iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software.

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature
Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far.

Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18.

New for CarPlay on iOS 18

1. Contact Photos in Messages App

iOS 18 adds contact photos next to names in the Messages app, making it easier to identify conversations at a glance.

iOS 18 CarPlay 1
The contact photos are also visible in Messages app notifications.

iOS 18 CarPlay 4

2. Silent Mode Settings

In the Settings app, you can now choose to have Silent mode on your iPhone automatically turn on or off when the device is connected to CarPlay.

iOS 18 CarPlay 5

3. Color Filters

Apple has expanded Color Filters to CarPlay. This accessibility feature can help individuals with color blindness to differentiate colors on the CarPlay interface.

iOS 18 CarPlay 3
There is a grayscale option and three other color filters available to choose from.

iOS 18 CarPlay 2

4. Voice Control

Voice Control is another new accessibility feature that allows you to control CarPlay entirely with Siri voice commands through a connected iPhone.

iOS 18 CarPlay 7

5. Sound Recognition

Sound Recognition is expanding to CarPlay to provide notifications for driving-related sounds, such as car horns and sirens. This feature can be especially beneficial to drivers or passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

CarPlay Sound Recognition
We did not see Sound Recognition in the CarPlay settings on iOS 18 beta 1.

Update — June 14: Sports Score Card via Siri

We found another feature after publishing: if you ask Siri for a sports score, it will now show a card on the CarPlay interface. This works for the NBA and NHL at a minimum.

CarPlay iOS 18 Sports Siri

Next-Generation CarPlay

Apple shared some updated next-generation CarPlay images during WWDC 2024, revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps on the screen for the first time.

Next-generation CarPlay will be highly customizable, allowing automakers to tailor the design of the system to uniquely match their vehicles. Apple revealed a variety of different design options and layouts that will be available to automakers.

Next Generation CarPlay Design WWDC 2024 2
Automakers will be able to show custom notifications on next-generation CarPlay.

Next Generation CarPlay WWDC 2024 Charging
Apple's website continues to say that the first vehicles with next-generation CarPlay will arrive in 2024, but it has yet to provide a more specific timeframe, and it did not provide any timing-related updates in its WWDC coding sessions. Aston Martin and Porsche previewed next-generation CarPlay vehicle designs late last year.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18, CarPlay

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Top Rated Comments

Kylo83 Avatar
5 weeks ago
All I want is making a phone call and it not taking over the whole page so my Waze goes and have to click it again. It should be a small banner
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
5 weeks ago
I’m 100% convinced @Joe Rossignol only wrote this article to flex that they have John Gruber’s contact info.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IchabodCricket Avatar
5 weeks ago

Everywhere I'm aware of, it's illegal to drive with your ears plugged by headphones. Seems to be the same thing.

Driving is 90% visual, but I'm thinking I would definitely notice if I couldn't hear anything while driving.

Horns and sirens alone are enough reason, those two things are there to warn of potential danger.
It's legal in all 50 states for deaf people to drive.

There are additions that can be added to cars to flash or blink a light around the dash area when a horn or siren is detected, and internal vehicle noises are converted to vibrations in the seat, on the steering wheel, etc.. Even without those aids, though, it's still legal.

Deaf people can even get a CDL as of 2013.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PBG4 Dude Avatar
5 weeks ago

TIL deaf people can drive. Huh.
The braille keyboards on drive-thru ATMs worry me more, if I’m being honest.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Biro Avatar
5 weeks ago
If my phone rings, I don’t want the iPhone kicking me out of GPS/Maps.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
5 weeks ago

All I want is making a phone call and it not taking over the whole page so my Waze goes and have to click it again. It should be a small banner
Came here to say just that. They solved this 'issue' on iOS ages ago. But not here...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)