Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (2023)

CarPlay has been one of Apple’s most practical innovations, allowing users worldwide to access their favorite apps while driving in the safest, most practical way possible.

However, with such a wide array of options, deciding which apps will serve you best can be difficult.

The best Apple CarPlay Apps include Google Maps, Waze, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple’s Podcast App, TuneIn Radio, Apple’s iMessage, Whatsapp, and Audible.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (1)

Read on to learn more about some of the best CarPlay apps and how they can improve your driving experience.

Below, I’ll explore some of the best options you have in terms of specific categories and take you through a more comprehensive list of apps compatible with CarPlay.

Though most of them are built-in Apple apps, there are a few third-party ones as well that might surprise you!


Best CarPlay Apps – By Category

Since there are so many CarPlay apps across several categories, it’s difficult to compare them all to one another. So, below, I’ve singled out some of the best options you have in terms of:

  • Navigation – Google Maps
  • Music – Apple Music or Spotify
  • Podcasts – Apple Podcast App
  • Radio – TuneIn
  • Communication – Default iPhone Apps or WhatsApp
  • Audiobooks – Audible

Navigation CarPlay Apps

Winner: Google Maps

Runners up: Waze & Apple Maps

Though many navigation apps have been created these last few decades, few come close to the accuracy and speed of our all-time favorites. That’s why most experts argue that Google Maps remains the best navigation CarPlay app for iPhone.

Just by checking out online reviews, you can see how highly rated Google maps is compared to other navigation apps — and for a good reason. Few of its competitors offer directions as accurate or fast as those you’ll find in Google Maps.

Moreover, the app provides real-time traffic updates and helpful information about nearby businesses; you just can’t beat this level of convenience. The intuitive interface also makes it easy for all users to get the hang of, even if they’ve never used a navigation app before.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (2)

This level of user-friendliness also makes Google Maps an all-time favorite among CarPlay users. Also, many appreciate the real-time voice-guided directions, which allow them to stay focused on the road while driving.

However, arguably the biggest advantage that this app offers its users is that it holds the largest database of local businesses and points of interest. If there’s a location you can’t seem to find in any other navigation app, chances are you’ll find it in Google Maps. It’s also highly accurate, even in real-time. This is especially handy if you need to make a lot of turns fast.

Navigation CarPlay Apps – Runner up

However, as with all other apps mentioned in this article, Google Maps isn’t perfect. Many users have still reported facing some issues while using it. If that’s you, the good news is that there are some comparable apps that you might like better.

Waze, for example, is another app that offers real-time traffic updates and community-based driving directions. The app is best known for its ability to provide real-time updates on road availability, so you can avoid traffic or road blockages in time.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (3)

Moreover, just like Google Maps, Waze also offers voice-guided directions, so you can get to your destination without having to shift your focus from driving. The best thing about this app though is the community feel, which Waze is notorious for. The app allows you to see other Waze users on the road, and you can “report” issues, while you driving, such as flooding, police speed traps, roadworks, and more, to help other drivers out.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (4)

Music CarPlay Apps

Winner: Apple Music

Runners Up: Spotify & Amazon Music

A drive is as pleasant as the music selection accompanying it, so only use the very best music CarPlay apps. I’m afraid there’s no better app than Apple Music in this category. It integrates beautifully with CarPlay without you having to put in any effort.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (5)

Apple Music is a streaming service that offers one of the vastest libraries of songs and radio stations, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for there. Its seamless integration with CarPlay allows you to always bring your favorite playlists while on the road.

One of its best features is that it creates a personalized listening experience, analyzing your music preferences and curating suggestions tailored to you. It’s also straightforward to use while driving, as you can browse your library, skip tracks, or even control playback using the CarPlay interface, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes while still keeping your eye on the road.

Music CarPlay Apps – Runner up

However, it’s important to note that there’s a wide array of CarPlay-friendly apps to choose from when it comes to music. So, if Apple Music doesn’t do it for you, you can always switch to Spotify.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (6)

Though chances are you’re already familiar with it, Spotify is one of the most popular streaming apps that give users access to a seemingly endless array of songs, albums, and even podcasts. This app can also give tailored suggestions based on your listening history, so you might find some new songs to jam to while using it.

Last but not least, I want to give a shoutout to Amazon Music, which is 100% free for Prime Members. If you have an Amazon membership, why not make the most of it and choose Amazon Music as your CarPlay app of choice?

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (7)

Not only does it give you access to a vast and diverse audio library, but it’s also integrable with Alexa. If you prefer Alexa over Siri, then that’s a plus. You won’t have to take your eyes off the road for a single second to change tracks or search for your favorite podcast.

Many of these apps are similar in terms of functionality and variety of music, so ultimately, it will be down to your preference or whichever subscription/platform your already paying for.

