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Apple’s Next-Gen CarPlay Is a First Glimpse at the “Apple Car”

An illustration of the next-gen CarPlay. Basically a car dashboard covered in screens with apps.

As we all know, the infotainment systems in cars aren’t all that great, and we don’t see it getting any better with the shift to electric vehicles. Apple wants to transition its popular CarPlay system into an entire vehicle interface as a potential solution.

At Apple’s annual developer conference today, the company gave the general public (and developers) an early preview of the next-gen CarPlay experience it claims will be available sometime in late 2023.

Rather than only showing your iPhone, apps, and navigation on the center display, Apple wants to take over every screen. Plus, we’ve heard rumors of Apple making its own EV in the future. This could tie in all together. We’re talking about the RPM and speedometer, climate controls, fuel, and battery gauges, and even adding iOS weather or map widgets behind the steering wheel.

Apple CarPlay gauges and customization

Considering this is Apple we’re talking about, much of the experience would be highly user-customizable. Instead of getting stuck with the boring interface Chevy or Rivian creates, users could change everything, from the colors, gauges, backgrounds, and potentially more.

As you can see, the next version of CarPlay could spread across any and all screens. In the example above, shown by Apple, the central infotainment screen has all the usual goods, but then you’ll also notice a vibrant and colorful set of gauges behind the steering wheel. That’s all Apple.

From what the Cupertino company was willing to show off at its event, we can see options for users to add trip information to the dash, adjust climate controls, add weather widgets from iOS 16, and it’ll adapt to screens of various sizes to fit manufacturers needs.

Apple CarPlay future partners

Obviously, these are some big ambitions, but Apple already has several partners lined up for when it eventually arrives next year. The company is working with big-name brands, including Ford, Land Rover, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Honda, Polestar, etc.

Apple didn’t go into too many details about how this will work, or if it is only an optional replacement overlay on top of manufacturer systems, so we’ll have to wait and see. It sounds like car makers will still offer their custom infotainment systems, then those with an iPhone can mirror CarPlay for a far more personalized experience.

Either way, a next-generation Apple CarPlay is coming sometime in late 2023, and it’ll work with a slew of vehicles once it arrives. Plus, this could be our first glimpse of what an “Apple Car” would have to offer.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »