone and vehicle is instantly established when the supplied Lightning connector cable is plugged into both the iPhone and the vehicle’s Lightning port—a process that takes just seconds. Because a cable connection is being utilized, the iPhone’s internal battery gets recharged when connected to the vehicle, and data between the iPhone and in-dash infotainment system can be exchanged quickly.

In terms of navigation, instead of relying on a costly GPS system that can be built into a vehicle (which is often a $1,500 or more option), the Location Services, GPS capabilities, and Maps app can be run from the iPhone, but be controlled from the vehicle. As a result, the iPhone can display maps and turn-by-turn directions on the screen of the vehicle’s in-dash infotainment system, and leverage the iPhone’s Internet connectivity to access real-time traffic conditions, for example.

Right now, CarPlay connectivity via the Lightning port is offered within 2014 model year vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Bens, and Volvo. In the near future, the other car manufacturers will begin offering CarPlay compatibility within select vehicle models. However, many 2013 model year cars from Ford and Chevrolet, for example, already offer iOS In The Car and Siri Eyes Free functionality that utilizes a wireless Bluetooth connection between the vehicle and the smartphone.

What’s nice about CarPlay functionality is that the car manufacturers can build a Lightning port into their vehicles to allow for easy iPhone integration, but the integration will not quickly become obsolete when Apple releases new iPhone models or newer versions of the iOS. This is because most CarPlay functionality is actually run from the iPhone itself and does not rely heavily on programming or technology that’s built into the vehicle (beyond the in-dash infotainment system’s touch screen).

Final Thoughts

Now that the CarPlay technology exists and is quickly being adopted by multiple vehicle manufacturers, more and more third-party app developers will begin adopting or developing CarPlay-compatible apps that will soon introduce even greater iPhone functionality and capabilities that can be experienced safely while driving a vehicle.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020