Podcast CarPlay Apps

Winner: Apple’s Podcast App

Runner up: Spotify

When it comes to listening to podcasts, I recommend going simple and sticking to Apple’s own podcast app. Though there are plenty of competitors CarPlay Podcast apps on the market with many bells and whistles, none integrate with CarPlay quite as well as Apple’s app.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (8)

It allows you to browse through thousands of podcasts, giving you updated suggestions based on your previous listening history or subscription list. The app also offers playback controls optimized for driving, e.g., large, bright buttons, so your focus stays on the road.

That way, you can easily browse through the podcasts you’ve subscribed to and select the ones you feel like putting on. The majority of podcasts upload to the apple podcast platform, so you should be able to find them all this way. However, you may want to save them on your phone before driving, as it can be hard to find new shows from the CarPlay interface.

If you prefer to use Spotify for music, you might be surprised to learn that Spotify has all the popular podcasts on it, too, as well as some exclusive podcasts.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (9)

Radio CarPlay Apps

Winner: TuneIn radio

If you’re not in the mood to listen to the same driving playlist for the hundredth time, finding a good radio might be what you’re looking for. However, since carplay doesn’t work with your cars FM radio, you’ll need to use a digital radio. Thankfully there are some CarPlay radio apps that have thousands of radio stations on them!

That’s exactly what TuneIn CarPlay radio App is, so if you like to discover new content while on the road, I highly recommend checking it out. The app gives you access to thousands of radio stations and podcasts worldwide. Plus, it’s very easy to integrate with CarPlay. It also tailors suggestions for you based on your location and listening history, so it really doesn’t get any more convenient than this.

Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023) (10)

Communication CarPlay Apps

Winner: Default iPhone Apps

Runner up: WhatsApp

The need to communicate while on the road is one of the main reasons why so many drivers rely on CarPlay in the first place. And when it comes to the best apps to integrate with the system, nothing really beats Apple’s own iMessage or phone app.

It’s hands-down the easiest communication app to use through CarPlay. It allows you to make phone calls and access your contact list without ever taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel.

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Communications CarPlay App – Runner up

With that said, if you’re looking for something more versatile, the WhatsApp CarPlay App is also surprisingly compatible with CarPlay. You can simply access and respond to messages using Siri, so again, your focus stays on driving.

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WhatsApp allows you to check your missed messages and calls through the dashboard, but you can also send new messages or call someone.

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Audiobooks CarPlay Apps

Winner: Audible

If you’re tired of listening to the same songs and podcasts while driving, why not listen to an audiobook? Turning that tiring commute into some you-time when you can enjoy your favorite books can be a game-changer. And when accessing a vast library of audiobooks, there’s no competition for Audible CarPlay App.

The app is compatible with CarPlay, allowing you to browse through your library or search for specific genres or titles safely while driving. However, if you’re ever in the mood for a podcast between books, you can find those too on Audible, so it’s far more versatile than what most people give it credit for.

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It also tailors title or author suggestions depending on your preferences. Finding new audiobooks to enjoy has never been easier if you want to get out of your comfort zone.

Moreover, if you want to rewind to certain parts or skip forward, the app also allows you to do that, so you can optimize your listening experience without ever taking your eyes off the road.

CarPlay Apps List

If you’re looking for a more thorough CarPlay apps list, you can check them out below where they also link to the Apple app store so you can download them:

  • TuneIn Radio
    • TuneIn CarPlay Review
  • Stitcher
  • NPR One
  • MLB At Bat
  • Audible
    • Audible CarPlay Review
  • Amazon Music
    • Amazon Music CarPlay Review
  • Spotify
    • Spotify CarPlay Review
  • Deezer
    • Deezer CarPlay Review
  • Waze
  • Google Maps
  • WhatsApp
    • Whatsapp CarPlay Review
  • Tidal
    • Tidal CarPlay Review
  • Overcast
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
    • iHeartRadio CarPlay Review
  • BBC Sounds
  • Youtube Music
  • Everplay – Never Stop
  • QMusic
  • My Mixtapez
  • Cloud Music
  • Napster
  • Xiami Music
  • MusiQ Player
  • Anghami
  • Stingray Music
  • Mixcloud
  • Slacker Radio
  • Pandora
  • Vox
  • Radio Deejay
  • Rdio
  • Zoom Cloud Meetings
  • Webex
  • Teams
  • HERE WeGo City Navigation
  • Karta
  • TomTom Go
    • TomTom Go CarPlay Review
  • Flitsmeister
  • Hudway Go
  • Sygic GPS
  • Magic Earth Navigation & Maps
  • T map for All
  • Baidu Maps
  • AutoNavi
  • Audm
  • Biziday
  • Google Podcasts
  • NHL
  • NewsFlash
  • Laughable Comedy Discovery
  • Scout FM
  • myWWIT
  • Castro Podcast
  • CastBox
  • Otto Radio
  • Anchor
  • HICast
  • Acast
  • RSSRadio
  • HardCast
  • Pocket Cast
  • Downcast
  • Clammr Radio
  • audioBoom
  • Overcast
  • Umano
  • Scanner Radio (Police & Fire)
  • Radio Buddy
  • myTuner Radio
  • 100FM
  • Scout FM
  • Global Player
  • nRadio
  • SiriusXM Radio
  • NPR News
  • PlugShare
  • Chargemap
  • ChargePoint
  • Plugsurfing

If you know of any other apps or have created a CarPlay app, let me know, and I will add it to the list :).


