The Mirroring Effect: Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto

The Mirroring Effect: Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto

Austin Butler67 comments

Newer (2009 and up) automobile makes and models come compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If you own a vehicle but don’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you may be able to enable these features yourself. In this article, we’ll highlight some key Apple Car Play and Android Auto features, current supported vehicles, the differences, some tools and ways to activate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in your vehicle.

What is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are third-party apps that mimic the functions of your phone and run on your car's computer interface. So why would you want these third-party apps for your vehicle? The idea is to access your favorite music, make calls and answer texts by using voice commands instead of your hands. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can replicate in the car, some of the basic functions you would normally use on your phone, such as the call function, the music app, maps, or the messaging function.

So what are some ways you can activate Apple Car play and Android Auto? 

The first method involves using an activation tool that plugs into your car or truck OBD2 port that will automatically unlock CarPlay and Android Auto without needing any extra coding or programming. First, you will need to determine if your vehicle’s radio can support Apple Car play and Android Auto. The automaker will have this information available upon request. For instance, Mercedes Benz offers Apple Car play and Android Auto activation as a separate add-on package (MSRP: $350) for their NTG5 COMAND systems.

The second method requires hardware to be changed or added to your vehicle along with additional programming; sometimes not required. When changing out hardware, this mainly involves the radio and any accompanying USB hub or ports. The radio and the USB hub are linked together via a separate micro or mini USB cable. An example of this method can be found with a 2014 Ram 1500. This truck comes with the Uconnect 3C with 8.4” screen VP3 or VP4 radio that does not support Apple Car play or Android Auto because there is no supporting hardware built into the radios. A customer with this truck who wanted Apple CarPlay or Android Auto would need to change out the radio and USB hub to a Uconnect 4C with 8.4” screen UAQ radio model and a 2018 or newer USB hub. Other vehicles such as Audi require an add-on module that is installed between the vehicle wiring harness and radio.

Setting Up Apple CarPlay

The moment you have Apple CarPlay activated, you can then just plug your iPhone into the vehicle using a USB cable and boom! There it is, the face of your phone on your car's multimedia screen but with a select few apps. You will recognize the icons for Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, Now Playing, Podcasts and Audio. You can also add apps to Apple CarPlay like Pandora or Spotify!

New Models That Are Compatible with Apple CarPlay (as of 2016):

