On a 1,000 point scale, Apple's CarPlay earned a satisfaction score of 777, compared to Android Auto's score of 748.
Though drivers appear to be more satisfied with CarPlay, Google still has an edge over Apple on navigation. Among owners who use their own navigation system, 56 percent choose Google Maps most often, while 16 percent use Waze most often.
Just 23 of respondents percent said that they prefer to use Apple Maps, and even iPhone owners were more likely to use Google Maps. These numbers could shift further in Google's favor with the release of iOS 12, which will give CarPlay users the ability to use third-party mapping apps in lieu of Apple Maps.
Overall, according to J.D. Power, most consumers consider phone systems like CarPlay and Android Audio better than native systems installed in cars.
"Most consumers consider phone systems better for navigation and voice recognition--and they're free. 'Better and free' are hard to compete with, so automakers will inevitably have to cede this territory and will be much better served by focusing on areas where they are the exclusive provider--like driver assistance and collision avoidance--and continue to hone those systems."In fact, 19 percent of new vehicle owners who have factory-installed navigation options don't use it, and of those people, 70 percent use another device, which is "almost always" a smartphone.
While CarPlay was slow to roll out following its 2015 launch, it is now installed in hundreds of vehicles from nearly all prominent automobile manufacturers. Apple maintains a list of vehicles that include CarPlay support on its website.
CarPlay is also available as an aftermarket option in systems available from companies like Pioneer, Sony, Alpine, and Kenwood.
J.D. Power's data was gathered from a survey of nearly 20,000 vehicle owners and lessees, and the full report contains additional detail about the highest-ranking vehicles from 2018.