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Trying out CarPlay (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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It was tough car shopping in 2016. CarPlay was just appearing in some midsize sedans. But I test drove the Honda Accord, which I was replacing, and the CarPlay was really buggy I drove a couple different cars and it was erratic in its performance. Even setting aside the design problems with the newer Hondas back then, CarPlay was kind of a mess. I ultimately bought a Subaru without CarPlay. They got CarPlay a year or two later. So now I've got a new car and am several years from when I can upgrade to get CarPlay.

C'est la vie :)
 

Clinton McClure

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At this point, I’m still in the camp that most CarPlay issues are the fault of automakers and not Apple. When implemented on a well thought out aftermarket head unit, CarPlay is extremely stable and has very few issues. When implemented on a stock infotainment system, CarPlay is a mess and buggy as all get out. I’m really hoping automakers get their act together (not likely) and have CarPlay implementation figured out by the time I’m in the market again.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I have really fallen in love with WAZE and I did not expect to.

On the surface, it seems a little less feature-rich than Google Maps (though Google owns Waze), but it's the interactive features that really hooked me in.

The interactive community of Waze drivers is what makes this such a great choice for navigation.

Cop on the road? I just hit a button to alert everyone, that is, unless the alert has been already posted by someone else.

Accident or traffic? It's usually indicated on the map thanks to other Waze drivers.

There is also a Cookie Monster voice option. And, I have found a website filled with other voices now removed (including Morgan Freeman) that you can reinstall yourself.

I actually throw on Waze even when I don't need directions. It gives me a clear understanding of police activity and traffic on my short errand runs.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I have really fallen in love with WAZE and I did not expect to.

On the surface, it seems a little less feature-rich than Google Maps (though Google owns Waze), but it's the interactive features that really hooked me in.

The interactive community of Waze drivers is what makes this such a great choice for navigation.

Cop on the road? I just hit a button to alert everyone, that is, unless the alert has been already posted by someone else.

Accident or traffic? It's usually indicated on the map thanks to other Waze drivers.

There is also a Cookie Monster voice option. And, I have found a website filled with other voices now removed (including Morgan Freeman) that you can reinstall yourself.

I actually throw on Waze even when I don't need directions. It gives me a clear understanding of police activity and traffic on my short errand runs.
Google Maps has begun to incorporate some of the reporting from Waze into GM. I get alerted quite often to "speed trap ahead", for example. Google Maps also alerts to upcoming traffic issues and will offer a new route -- it's done that for as long as I have been using it.

I tried Waze a few times quite awhile ago, but really preferred GM. The info from Waze regarding police activity, stalled vehicles, etc. seemed out of date when I tried it on the 3 hour drive to my parents home in northern Michigan, and I didn't care for the interface as much. I do need to give it another try, as it's been quite some time and things may have changed.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I tried out Waze again yesterday while driving to meet some friends for lunch. I still found the interface and functionality lacking when compared to Google Maps. First off, even though I have Waze setup to access my Google calendar, Waze still didn't list my lunch meeting as a routing option -- I always add the location to these events so I can easily route to them. I had to use the Google voice function to search for the restaurant, and then find it among the provided list. Then, when driving my normal route, I usually prefer to turn off an earlier exit, even though Google thinks it's 1-2 minutes longer. With Google Maps, a dialog box will display on the screen with a "2 minutes longer" or "similar ETA" message. Selecting that box changes your route. Waze didn't list the alternate routes -- it just plodded along on its only known route until I exited early, and then changed its route.

Finally, Waze failed to notify me of a police car on the freeway during the drive. If it cannot do that reliably, I see no reason to use it instead of Google Maps (which also alerts for speed traps). Losing the calendar integration and alternate routes display is too much to give up, as I use both those features regularly.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Scott,

One thing that is important to realize, and I think you do realize this...

Waze is an interactive mapping system that depends on nearby driver support.

This means if you don't have a lot of fellow Waze users on the road, you aren't going to get up-to-date police reports.

My area is heavily populated with Waze users.

In fact, today was a great Waze experience. I had to drive 90 minutes each way to visit a friend.