Best Apple CarPlay Apps: As Chosen by Experts (2023)? ›

CarPlay 2023 Update Release Date

Apple's next-generation CarPlay will arrive on 14 car brands. These car brands are Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Acura, Audi, Ford, Land Rover, Lincoln, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Volvo.

What is compatible with Apple CarPlay 2023? ›

CarPlay 2023 Update Release Date

Apple's next-generation CarPlay will arrive on 14 car brands. These car brands are Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Acura, Audi, Ford, Land Rover, Lincoln, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Volvo.

What is the 2023 CarPlay update? ›

Apple is aiming for a launch at the end of 2023. The biggest difference between CarPlay in its current version and the new one is how it takes over your car. Rather than working alongside the existing software in your car, the new and improved version of CarPlay will replace it entirely (the software, not your car…

What apps can I add to Apple CarPlay? ›

What Apps Can You Use on Apple CarPlay?
  • Navigation apps include Apple's Maps and Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, TMap, 2GIs, KakaoNavi, and Navitime.
  • Music apps such as Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, LiveXLive, Radio Disney, Tidal, and SiriusXMRadio connect to CarPlay.
Jan 27, 2023

Does the 2023 have wireless CarPlay? ›

You'll also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, so you can do away with cables and enjoy simple wireless connectivity.

What is the alternative to Apple CarPlay? ›

Drivemode Offers a Cheap Alternative to CarPlay, Android Auto.

Is there anything new to CarPlay with iOS 16? ›

CarPlay apps

Apple sometimes adds new app categories to CarPlay in major iOS updates. Past categories include food ordering, parking, and EV charging apps. iOS 16 expands app support to two new categories: fueling and driving task apps.

Will old cars get the new Apple CarPlay? ›

Apple's next-generation of CarPlay is set to revolutionize the driving experience by taking over the instrument cluster of a vehicle and all other displays, but it probably won't be coming to current model-year vehicles or older.

Can you watch TV on CarPlay? ›

Watch anything from your favorite streaming platform on your car's display screen. Connect The Magic Box to any CarPlay device and instantly start enjoying it!

How do I mirror my iPhone to CarPlay? ›

Make sure that your stereo is in wireless or Bluetooth mode. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings > Wi-Fi, and make sure that Wi-Fi is also turned on. Tap the CarPlay network, and check that Auto-Join is turned on. Then, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, and select your car.

Can you mirror Netflix to CarPlay? ›

How to watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay without jailbreak
  1. First, open the “Settings” of your iPhone.
  2. From the settings tab, navigate to “General. “
  3. After that, open Background App Refresh. Make sure that it is always “On“.
  4. Now, if your car has Bluetooth connectivity, turn it on when you enter your car.
Jul 22, 2022

Is Apple CarPlay worth it? ›

I've been using CarPlay for around 2 or 3 months now and have been very pleased overall with the experience that I've had using it. If you're used to using an iPhone, CarPlay very much feels like an automotive extension of iOS – it's straightforward to use and is tidy and not distracting.

Does Apple CarPlay work over Bluetooth? ›


Pair/connect your phone to the infotainment system using Bluetooth®. 2. Follow the prompts on the screen and on your phone to start a wireless Apple CarPlay session. You will be asked to accept Terms of Use before using the feature.

Is CarPlay over wifi? ›

If supported, after you start CarPlay using USB, you're asked if you want to pair wireless CarPlay for future use. If you agree, the next time you go for a drive, iPhone connects wirelessly to CarPlay automatically.

Is there a difference between CarPlay and Apple CarPlay? ›

User interface

Until recently, the Android Auto interface only showed a single app on the car's screen, with no multitasking option. Apple CarPlay, on the other hand, has offered a dashboard UI since iOS 13, which consolidates music, maps, and Siri suggestions into a single screen.

What is the big deal with Apple CarPlay? ›

CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and enjoy your favourite music. All on your car's built-in display.

Is Apple CarPlay better than navigation? ›

Both Android Auto and Carplay offer excellent navigation options, but there are some differences. Android Auto uses Google Maps, a well-known and highly rated navigation app. Carplay uses Apple Maps, which has been criticized for being less accurate than Google Maps.

