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Get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on pretty much any car: Here’s how

Apple CarPlay (photo above) and Android Auto are essentially a combination of hardware and software designed to make your driving smarter and safer.
Apple CarPlay (photo above) and Android Auto are essentially a combination of hardware and software designed to make your driving smarter and safer. (Apple )

If your car has a big screen infotainment system, it’s a good idea to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, depending on what smartphone you use.

One of the perks that come included in most new cars nowadays is a big screen meant for infotainment. If you are in the market scouting for a new car, it is highly likely that your sales executive is going to mention this feature. And if you already have a car with a decently sized screen, you might want to consider these options.

For those who do not know, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are essentially a combination of hardware and software designed to make your driving smarter and safer. These platforms bring some of the key apps from your phone to the car’s display so as you can focus on driving instead of using your phone. So, for example, maps, navigation, calls, text messages, music, etc, can be controlled from your car’s screen instead of having to use your phone. You can control your music from the car screen and look at maps and navigation routes on it, you can also access Siri and Google Assistant through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. All you need to do is to pair your smartphone wirelessly, or via a cable to your car. Now, not all cars offer wireless connectivity, so this is something you need to check.

Also, cars under 10 lakhs mostly do not support this rather popular feature. Most car manufacturers only offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support in mid to top-range cars. Again, older cars do not support this feature either and also may not have a big touchscreen like the newer cars. For situations like these, there IS a solution.

No, we are not asking you to buy a new car or attach an ungainly screen to your dashboard. The most simple, and the basic solution is to buy a mobile stand for cars and download Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and use that. But that is also not the most convenient way of doing things.

There are two other, better ways of swinging this. One is to buy a third-party infotainment system that supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, two is to get an Android-based system.

A third-party infotainment system might be your best bet to replace your old music system in the car with a new touchscreen and then equip it with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The only thing you need to keep in mind for this is the space you have available in your car. The touchscreens come in various display sizes and you can pick from brands like Sony, Pioneer, Blaupunkt, etc.

The prices of these infotainment systems vary depending on their screen size, specs like RAM, processor, audio processing engine, etc. You can buy a basic one for 15,000. You also need to ensure you have a good mechanic to execute this replacement. And if you are not sure where to buy one from, most car showrooms do sell these infotainment systems and you can check it out there.

The second way of fixing your problem is to get an Android-based infotainment system with screen mirroring and Google Play support. These systems are like Android-based tablets and come with popular apps like the Google Play Store, Google Maps, etc. They also support screen mirroring so you can mirror your smartphone screen. These systems support most Android apps including games, all you need is an active internet connection. You can also stream movies, songs, videos, etc, and connect your smartphone via Bluetooth for calls and notifications. However, this works for Android Auto only.

Systems like these are cheaper than third-party infotainment systems that support both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You can buy one for as low as 6,000.

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