Waze users properly informed me of several police traps. All were accurate. There were even reports of hazardous conditions such as a car stopped on the side of the road -- and get this -- even roadkill in the middle of the road. Yes, there's an alert for roadkill.

I absolutely realize Waze lacks some of the features that Google Maps has. However, Google Maps fails completely for me when it can't report police speed traps or hazardous road conditions. It's really a fun, interactive tool. When I see a cop or road issue I immediately push the alert button and report it. That information gets uploaded immediately and other Waze drivers see it.

It all comes down to individual needs. I totally get your situation and thing Google Maps is the way to go for your lifestyle.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Scott,

One thing that is important to realize, and I think you do realize this...

Waze is an interactive mapping system that depends on nearby driver support.

This means if you don't have a lot of fellow Waze users on the road, you aren't going to get up-to-date police reports.

My area is heavily populated with Waze users.

In fact, today was a great Waze experience. I had to drive 90 minutes each way to visit a friend.

Waze users properly informed me of several police traps. All were accurate. There were even reports of hazardous conditions such as a car stopped on the side of the road -- and get this -- even roadkill in the middle of the road. Yes, there's an alert for roadkill.

I absolutely realize Waze lacks some of the features that Google Maps has. However, Google Maps fails completely for me when it can't report police speed traps or hazardous road conditions. It's really a fun, interactive tool. When I see a cop or road issue I immediately push the alert button and report it. That information gets uploaded immediately and other Waze drivers see it.

It all comes down to individual needs. I totally get your situation and thing Google Maps is the way to go for your lifestyle.

Ron,

Google Maps will report speed traps -- it has done it numerous times for me. I am not sure if they are pulling the info from Waze, but it will announce "there is a speed trap ahead" and show an icon on the map where the trap is located. It doesn't announce any of the other hazards, such as roadkill ;), but if one of those hazards is actually impacting traffic it will show up as a traffic slowdown, which is all I really care about anyway. Accidents which are impacting traffic are announced, and alternate routes are offered when available. If your current route is still the best, it will also inform you of that.

I still had Waze as my default last evening when going out to meet some friends, and this time it did access my Google calendar unlike my previous trip, so I am not sure what is going on there. I still switched back to Google Maps, though, for the trip.
 

Nelson Au

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Hey guys-

I thought I’d chime in that I took part of the holiday to install a new headunit in my 2001 BMW 330ci. As I said at the start of this thread, my original BMW head unit display had gone bad and was displaying gibberish. And I had been reviewing and staying on top of the latest updates to a third party headunit that’s popularly installed in my BMW 330ci because they designed it to replicate the factory appearance and fit. This unit has been updated to include CarPlay and Android’s version of CarPlay built into the head unit. So I finally pulled the trigger and bought the headunit and spent part of the weekend installing it myself.

I have not had a lot of time to try the headunit. But I have tested CarPlay and the headunit does connect to the iPhone with a iLink dongle and a standard Apple USB cable. It works! I have not tried Bluetooth connection yet, but will give it a go. I’m still learning the features and I’m hoping via the second USB input, to try other media files such as videos. I’ve only had a chance to do a short drive around town with it working. Radio is working, and there is no ignition buzzing, so that’s good news too. CarPlay was running and I used the Apple maps to track my drive to see how it works. I do plan to try Waze and Google maps to see how they workout during my commute to work.

My iPhone is not quite up to date with iOS 13.1.3. I’m surprised I didn’t know there is a newer iOS update!

Here she is with the new headunit installed and CarPlay working. This is from a company called Dynavin who specialize in aftermarket for German cars but they’ve expanded recently to included a few American cars too.
5F468DF9-6EAF-44FE-B6F0-E2D7D11F4A4D.jpeg
 

Nelson Au

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Hey guys, thought I’d follow up after having been living with the new head unit for the past two weeks and using CarPlay, it’s been very cool. It’s works very well and after doing some tweaking to adjust volume levels using the car’s original Harmon Kardon amplifier set-up, I think I may have it dialed in so the radio and iTunes volumes are the same or similar. ( the Dynavin was designed to work with this particular BMW audio set-up and amplifier.