What is the oldest iPhone for CarPlay? ›

CarPlay is an Apple standard which enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and a controller for an iOS device. It is available on all iPhone models beginning with iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1 or later.

What is the oldest model of iPhone that will work with Apple CarPlay? ›

Only Answer. Apple CarPlay® is available on all iPhone 5 and later with at least iOS 7.1.

Why won't CarPlay work iOS 16? ›

Make sure CarPlay isn't restricted. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. If Content & Privacy Restrictions is on, tap Allowed Apps, and make sure that CarPlay is enabled. Check your car's infotainment system menus for CarPlay, and see that your iPhone is listed and enabled.

How much does it cost to upgrade car to Apple CarPlay? ›

Only Answer. There is no additional cost for Apple CarPlay®. It comes standard when purchasing eligible vehicles.

How much does it cost to install Apple CarPlay in an old car? ›

Integrating systems like reversing cameras into the new units isn't a problem either, according to Vengalia, who estimates the average cost of adding an Apple CarPlay system to a car is around $700.

Is SYNC 3 the same as Apple CarPlay? ›

Your iPhone must be compatible with and connected to SYNC 3 to use Apple CarPlay. To connect, plug your iPhone into any USB port in your vehicle* using an Apple-provided Lightning® connector USB cable.

Does SYNC 3 Version 3 have CarPlay? ›

Once the connection is made and the Terms and Conditions are accepted, Apple CarPlay will automatically launch on your SYNC 3 touchscreen. Requires phone with active data service and compatible software. SYNC 3 does not control third-party products while in use.

Can SYNC 2 be upgraded to Apple CarPlay? ›

2011-2016 F250 SYNC2 does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, if you absolutely must have these features you must have SYNC 3.

What is the magic box for cars? ›

The Magic Box is designed to be a plug and play car accessory that connects to your vehicle through CarPlay USB connection. Once connected you will be able to access wireless connection to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto along with our streaming platform to download and enjoy favorite apps on-the-go.

What is Carbridge? ›

Carbridge is an Australian airport bus company operating services at Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports.

How to watch Netflix on Apple Watch? ›

Just open the Remote app on your Apple Watch and you can swipe your way to your favorite Netflix or Disney+ film.

How do I know if Apple CarPlay is compatible with my car? ›

To find out if your vehicle has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto you can either look through the user manual or do a Google search for the year, make and model of your vehicle. You can also plug your phone into your car's main USB port (unless it has a wireless dock) and look at the menu on your screen.

Do 2023 Audis have Apple CarPlay? ›

Yes, for the 2023 model year, standard Apple CarPlay is available with all new Audi models. Wireless Apple CarPlay, which requires no USB cables, is available with select new Audi models.

Is Apple releasing a car in 2023? ›

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple has scaled back its plans for a self-driving car to 2026 at the very earliest. The company also aims to keep it under $100,000. There is also, of course, the small matter of regulatory approval and testing, which could delay the whole thing for several years.

How do I make my CarPlay app compatible? ›

To get it you must create a query and provide information about your app, including the CarPlay app category. You must also agree to the CarPlay Entitlement Addendum. Apple company will consider your request and in case your app fits the criteria for a CarPlay app, you will get permission to create an app.

Does 2023 Audi Q3 have Apple CarPlay? ›

Apple CarPlay is wirelessly operative on the 2023 Audi Q3 using the MMI navigation feature. The Audi navigation system is simply outstanding.

Why won't my Apple CarPlay connect in my Audi? ›

If your iPhone isn't detected by CarPlay, make sure that CarPlay isn't restricted. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. If Content & Privacy Restrictions is on, tap Allowed Apps, and make sure that CarPlay is enabled. Go to Settings > General > CarPlay, tap your car, then tap Forget This Car.

Can you use Apple CarPlay wirelessly? ›

If supported, after you start CarPlay using USB, you're asked if you want to pair wireless CarPlay for future use. If you agree, the next time you go for a drive, iPhone connects wirelessly to CarPlay automatically.

How much does it cost to install Apple CarPlay? ›

Installations for dashboard screens are usually around $100.

What is the minimum iOS for CarPlay? ›

It is available on all iPhone models beginning with iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1 or later.

What is Apple's next big thing 2023? ›

A new iPhone with USB-C charging is one of the many products we could see from Apple this year. Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices.

What is next for Apple 2023? ›

January Press Release Announcements. Apple in January 2023 introduced new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that are equipped with updated M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Apple also introduced new M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini machines and a new larger-sized $299 HomePod, with all of these announcements done via press release.

What to expect from Apple in 2023? ›

This year, the Cupertino tech giant is slated to launch its much-hyped mixed-reality headset. But, that's not the only big thing expected: Apple is expected to showcase new iOS 17, new apps and features and most probably, new hardware as well.


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