iOS 10.3 CarPlay Update Introduces Quicker and Safer Way to Launch Most Recent Apps

by

Apple has added a small but useful tweak to CarPlay in iOS 10.3, giving drivers a quicker and safer way to switch between apps without having to take their eyes off the road for long periods of time. Before the update, users had to tap twice to get to another app in CarPlay: one tap to go home, and another tap on the designated app icon.

carplay new dock

Image via The Verge

Now, Apple has streamlined that process. In the left-aligned dock on the CarPlay screen users will now see three recently used apps, so it's always easy to just tap one and jump directly back into Music, Messages, Maps, or any of CarPlay's other apps. Prior to iOS 10.3, the CarPlay dock had just one app at a time in this area.

The slight UI tweak should make it easier for drivers to switch back-and-forth between navigation and entertainment apps while in CarPlay. iOS 10.3 includes a number of other updates on iPhone and iPad devices, including changes to the app launch animation, Find My AirPods, and the ability for developers to update their app icons at any time, without needing to include the artwork change in a full update on the App Store.

Tag: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

xDKP Avatar
50 months ago

This is the bomb. I only use the same 3 apps all the time: Music, Messages, and Maps. So they are now always one tap away. It's the little things that make the difference.

I actually think the bomb is that this makes for a massively upgraded user experience and it's through an iPhone iOS update. Not by waiting years for the car manufactures to update their systems and force you to buy a new car to get the latest and greatest.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ccrunner_tj Avatar
50 months ago
This is the bomb. I only use the same 3 apps all the time: Music, Messages, and Maps. So they are now always one tap away. It's the little things that make the difference.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertical smile Avatar
50 months ago

I wish I knew of a honest evaluation of CarPlay. Every time a CarPlay article appears whether here or another site I see a lot of people saying how bad it is.

But every time I think of trying CarPlay I see a thread where it is being trashed by users and I wonder if I would be exchanging one bad apple for another.

I will try to give you my opinion on CarPlay, and I will tell you the good and bad. I use an iPhone 6s Plus with iOS 9.3.5 and my wife uses an iPhone SE.

If I used three words to describe CP it would be simple, easy, and limited.

My only current CP system is an aftermarket Pioneer App Radio 4 model that I was able to get for only $260 back in Dec 2015. This is used in a 2015 Mazda5 that my wife primarily drives.

A few months of my wife using CP, I asked her what she thought of it, and she said something like "it is okay, but it messes up a lot". I was surprised, so I started using her car more to find out what she meant. CP would sometimes not play music, randomly disconnect, and some other minor issues that could be easily corrected by unplugging and re-plugging the iPhone in. On a rare occasion, the issues could only be corrected by restarting the AppRadio unit, which would mean turning off the car and restarting it.

It still had little annoying bugs, like sometimes on the Pandora App, the "now playing" button disappears, and this is only corrected with re-plugging your phone in.

For operating CP, it is very simple and easy to use. It is designed with safety in mind, but the downside to this is that it is extremely limited.

For example, if the only apps that you use while driving are Apple Maps, Apple's Music App, and text via Siri, then you would probably enjoy CP.

If you like any other navigation app, such as Waze, then you are screwed. There are like 20 apps that are compatible with CP, and almost all of them are music and audio book apps. 20 sounds like a lot, but the only music app that I use that is CP compatible is Pandora. No 8 Track app, no Amazon Prime Music, and no AOL radio app.

I have not tried Apple Maps in a few months, but it was very limited when compared to other navigation apps out there, so it sucks to only have Apple Maps on CP.

About sending texts, if you have any problems sending texts with Siri now, those problems will not get any better with CP. You will be subject to the same downside, but some could potentially be worse.

Example, if you cell phone has crappy coverage were ever you are driving, expect a lot of outages for Siri. If Siri has issues understanding you while sitting in your office at work, expect this to be worse when you add road noise to the situation.

If you have a quiet car, rarely see spotty cell coverage, and Siri works great for you just on the iPhone, then you will probably enjoy using it for texts on CP.

So, like I said, If you like Apple Maps, Apple Music, and Siri for text, you will probably really like CP. If you don't like these things, CP will probably not improve your driving experience.

Overall CP is not as polished as other Apple products and services of the past, but that could be said about many other current things from today.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jinnj Avatar
50 months ago

Not by waiting years for the car manufactures to update their systems and force you to buy a new car to get the latest and greatest.

This is the very reason why manufacturers have been trying to create their own for years. Honda just started providing CarPlay in their vehicles and not on all of them. For years they have been working on their own tech which was crap. Reminds me of the built-in Nav and DVD systems that were the big thing a few years ago. Now for the price of it you can buy 3 decent tablets and a NAV app (if you want offline maps).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Two Avatar
49 months ago
My experiences with CarPlay have been excellent.