I mentioned before that I had a loaner BMW and used CarPlay on it, at the time I notice it took over the infotainment system. So I could not use the radio. On this Dynavin unit, I actually could use the radio while CarPlay is in use. Maybe the new iOS 13 CarPlay has changed that functionality. What do you guys think?

I’ve been using Waze and the Apple Maps for navigation. Waze works pretty well, but the volume level for the voice navigation and warnings was really high and I finally figured out I could adjust it via the app on the phone. I tried the Apple Maps navigation last night and I was surprised that the map only shows the entire route and your position on the route is shown. But the map always displays with North being at the top of the screen. I like how with Waze, the map rotates and zooms in on you as you move along the route. I tried to see if that can be changed in the Apple map app, but I have not figured that out yet. With Apple Maps, if it’s not navigating, the car position does show on the map and the maps rotates with you as you turn and continue along the route. So there must be a setting somewhere to do that while in navigation mode.

For videos, I did a test and made an mp4 file of a movie. Using a USB thumb drive, I connected that to the Dynavin using the second USB input and to my amazement, the video plays and sounds good. Though aspect ratio is a little off, could be the screen is not compatible with anamorphic material. It wasn’t that far off. And I only watched it for 10 minutes.

For music, it was pretty cool I could just say “Hey Siri, play Rubber Soul” and it does. So that’s much better that scrolling through the list of albums while driving. And such an update from using my 5G iPod prior. Sound wise, the audio quality is slightly improved. So that’s great. I usually rip my CDs at full Apple ALAC format so the songs are not compressed.

Last night I was also surprised to see what happens with the texts I received. I open the Messages app and see two texts, I selected one and Siri read it to me. I expected to be reading it. I also replied by using voice input to dictate the replay. That was an unexpected surprise.

The Dynavin’s connection harness also allows it access to the steering wheel controls and on board computer. So I can use the volume control on the steering wheel and up and down button to change tracks on the album playing. For the on board computer, it can tell me the engine temperature and outside temperature, since my car is so old, the number of options is limited for the OBC functions since the car doesn’t have all the modern sensors.

I even took a phone call and that worked well. When I installed the Dynavin, I used the included microphone and installed it in the factory location on the console overhead by the rear view mirror. That worked well and my voice was audible. Though my friend thought I sounded far away, so I tweaked the mic’s gain to see if that helps.

The unit also comes with its own onboard navigation system using the iGo maps. I tried it a bit. I also installed the supplied GPS antenna under the dash behind the headunit and it’s getting reception. I did not like the way the maps looked compared to the CarPlay options. But I should give it a chance and test it. It should save me from using data on my iPhone too.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the upgrade. It’s made my 18 year old car, that I still really like and enjoy driving, a modern car! It was well worth the cost and effort I put into installing it.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Nelson,

So happy to read about your head unit install. Looks great and yes, you now have a more modern drive.

Waze is my favorite navigation app. I had the volume issue too initially and also figured out it could be adjusted via the app. Yes, it does scroll in and out during your drive. That doesn't particularly bother me. I just love the interactivity with other drivers. Finding police on the road works much better than the expensive radar detector in my car. I even love the Cookie Monster voice that is currently being offered for guidance.

I hate SiriusXM radio so instead, I use Dash. It uses phone data, but not excessively. It really sounds good in the car and the selection of music is so much better.

I am really looking forward to seeing what upgrades will be done over the years by Apple.

Enjoy!
 

DaveF

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I mentioned before that I had a loaner BMW and used CarPlay on it, at the time I notice it took over the infotainment system. So I could not use the radio. On this Dynavin unit, I actually could use the radio while CarPlay is in use. Maybe the new iOS 13 CarPlay has changed that functionality. What do you guys think?
I've seen this on some cars. But I'm not sure if it's new to iOS 13 or up to carmaker implementation choices.
 

DaveF

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And legit, I'd seriously consider buying a Tesla except they don't have Apple CarPlay. I'm now watching for the recently announced Mustang CUV which looks to be a good electric car *and* will support Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
 

dpippel

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I've seen this on some cars. But I'm not sure if it's new to iOS 13 or up to carmaker implementation choices.

