Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto: A Complete Comparison

Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto

What is Apple CarPlay?

CarPlay is Apple's platform that connects iPhones to compatible car infotainment systems. It works with iPhone 5 or newer devices running iOS 7.1 or above. Through CarPlay, users can access navigation with Apple Maps, make calls, listen to music, get voice-powered directions from Siri and send/receive messages completely hands-free.

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto is Google's answer to CarPlay for Android users. It operates on phones running Android 8.0 or newer. Like CarPlay, it integrates a smartphone into a car dash display allowing hands-free access to navigation with Google Maps, calls, music and more using Google Assistant.

Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto: Similarities and Differences


Both platforms seamlessly integrate a smartphone into a car's display. They provide tap/voice access to Google Maps/Waze for directions, music/podcast controls, and the ability to make and receive hands-free calls and texts.


Aspect Apple CarPlay Android Auto
Default Navigation Apple Maps Google Maps
Voice Assistant Siri Google Assistant
Interface Design Slick, well-designed interface Customizable interface, split-screen function
Generative AI Not available Generative AI to help manage texts (early 2024)
Navigation Control Tap arrow buttons to move the map Zoom and scroll like on a phone, tap gray alternatives
Google Apps Works with most Google apps Limited Apple app support (only Apple Music)
Customization No customization of the app display Select which apps to appear, view multiple apps simultaneously
Third-Party App Support Limited third-party app compatibility Greater third-party app compatibility

Apple CarPlay vs. Android Auto: Pros and Cons

What is the advantage of Apple CarPlay?

1. Familiar interface that looks. CarPlay tends to integrate seamlessly with the Apple ecosystem
2. Fewer distractions thanks to the limited number of third-party apps
3. The app map tracks regular routes and matches them to your calendar
4. Integrates with car’s controls, knobs, buttons, touchscreen, and more

What are the disadvantages of Apple CarPlay?

1. Apple Maps is sometimes unreliable, less up-to-the-minute than Google Maps
2. Delayed response time with exact pointers (directions, locations, etc.) when you need them the most
3. Limited third-party app support compared to Android Auto.

What is the advantage of Android Auto?

1. Android Auto offers greater flexibility and customization
2. Reads messages out loud and activates a voice response option
3. Accurate and powerful Google Voice with reduced delay time
4. Limited selection of touchscreen action buttons so less confusion

What are the disadvantages of Android Auto?

1. Many available apps mean more scrolling to find the one you want
2. Easily distracting with so many apps to choose from
3. Default reliance on Google services, less polish/organization of the default interface compared to CarPlay

What's better, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay?

There is no clear winner as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are very similar in functionality. Some advantages of Android Auto include a customizable interface, better Google Maps integration, and access to more third-party apps. Apple CarPlay offers a well-organized default UI and works with some Google apps as well. Overall, choice depends on which phone (Android vs iPhone) a user owns.


After discussing Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto, it's clear both platforms offer significant convenience for using smartphones in the car. However, there is a common downside for most cars is the reliance on wired connectivity. Over time, cables can fray, or charging ports can degrade, leading to frustrating intermittent connections.

One solution for enabling wireless Apple CarPlay is to use a wireless CarPlay adapter. This small dongle plugs into a vehicle's USB port and pairs with your phone to provide the full Apple CarPlay or Android Auto experience wirelessly. For those who love Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but find cables cumbersome, the Carlinkit offers an elegant solution to go wireless.

Whether you choose CarPlay or Android Auto, we hope you make the most of the convenience they offer, creating a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.


Does Apple CarPlay or Android Auto waste battery?

Using CarPlay or Android Auto does consume more power than not using them. However, these modules are designed with power efficiency in mind. They minimize additional power consumption by utilizing the existing OEM screen and hardware. For most drivers, the impact on the battery is negligible and not a significant concern given average drive times.

Can I use Android on Apple CarPlay?

No, you cannot use Android on Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay is specifically designed to work with iPhones, while Android Auto is designed to work with Android phones.

Can you use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the same car?

Yes, you can use both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the same car if the infotainment system supports both. Many modern vehicles are compatible with both platforms, allowing you to switch between them depending on your phone. However, the car's display can only run one platform at a time.

    1 out of ...

    Related Articles

    Install Apple CarPlay
    Apple CarPlay has become an essential feature for modern driving, but not all cars come equipped with it. Fortunate...
    CarPlay allows you to add, remove, and adjust the display order of apps at the top level. With just a few simple st...