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Your iPhone is not only a helpful home assistant, but also a handy car companion. However, its small display can prove to be inadequate for diving purposes, not to mention a dangerous distraction that is prohibited in many countries. Which is precisely why Apple’s Car Play, unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, is gaining traction as an essential connectivity solution for iPhone and infotainment system integration. Dozens of vendors now offer direct Carplay integration (Apple lists the most notable here). Also available are retrofit kits  for vehicles with a 2-DIN slot. Vendors include Alpine, Clarion, Pioneer, Kenwood and Sony, all of which leverage CarPlay to bring iOS apps and even HomeKit control to your car – via USB, Lightning or Bluetooth.

Using CarPlay
When your iPhone is not connected, your CarPlay-compatible radio can serve as a standard yet high-quality AM/FM tuner. Once you connect your iPhone, some settings become available under iOS Settings > General > Carplay. The first time you connect, you’ll see the Carplay logo on a gray background. On the capacitive touch screen of the CarPlay-compatible system, you can engage all apps and features with a fingertip, but for obvious reasons, it’s best to always use Siri and keep your eyes on the road. CarPlay-compatible devices come with their own microphone or use the one built into your car.

When connected, the iPhone displays the CarPlay logo
In General settings, you’ll find CarPlay with the corresponding settings
The setting shows connected CarPlay devices. Add additional devices via Bluetooth or Lightning / USB
Apps can be sorted for optimum CarPlay-specific display and you can specify whether CarPlay should remain active when your iPhone is locked

Carplay and Siri
Siri and driving go hand in hand. Simply say, “Hey Siri” and issue a voice command to call a contact, play music, and dictate or listen to messages. Even Whatsapp is supported. And even though CarPlay does not yet support Apple Home and other HomeKit-enabled apps, you can still control your home via Siri.

CarPlay interface with apps to use via touch or Siri
Maps offers a perfect navigation system in CarPlay

Use HomeKit with Carplay
With the exception of macOS, all of Apple’s Siri-enabled platforms support HomeKit. Thus, CarPlay can also be used to interact with your home via Siri voice commands and queries. Although, unlike your iPhone, your CarPlay-compatible system won’t display your question or an answer as text. Instead, you will only hear Siri report, for example, the temperature in your living room. Of course, you can also control your HomeKit-enabled accessories, like thermostats and lights. All this even while other apps are running. As long as your iPhone is connected to the internet while driving.
This short video shows a few examples. (Bear in mind that we shot this video while the car was stationary to avoid camera-shake)

CarPlay HomeKit (english)

Elgato Eve
Elgato Eve
Developer: Elgato Systems
Price: Free

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