  • Acura
    • (2018-2019) NSX
    • (2018-2019) MDX
    • (2018-2019) TLX
    • (2018-2019) RDX models
  • Alfa Romeo
    • (2018-2019) Giulia
    • (2018-2019) Stelvio
  • Aston Martin
    • (2017-2019) DB9 Volante
    • (2017-2019) Rapide
    • (2017-2018) Vanquish
    • (2017-2018) Vantage
  • Audi
    • (2017-2019) A3
    • (2017-2019) A4
    • (2017-2019) A5
    • (2017-2019) A6
    • (2017-2019) A7
    • (2018-2019) Q2
    • (2019) Q3
    • (2018-2019) Q5
    • (2017-2019) Q7
    • (2019) Q8
    • (2017-2019) R8
    • (2017-2019) TT 
    • Bentley
      • (2017-2019) Bentayaga
    • BMW
      • (2017-2019) 2 Series
      • (2017-2019) 3 Series
      • (2017-2019) 4 Series
      • (2017-2019) 5 Series
      • (2017-2019) 6 Series
      • (2017-2019) 7 Series
      • (2017-2019) i3
      • (2018-2019) X1
      • (2017-2019) X2
      • (2017-2019) X3
      • (2017-2019) X4
      • (2017-2019) X5
      • (2017-2019) X6 
    • Buick
      • (2016-2019) Regal
      • (2016-2019) LaCrosse
      • (2016-2019) GL6
      • (2017-2019) Excelle
      • (2017-2019) Encore
      • (2017-2019) Envision 
    • Cadillac
      • (2016-2019) ATS
      • (2016-2019) CTS
      • (2016- 2019) CT6
      • (2016) ELR
      • (2016-2019) Escalade
      • (2017-2019) XTS
      • (2019) XT4
      • (2017-2019) XT5 models
    • Chevrolet
      • (2017-2019) Aveo
      • (2019) Blazer
      • (2017-2019) Bolt
      • (2016-2019) Camaro
      • (2016-2019) Colorado
      • (2016-2019) Corvette
      • (2016-2019) Cruze
      • (2016-2019) Equinox
      • (2016-2019) Impala
      • (2016-2019) Malibu
      • (2016-2019) Silverado
      • (2017-2019) Sonic
      • (2016-2019) Spark
      • (2016-2019) Suburban
      • (2016-2019) Traverse
      • (2016-2019) Tahoe
      • (2017-2019) Trax
      • (2016-2019) Volt 
    • Chrysler
      • (2017-2019) 300 
      • (2018-2019) Pacifica 
    • Dodge
      • (2017-2019) Charger
      • (2017-2019) Challenger
      • (2018-2019) Durango 
    • FIAT
      • (2017-2019) FIAT 500
      • (2017-2019) 500L
      • (2018-2019) 500X 
    • Ferrari
      • (2016-2019) 488 GTB
      • (2016-2019) Spider
      • (2018-2019) Superfast
      • (2016-2019) California T 
      • (2016-2019) F12 TDF
      • (2016-2017) Berlinetta
      • (2016) FF
      • (2017-2019) GTC4Lusso
      • (2018) Portofino
    • Ford
      • (2017-2019) C-Max
      • (2017-2019 )EcoSport
      • (2017-2019) Edge
      • (2017-2019) Escape
      • (2017-2019) Expedition
      • (2017-2019) Explorer
      • (2017-2019) F-150
      • (2017-2019) Super Duty
      • (2017-2019) Fiesta
      • (2017-2019) Flex
      • (2017-2019) Focus
      • (2017-2019) Fusion
      • (2017-2019) Taurus
      • (2017-2019) Transit
      • (2017-2019) Transit Connect
      • (2017-2019) Mustang models
      • Genesis
        • (2017-2019) G80
      • GMC
        • (2016-2019) Canyon
        • (2016-2019) Sierra
        • (2016-2019) Yukon
        • (2017-2019) Acadia 
      • Honda 
        • (2016-2019) Accord
        • (2016-2019) Civic
        • (2017-2019) CR-V
        • (2018-2019) Fit
        • (2017-2019) Pilot
        • (2017-2019) Ridgeline
        • (2018-2019) Odyssey
      • Hyundai
        • (2015-2019) Azera
        • (2015-2019) Sonata
        • (2017-2019) Elantra
        • (2016-2019) Tucson
        • (2016-2019) Veloster
        • (2017-2019) IONIQ
        • (2016-2019) Kona
        • (2017-2019) Santa Fe
        • (2016-2019) Santa Fe Sport 
      • Infiniti
        • Infiniti has not yet announced when CarPlay will be available.
      • Jeep 
        • (2017-2019) Compass
        • (2018-2019) Grand Cherokee
        • (2018-2019) Renegade
        • (2018-2019) Wrangler models
      • Kia
        • (2015-2018) Optima
        • (2017-2018) Cadenza
        • (2017-2018) Forte
        • (2017-2018) Forte5
        • (2017-2018) Sorento
        • (2017-2018) Sportage
        • (2014-2018) Soul
        • (2018-2019) Stinger
        • (2017-2018) Niro
        • (2015-2018) Sedona
        • (2018-2019) K900 
      • Land Rover 
        • Land Rover has not yet announced when CarPlay will be available
      • Lamborghini
        • (2017-2019) Centenario
      • Lexus 
        • (2019) ES
        • (2019) LC 
        • (2019) LS
        • (2019) RC
        • (2019) UX 
      • Lincoln
        • (2017-2019) MKC
        • (2017-2019) MKS
        • (2017-2019) MKT
        • (2017-2019) MKX
        • (2017-2019) MKZ
        • (2019) Nautilus
        • (2017-2019) Navigator
        • (2017-2019) Continental 
      • Mazda
        • Mazda has not yet announced when CarPlay will be available
      • Mazerati
        • (2017-2019) Ghibli
        • (2017-2019) Levante
      • Mercedes-Benz
        • (2016-2019) A-Class
        • (2016-2019) B-Class
        • (2016-2019) CLA-Class
        • (2016-2019) CLS-Class
        • (2016-2019) E-Class
        • (2016-2019) GLA-Class
        • (2016-2019) GLE-Class
        • (2017-2019) GLS-Class
        • (2018-2019) SL-Class 
      • MINI
        • (2018-2019) Clubman
        • (2018-2019) Countryman
      • Mitsubishi
        • (2016-2019) Mirage
        • (2016-2019) Mirage G4
        • (2018-2019) Outlander
        • (2017) i-MiEV
        • (2018-2019) Eclipse Cross
      • Nissan
        • (2019) Altima
        • (2018-2019) GT-R
        • (2018-2019) Kicks
        • (2018-2019) Leaf
        • (2018-2019) Rogue
        • (2017-2019) Maxima
        • (2017-2019) Murano models 
      • Porsche
        • (2017-2019) 718 (Cayman & Boxster)
        • (2017-2019) 911
        • (2017-2019) Panamera
        • (2017-2019) Macan
        • (2017-2019) Cayenne models
      • Ram
        • (2018-2019) 1500
        • (2018-2019) 2500
        • (2018-2019) 3500
        • (2019) 4500 models
      • Subaru
        • (2019) Ascent
        • (2018-2019) Crosstrek
        • (2019) Forester
        • (2017-2019) Impreza
        • (2017-2019) WRX 
        • (2018-2019) Outback
      • Toyota
        • (2019) Avalon
        • (2019) Corolla Hatchback
        • (2019) C-HR
        • (2019) RAV4 
      • Volkswagen
        • (2019) Arteon
        • (2017-2019) Atlas
        • (2016-2019) Beetle
        • (2016-2019)
        • (2016-2019) CC
        • (2016-2019) Golf (e-Golf, GTI, Golf R)
        • (2016-2019) Golf SportWagen
        • (2016-2019) Passat
        • (2016-2019) Tiguan
        • (2016-2019) Jetta
      • Volvo
        • (2019) S60
        • (2017-2018) S90
        • (2019) V60
        • (2019) V90
        • (2019) XC40
        • (2018-2019) XC60
        • (2016-2019) XC90 