It must be manufacturer specific. I can continue to use the radio and SiriusXM on my 2020 Toyota Tacoma, even with CarPlay engaged.
 

Scott Merryfield

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It must be manufacturer specific. I can continue to use the radio and SiriusXM on my 2020 Toyota Tacoma, even with CarPlay engaged.
I can use the radio and access the USB thumb drive while using Android Auto in both my 2018 GMC Acadia and my wife's 2019 Buick Encore. I assume Apple CarPlay works the same way, but cannot confirm.

BTW, since Google acquired Waze, they have been incorporating many of Waze's features into Google Maps. It announces speed traps, abandoned cars, displays the speed limit, etc. I assume Google will eventually faze out Waze. Google Maps displays alternate routes better, so I prefer using it instead of Waze for navigation.
 

John Dirk

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I can use the radio and access the USB thumb drive while using Android Auto in both my 2018 GMC Acadia and my wife's 2019 Buick Encore. I assume Apple CarPlay works the same way, but cannot confirm.

I can confirm. In my car, a 2018 Mercedes Benz S450, I can pretty much do whatever I want with Carplay.
  1. Send texts or have them read to me while I drive.
  2. Use whatever NAV app I choose, although Apples app shows up in the combined screen regardless of the app I was previously using. I also just found a new NAV app called Magic Earth, which I've installed and will preview later tonight when I pick my wife up from the airport.
  3. Listen to any source I want although I do have to temporarily exit Carplay to accomplish it if the source isn't natively available. No problem. For music these days I prefer my cars SD reader over the iPhone anyway. While both contain the same files, the cars system gives me better control, allowing fast forward and rewind. Strangely, while this is also doable on the [unconnected] iPhone the function disappears once the phone is connected to my car.
  4. Radio, As someone else pointed out, there are apps for Internet radio which are [IMO] miles better than terrestrial radio anyway, so I tend to use those. If I want to hear Sirius XM or terrestrial radio I do have to push a few buttons but I can still use Carplay [Wayz, etc] while listening to other sources.
  5. Speak to either the cars system or Siri [depending on how long I hold the button. This is an important feature for me as the Bluetooth functionality in my car goes away with a wired connection. In that case I need Siri to handle phone and calendar duties.
I'm not generally an Apple fan but I've had Carplay in some rental vehicles over the past few years. Until I bought a full-featured vehicle of my own that could fully exploit its technology I was unaware of what it was capable of. I am overall, impressed.


BTW, since Google acquired Waze, they have been incorporating many of Waze's features into Google Maps. It announces speed traps, abandoned cars, displays the speed limit, etc. I assume Google will eventually faze out Waze. Google Maps displays alternate routes better, so I prefer using it instead of Waze for navigation.[/QUOTE]

I heard this from a family member, downloaded Google Maps and tried it yesterday. I didn't receive any of the alerts I get from Wayz.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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I heard this from a family member, downloaded Google Maps and tried it yesterday. I didn't receive any of the alerts I get from Wayz.

I have been getting the speed trap alerts in Google Maps for many months -- at least since our drive to/from South Carolina back in April. The "stalled car on side of road" alerts started more recently. I am using the app via an Android phone and Android Auto -- could the app on an iPhone not be as up to date with these new features?

BTW, the speed trap alerts must rankle the authorities in states like Virginia where radar detectors are illegal.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Ron! Interesting, I had not looked into other voices that Waze uses. I’ll try that later.
About Google Maps, I have not tried that yet. So I’ll give it a try this week.

I bet you guys are right about CarPlay functionality being car manufacturer specific.

I didn’t know Tesla’s did not have CarPlay ability. I guess that crosses off that car as a possible future car. Dave, the Mustang CUV is interesting and controversial. I’m an owner of a Vintage Mustang, so it’s kind of odd. Though I do not disparage Ford for trying this, it’s good to see them do this. And it’s getting good vibes from the car press.

Thanks for all the input guys!
 

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