As car enthusiasts — especially BMW enthusiasts — we often wax poetic about the good ole days of cars. For BMW, the best years were the ’90s and early ’00s, when cars like the E46 3 Series, E38 7 Series, and E39 5 Series dominated their respective classes. Cars from that era wipe the floor with modern cars, in terms of steering feel, driver engagement, and their overall sense of connection. However, I can’t help but miss the modernity of today’s current cars whenever I drive one.
My daily drive (which is a generous term, as it’s rarely driven) is from 2005. It has a manual transmission without any sort of rev-matching, it lacks Bluetooth connectivity, a back-up camera, any sort of parking sensor, and its dashboard is utterly devoid of screens. The only screen in the car is the dot-matrix information screen between the dials. Basically, just like most other cars from 2005. When I drive it, I’m reminded of the simplicity of older cars and how much I enjoy them but I also most certainly miss several features of modern cars and one, more than any other, truly gets me — Apple CarPlay.
I absolutely love Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto, if you prefer). It’s one of the greatest modern automotive features ever made and makes driving so much better. That might sound absurd, considering there are loads of active safety features and clever cameras that make cars safer and easier to drive but, for me, CarPlay is essential.
Like most people, unless I’m driving a sports car with an intoxicating exhaust note, I need to listen to something as I drive. Music, podcasts, whatever — I need something. And due to modern media mediums, such as Spotify and podcasts, I simply cannot listen to the radio anymore. I simply cannot listen to radio commercials anymore. I’d rather sit in silence than listen to another ad for a local injury attorney. So having my own apps, music, and podcasts easily accessible is almost necessary at this point.
One could argue that all I need is Bluetooth connectivity for such things and that’s true. However, what I’d still be missing is the incredibly safe and convenient method of using Google Maps or Waze, being able to call people safely with ease, and having the car rear my text messages back to me, while all of it is at my fingertips, without having to look down at my phone. Not only is it incredibly easy and convenient, it’s safer.
Whenever I get in a modern press car with Apple CarPlay, I connect my phone, get CarPlay up and running, and the only time it turns off is when I need to play with the car’s settings. Otherwise, its screen becomes my phone’s screen and it stays that way.
That might be the most un-car-enthusiast answer of all time but I’m an unashamed CarPlay fan. Its convenience is great but the fact that it makes phone calls, texts, and media safer to use while driving is something I just don’t want to drive without anymore. That’s my modern feature I can’t live without, what’s yours?