      Music/Radio: The following music and audio apps are supported:

      • Apple Music
      • Audible
      • Audio Books
      • Audiobooks.com
      • CBS Radio
      • iHeartRadio
      • iTunes
      • MLB AtBat
      • Overcast
      • Pandora
      • Podcasts
      • Rdio
      • Spotify
      • Stitcher

      Setting Up Android Auto

      After enabling Android Auto in your car, there are a few more steps. You need to download the app first and then sync your phone with the car. Rather than icons, the screen is a list of the activities in play at the time of use, so the music you are listening to, recent calls and messages and perhaps the place you are navigating to. There is a tab bar at the bottom which features Navigation, Calls and Messages, Home Screen, Music and Audio and Exit

      New Models That Are Compatible with Android Auto (as of 2016):

      • Audi
        • (2017-2019) A3
        • (2017-2019) A4
        • (2017-2019) A5
        • (2017-2019) A6
        • (2017-2019) A7
        • (2018-2019) Q5
        • (2017-2019) Q7
        • (2019) Q8
        • (2017-2019) R8
        • (2017-2019) TT 
      • Acura
        • (2018-2019) NSX
      • BMW 
        • BMW has announced that Android Auto will be available in the future but has yet to release it
      • Buick 
        • (2016-2019) Regal
        • (2016-2019) LaCrosse
        • (2017-2019) Excelle
        • (2017-2019) Encore
        • (2017-2019) Envision 
      • Cadillac
        • (2016-2019) ATS
        • (2016-2019) CTS
        • (2016- 2019) CT6
        • (2016) ELR
        • (2016-2019) Escalade
        • (2017-2019) XTS
        • (2019) XT4
        • (2017-2019) XT5 models
      • Chevrolet
        • (2019) Blazer
        • (2017-2019) Bolt
        • (2016-2019) Camaro
        • (2016-2019) Colorado
        • (2016-2019) Corvette
        • (2016-2019) Cruze
        • (2016-2019) Equinox
        • (2016-2019) Impala
        • (2016-2019) Malibu
        • (2016-2019) Silverado
        • (2017-2019) Sonic
        • (2016-2019) Spark
        • (2016-2019) Suburban
        • (2016-2019) Traverse
        • (2016-2019) Tahoe
        • (2017-2019) Trax
        • (2016-2019) Volt 
      • Chrysler
        • (2017-2019) 300 
        • (2018-2019) Pacifica 
      • Dodge
        • (2017-2019) Charger
        • (2017-2019) Challenger
        • (2018-2019) Durango 
      • FIAT
        • (2017-2019) FIAT 500
        • (2017-2019) 500L
        • (2018-2019) 500X 
      • Ford
        • (2016-2019) 488 GTB
        • (2016-2019) Spider
        • (2018-2019) Superfast
        • (2016-2019) California T 
        • (2016-2019) F12 TDF
        • (2016-2017) Berlinetta
        • (2016) FF
        • (2017-2019) GTC4Lusso
        • (2018) Portofino
      • Genesis
        • (2017-2019) G80
      • GMC
        • (2016-2019) Canyon
        • (2016-2019) Sierra
        • (2016-2019) Yukon
        • (2017-2019) Acadia 
      • Honda 
        • (2016-2019) Accord
        • (2016-2019) Civic
        • (2017-2019) CR-V
        • (2018-2019) Fit
        • (2017-2019) Pilot
        • (2017-2019) Ridgeline
        • (2018-2019) Odyssey
      • Hyundai
        • (2015-2019) Azera
        • (2015-2019) Sonata
        • (2017-2019) Elantra
        • (2016-2019) Tucson
        • (2016-2019) Veloster
        • (2017-2019) IONIQ
        • (2016-2019) Kona
        • (2017-2019) Santa Fe
        • (2016-2019) Santa Fe Sport 
      • Infiniti
        • Infiniti has not yet announced when Android Auto will be available.
      • Jeep 
        • (2017-2019) Compass
        • (2018-2019) Grand Cherokee
        • (2018-2019) Renegade
        • (2018-2019) Wrangler models
      • Kia
        • (2015-2018) Optima
        • (2017-2018) Cadenza
        • (2017-2018) Forte
        • (2017-2018) Forte5
        • (2017-2018) Sorento
        • (2017-2018) Sportage
        • (2014-2018) Soul
        • (2018-2019) Stinger
        • (2017-2018) Niro
        • (2015-2018) Sedona
        • (2018-2019) K900 
      • Land Rover
        • Land Rover has not yet announced if or when Android Auto will be available.
      • Lamborghini
        • (2017-2019) Centenario
      • Lexus 
        • (2019) ES
        • (2019) LC 
        • (2019) LS
        • (2019) RC
        • (2019) UX 
      • Lincoln
        • (2017-2019) MKC
        • (2017-2019) MKS
        • (2017-2019) MKT
        • (2017-2019) MKX
        • (2017-2019) MKZ
        • (2019) Nautilus
        • (2017-2019) Navigator
        • (2017-2019) Continental 
      • Maserati
        • (2017-2019) Ghibli
        • (2017-2019) Levante
      • Mazda
        • Mazda has not yet announced when Android Auto will be available.
      • Mercedes-Benz
        • (2016-2019) A-Class
        • (2016-2019) B-Class
        • (2016-2019) CLA-Class
        • (2016-2019) CLS-Class
        • (2016-2019) E-Class
        • (2016-2019) GLA-Class
        • (2016-2019) GLE-Class
        • (2017-2019) GLS-Class
        • (2018-2019) SL-Class 
      • MINI
        • (2018-2019) Clubman
        • (2018-2019) Countryman
      • Mitsubishi
        • (2016-2019) Mirage
        • (2016-2019) Mirage G4
        • (2018-2019) Outlander
        • (2017) i-MiEV
        • (2018-2019) Eclipse Cross
      • Nissan
        • Nissan has not yet announced when Android Auto will be available
      • Porsche
        • Porsche has not yet announced when Android Auto will be available
      • RAM
        • (2018-2019) 1500
        • (2018-2019) 2500
        • (2018-2019) 3500
        • (2019) 4500 models
      • Subaru
        • (2019) Ascent
        • (2018-2019) Crosstrek
        • (2019) Forester
        • (2017-2019) Impreza
        • (2017-2019) WRX 
        • (2018-2019) Outback
      • Toyota
        • (2019) Avalon
        • (2019) Corolla Hatchback
        • (2019) C-HR
        • (2019) RAV4
      • Volkswagen
        • (2019) Arteon
        • (2017-2019) Atlas
        • (2016-2019) Beetle
        • (2016-2019)
        • (2016-2019) CC
        • (2016-2019) Golf (e-Golf, GTI, Golf R)
        • (2016-2019) Golf SportWagen
        • (2016-2019) Passat
        • (2016-2019) Tiguan
        • (2016-2019) Jetta
      • Volvo
        • 2019) S60
        • (2017-2018) S90
        • (2019) V60
        • (2019) V90
        • (2019) XC40
        • (2018-2019) XC60
        • (2016-2019) XC90 

