Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The two driving systems have established themselves as the most mature options on the market compared to the native navigation systems of car manufacturers. Each of these systems is geared towards a different type of user. While Android Auto is compatible with any phone with Android as the operating system, CarPlay is only compatible with Apple's iPhone starting with iPhone 5c. But the differences between Android Auto and CarPlay go beyond compatibility with third-party devices, as we will see below.
Google Assistant versus Siri and all that this entails
The difference between driving systems goes beyond the functions of each of the assistants. And is that while Android Auto uses Google Assistant to understand certain orders, CarPlay uses Siri Eye Free to control some of the radio functions. But what does this mean?
Due to the assistant's own limitations, the range of functions offered by Siri is much smaller . Google Assistant, for its part, is compatible with practically any third-party application, in such a way that we can dictate a much higher number of orders.
Android Auto is wireless, unlike CarPlay
The latest major update to Android Auto lets you use Google's Driving Assistant completely wirelessly. For this we will have to have at least Android 9 and a radio or car compatible with this system, as we indicated in this other article.
As for Apple's assistant, its use is limited to wired connections. And not just any cable will do, but one certified by the company itself to allow data transfer between radio and telephone. We can also use third-party wireless adapters, although it already represents a surcharge compared to a conventional radio device.
The ecosystem of supported applications is broader in Android Auto
Contrary to what you may think, Android Auto offers a much broader ecosystem of applications than Apple offers with CarPlay. Navigation applications, radio, music and podcasts , audiobooks … On the other hand, the CarPlay application catalog is much more limited, not only in number, but also in possibilities.
All applications compatible with Android Auto
An example of this is VLC, a playback application that is capable of collecting music from the phone's memory on Android. Due to iOS limitations, VLC is not available on CarPlay .
There are more cars and radios compatible with Android Auto
It is a fact. By the Android market share in Europe, the number of Android Auto-compatible radios and cars is significantly higher than the number of CarPlay-compatible vehicles. It is true that there are radios and cars that are compatible with both systems , although they tend to belong to the higher ranges of certain brands.
CarPlay is much simpler and more intuitive
The latest update to Android Auto has tried to improve the user experience of the system, but the truth is that CarPlay is much easier and more intuitive to use than Google's system . This carries over to both the applications and the wizard's own options, although like everything else, it depends on the type of user.