I have two CarPlay compatible units in two separate vehicles. I use my personal iPhone 6 Plus in both vehicles as well as a company iPhones 6S in both vehicles. I replaced the head unit in my Ford F250 work truck with an alpine ILX-007. If I remember correctly, it was about the only third-party CarPlay compatible head unit that I could find at the time. In my brand-new 2016 Toyota tundra TRD pro, I got rid of that crappy, stock, entune unit as soon as I could and put in a pioneer 4200. I did this with a brand-new truck because I bought the truck in Montana and drove it thirty hours home to Houston and had plenty of time to play with that Toyota Entune business.

Having had that alpine CarPlay compatible head unit in my work truck for several years before I bought my brand-new tundra, I knew right away I wanted CarPlay in my new truck.

I have had excellent luck with both of my CarPlay head units. The main things I use are maps, music and Siri for texting. Sometimes I use the phone app as well. In addition, I also use the iHeartRadio app which is CarPlay compatible. Also, I have the Sirius XM radio app installed on both of my phones and I am able to listen to Sirius XM radio through my CarPlay compatible units. However, I must use the phone to navigate the Sirius XM app.

I'm not sure why people are complaining about the Music app. I have multiple playlists created on my phone which I play through my CarPlay stereo without any issues. I use the CarPlay unit to navigate the Music app, usually straight to my playlists. Simple.

The pioneer 4200 head unit in my new tundra, automatically dims when I turn on my headlights. In addition, both head units, the one in my company truck as well as my personal truck, the map app changes to a nighttime mode automatically after sundown and before sun up.

On a few very rare occasions, I have had to reboot a head unit that was acting up. And this simply involved turning it off and turning it back on via the front panel buttons. I will say that the Alpine unit seems to be a great deal more robust in this regard.

Summing up my experiences with CarPlay, I have to say they are excellent and that I would recommend CarPlay to anyone. I believe that CarPlay is about the best vehicle system out there that I have been exposed to.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vailMike Avatar
50 months ago

I will try to give you my opinion on CarPlay, and I will tell you the good and bad. I use an iPhone 6s Plus with iOS 9.3.5 and my wife uses an iPhone SE.

If I used three words to describe CP it would be simple, easy, and limited.

My only current CP system is an aftermarket Pioneer App Radio 4 model that I was able to get for only $260 back in Dec 2015. This is used in a 2015 Mazda5 that my wife primarily drives.

A few months of my wife using CP, I asked her what she thought of it, and she said something like "it is okay, but it messes up a lot". I was surprised, so I started using her car more to find out what she meant. CP would sometimes not play music, randomly disconnect, and some other minor issues that could be easily corrected by unplugging and re-plugging the iPhone in. On a rare occasion, the issues could only be corrected by restarting the AppRadio unit, which would mean turning off the car and restarting it.

It still had little annoying bugs, like sometimes on the Pandora App, the "now playing" button disappears, and this is only corrected with re-plugging your phone in.

For operating CP, it is very simple and easy to use. It is designed with safety in mind, but the downside to this is that it is extremely limited.

For example, if the only apps that you use while driving are Apple Maps, Apple's Music App, and text via Siri, then you would probably enjoy CP.

If you like any other navigation app, such as Waze, then you are screwed. There are like 20 apps that are compatible with CP, and almost all of them are music and audio book apps. 20 sounds like a lot, but the only music app that I use that is CP compatible is Pandora. No 8 Track app, no Amazon Prime Music, and no AOL radio app.

I have not tried Apple Maps in a few months, but it was very limited when compared to other navigation apps out there, so it sucks to only have Apple Maps on CP.

About sending texts, if you have any problems sending texts with Siri now, those problems will not get any better with CP. You will be subject to the same downside, but some could potentially be worse.

Example, if you cell phone has crappy coverage were ever you are driving, expect a lot of outages for Siri. If Siri has issues understanding you while sitting in your office at work, expect this to be worse when you add road noise to the situation.

If you have a quiet car, rarely see spotty cell coverage, and Siri works great for you just on the iPhone, then you will probably enjoy using it for texts on CP.

So, like I said, If you like Apple Maps, Apple Music, and Siri for text, you will probably really like CP. If you don't like these things, CP will probably not improve your driving experience.

Overall CP is not as polished as other Apple products and services of the past, but that could be said about many other current things from today.

Great review! I have the Pioneer AVH-4200NEX and have the same thoughts. CarPlay is nice, but not a "must have". I do like Apple Maps (I do wish Waze, for police and hazard alerts, was available) and having Siri always available. Downside for me is that it is painful to use the Apple Music app. I always end up using my phone vs going through the CP music interface. Also, I don't think there is a night mode so when using CP at night the screen is quite bright. For me, I was going to get a nice radio regardless (I wanted a large touch screen for the rear backup camera and HD radio) so for a little more CP has been worth it for me.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...