Blog / Business / iOS

How to develop an app for Apple CarPlay?

  • Rating — 5 (2 votes)
  • by Ksenija Kolomiiets
  • Updated on August 03, 2020
  • Read —
    5-6 minutes

A car was no longer a means of transport it is more lifestyle, new opportunities and etc. Most vehicles are equipped with on-board computers and a huge display that allows their owners to use navigation options without the need to install the additional device in a car or they can turn a car salon into a cinema for all family members while going to the vocation by car.

The use of an iPhone and a car in the bundle provides a great user experience and makes the trip safer.

After WWDC 2020 they can say that multiple changes to vehicles are coming with updated CarPlay in iOS 14 so we decided to look in detail what is coming to users with iOS 14 and how it will impact their daily commutes and road trips. 

Apple takes care of the users and offers CarPlay as a safer way for people to use iPhone in the car. In the meantime, it has become possible to create apps for EV charging, parking, and quick food ordering. It is about time to enhance your user interface in audio and communication apps, etc.

Need help with the integration of CarPlay into your app?

What is CarPlay?

The CarPlay is a framework that provides a system-generated and hosted user interface that you configure to show content from your app. The framework supports control over UI (touch target size, font size, and color) and allows your app at the same time to display custom map tiles, trip and routing information, and so on. Such an approach lets you concentrate on providing a remarkable CarPlay experience without any need to create an app that would work with all CarPlay system.


Consider that you need to use SiriKit’s Messaging to ensure that reading and sending messages will work correctly if you want to add CarPlay support to your messaging app. For VoIP apps, you need to use CallKit with SiriKit’s VoIP Calling to ensure the ability to make and answer audio calls on a CarPlay system.

How to build an app with a CarPlay?

Apps that will be shown on the car’s built-in display should be optimized for the driving environment and meet the particular demands of the car. It would be perfect if the app supports brief interactions and never distract the driver. The content on the screen should be minimal, relevant, and easy for decision-making. A driver can control apps with Siri help so there are no need hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road. Interface elements on iOS should provide an intuitive experience.

Before starting app development you need to obtain a CarPlay app entitlement. To get it you must create a query and provide information about your app, including the CarPlay app category. You must also agree to the CarPlay Entitlement Addendum. Apple company will consider your request and in case your app fits the criteria for a CarPlay app, you will get permission to create an app.

Below you find general CarPlay app guidelines that must be straight followed but there a special requirement for audio, navigation, and other apps that you need to consider while developing.

  1. Your CarPlay app must first fulfill its primary function (e.g. CarPlay audio apps must provide primarily audio playback services and then additional features, etc.). 
  2. Any instructions for users to take their iPhone to do a task are forbidden. In case of an error, the app should recommend reload or seek technical support after the come to a standstill.
  3. The user flows must be suitable to use while driving and be possible without iPhone usage.
  4. Gaming or social networking are not allowed. 
  5. The content of messages, texts, or emails is not permitted to show on the CarPlay screen. 
  6. SiriKit should be used for all voice interaction. 

To meet all these requirements is not so difficult but just imagen how many customers you will get via using new trends.

You might do so but it is better to make a new one that meets all CarPlay requirements. CarPlay apps are designed to look and feel like your app on iPhone, but with UI elements that
are similar to the built-in CarPlay apps. It must be consistent with particular dimensions. If the application is intended to send and receive messages that you need to use SiriKit’s Messaging. SiriKit should be used for all voice interaction. The user flows must be suitable to use while driving and be possible without iPhone usage. Here are only some of the general requirements more you will find in the article.
The CarPlay is a platform that provides a system-generated and hosted user interface that you configure to show content from your app. It supports control over UI (touch target size, font size, and color) and allows your app at the same time to display custom map tiles, trip and routing information, and so on.
Before iOS 14 there were able only Google Maps and Waze as alternative to Apple Maps. With new operating system the list of apps that can be used are extended. There are several types of applications that supported by CarPlay:
✅ Audio
✅ Communication
✅ EV charging
✅ Navigation
✅ Parking
✅ Quick food ordering.

To conclude

New Apple updates are providing great opportunities for many businesses. If you are a car manufacturer you may implement Apple technology to attract more audiences and get more loyal customers. If you have a restaurant business then you should consider building an app with integrated CarPlay where iOS users can order food in a simple way.

Customers adore getting a new user experience that is why it is vital to monitor new trends and improve your services and products according to it. As a development company, we keep cutting-edge technology – under the radar to provide our customers with high-quality development services.

Looking for experienced iOS developers?

Ksenija Kolomiiets Expert & Evangelist in business optimization tools like fintech, logistics, on-demand services apps who will help you to understand the core ideas of the outlined themes by my articles. I also have great expertise in social media and education platforms so let me know "in comments" if you want me to describe a theme you're interested in.

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