Despite only being 33 years old, I’m a bit of an old man when it comes to in-car tech. I love technology, I’ve been building computers since I was 12. But when it comes to car tech, I like things old-school. However, there’s one piece of modern car tech that I absolutely love—Apple CarPlay. The brilliance of essentially turning a car’s infotainment system into the world’s greatest touchscreen UI is something I can’t live without in modern cars. And for 2023, it’s better than ever. So far, a few automakers have committed to implementing the new Apple CarPlay: Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Volvo and others. But no word yet from BMW on future implementations of the new CarPlay.

For 2023, Apple CarPlay features greater integration than ever before and it boasts features that could make life much easier for customers. So let’s check out some of its new features.

Climate Controls

Image provided for media use by

This one is huge for me. So many brands, including BMW, now have touchscreen based climate controls and they can be problamtic. None of them work well enough to replace regular buttons, yet automakers continue to be buffoons and use them anyway. Apple’s climate controls will also be touchscreen but if anyone’s going to nail the UI (user interface) and make it as simple as possible, it’s Apple. Say what you want about Apple’s walled garden approach to its products or its business practices but Apple is probably the best in the business at making easy-to-use UIs. So I’m confident in Apple’s ability to upgrade brands’ touch-based UI.

Digital Gauges

As of right now, there’s only one screen for Apple CarPlay and that’s the main infotainment screen. However, Apple will be integrating CarPlay into the car’s main digital gauge cluster. That means compatible cars will get Apple-designed digital gauges which will likely feature more personalization than they currently do. It will be also to see if more gauge designs will be available, just as more digital faces are available for the Apple Watch.


Being able to have Apple CarPlay on both the infotainment system and the digital gauges at the same time is going to be incredibly helpful. You’ll be able to display certain info on each screen, allowing for further customization between the screens and getting the setup just right for you. But it will also allow for things like Apple or Google Maps to be integrated into the gauge cluster. Currently in BMWs, if you want to use Google Maps on Apple CarPlay, you don’t get the navigation instructions from CarPlay in the gauge cluster, you only get BMW’s house brand nav instructions. But with multi-screen CarPlay integration, you can have it on both screens.


I’m not a huge widget user but I can see how they can be helpful in a car’s infotainment system. Having big tiled widgets for things like calendar and weather can be super helpful, so you don’t have to flip through menus while driving to see those things. BMW has a similar system in iDrive 8, where you can scroll through its own widgets, but you have to leave Apple CarPlay to do use them. With CarPlay widgets, you won’t have to and that makes driving while using a modern infotainment system easier and safer.

FM Radio

It might sound odd to be excited about FM radio on Apple CarPlay but it’s more helpful than you might think. There are still a ton of people who listen to FM radio for local radio stations, talk radio morning shows, and even things like local traffic and weather updates. So FM radio is important to a lot of drivers. However, if you’re using Apple CarPlay and want to use FM radio, you have to leave Apple CarPlay and use the car’s own interface to use it. Which makes using Google Maps or Waze and FM radio at the same time difficult, as you have to constantly switch back and forth while driving. Having FM radio built into Apple CarPlay will make life considerably easier.

With this added level of integration, wireless Apple CarPlay likely won’t be an option anymore, as you can’t control all of those in-car functions through Bluetooth alone. However, wired CarPlay works better than wireless anyway and that’s a small price to pay for such an advanced level of integration and ease-of-use. BMW currently isn’t involved in this latest version of CarPlay but it likely will be in the future, as it isn’t going to want to be left behind while other brands get it.

[Source:Mac Rumors]