      Music/Radio: The following music and audio apps are supported:

      • Google Play Music
      • Amazon Music
      • iHeartRadio
      • LibriVox Audio Books
      • MLB AtBat
      • NPR One
      • Pandora
      • Pocket Casts, Player FM, BeyondPod, DoggCatcher, audioBoom (Podcasts)
      • Spotify
      • Stitcher
      • TuneIn Radio
      • WhatsApp, Skype, Hangouts, Text Me, textPlus, Nextplus, EvolveSMS, Talkray

      What is the difference?

      Aside from the home screen, it is a case of trying to achieve the same goal in different ways.

      Android Auto uses Google Maps which most people prefer over Apple maps because of the reliability and user-friendliness. Also, Google maps highlights changing traffic conditions ahead and offer alternate routes and you can also use the pinch function to easily zoom in and out. 

      Apple CarPlay does better with giving you access to your music than Google does with Android Auto. You can call up your full music collection and browse by song, artist, playlist, etc, while in Android Auto, although you can play and pause music from the home screen, you can't browse your collection and are restricted to playlists and the queue. 

      Why You Should Get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

      Well because it will be SAFER! Why? If one doesn’t have access to their phone while driving then the driver will most likely be more aware of their surroundings. You can use them to make calls, listen to messages, read, answer and send texts and to listen to your favorite music and playlists. You can also use Apple maps or Google maps for directions which is handy in cars that don't have built-in sat nav or to find the nearest service station or shopping center. Neither is perfect and in the end, both accomplish the same thing. It simply comes down to whether you are an Apple or Android user.

      What Activation Tools We recommend

       
      More to come in the future.
       
      "One radio at a time"
      -FRP team

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