Your Apple CarPlay will never be the same again.
A wide array of digital dash features for gauges, infotainment, and advanced telemetry with performance meters are fairly common today, especially outside of apps like Apple CarPlay. They may be in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class' ultra-wide format, unusual vertical screens from McLaren, or Tesla's massive iPad-esque monster display (though Tesla wants nothing to do with CarPlay or Android Auto). Despite that, a whopping 98% of models from major manufacturers adopt Apple CarPlay. Now, Apple is totally rethinking the way they approach in-car displays and infotainment for drivers.
Frankly, it's about time. Apple says a massive 78% of consumers consider CarPlay a "must-have." As part of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference 2022 (WWDC 22) that dropped today at 10:00 am PST, the section on the Apple CarPlay changes announced were nothing short of shocking. Jump to the 37-minute mark to check it out.
This doesn't look like CarPlay at all, it looks like drivers just linked a laptop to hack into standalone engine management and loaded custom everything on the display. It's incredible. Outside of the racing world, this level of customization isn't seen at a consumer level and digital displays in cars are becoming uniquely personal thanks to this next-gen Apple CarPlay. In the past, Apple CarPlay has been a link to mobile iOS to present apps, icons, and navigation in a clean but predictable format.
While we liked Apple CarPlay and its progressive revisions, we also appreciated elements of Android Auto and manufacturers' efforts: COMAND from Mercedes, UCONNECT from Stellantis, or the pioneering BMW Connected Drive/iDrive tech.
In this next version of Apple CarPlay, we see a massive LCD screen displaying a host of customizable parameters, data, colors, and ODBII information. Users can customize gauges for the car pulling OBDII data in a variety of arrangements and aesthetic ways from traditional analog to modern designs.
Car Play will also allow for the selection and placement of widgets for apps, social, and vital information like weather, traffic, and news alerts. The ability to take over parts of the screen in deep integration with the OEM equipment and displays is something we haven't seen before, and we're ecstatic to see it coming to light now.
The new system provides content for a multitude of driver's LCD screens, and the overall experience for the consumer is one familiar to Apple iPhone users as well as being more unified and consistent. Basically, the old traditional interface of your car can be replaced and the next-gen CarPlay can power an entire digital instrument cluster. From all of the widgets and apps to engine vitals like RPMs, temperatures, speed, and more. Now its up to Android Auto to respond, as that is beginning to look more old-school than a pen and paper compared to the new CarPlay.