Thursday, May 19, 2022

How to use an iPad or iPhone in your car, instead of CarPlay? Step-by-step process

How to use an iPad or iPhone in your car, instead of CarPlay? Step-by-step process
How to use an iPad or iPhone in your car, instead of CarPlay? Step-by-step process

Does your car not support CarPlay? Are you not able to find the CarPlay receiver you want? OR. What you have in your car doesn’t support it very well. You can create a reasonable replacement for your iPad/iPhone in your car. 

Just to be clear here, this is more of a workaround. CarPlay is not just ahead for an iPhone, it is a system that integrates Apple’s services with the car.

So, you can adjust the volume of music playing using controls that are built into your steering wheel. Or if you get a call, CarPlay can route the sound through your car speakers. It can also route your voice right back through the car’s microphones.

When you use a Do-It-Yourself kind of CarPlay workaround, you will be losing that integration. However, then you gain the ability to use iOS as you drive, this includes Apple Maps, Music, Podcasts, phone calls, and much more.

Depending on the location of your mount in the car, you might just have to stretch a bit further than you’d like to perform the tapping. Even if the screen happens to be perfectly positioned to show you Apple Maps, however, if you want to scroll through music you would have to take your eyes off the road.

Safety is undoubtedly more vital than being able to pass the time on a long drive with good music. A number of regions also won’t allow car users to mount anything on their windshield, so you have to be careful where you are positioning the iPhone/iPad.

What are the requirements to use an iPad or iPhone in your car?

You need to make sure your local laws allow you to have an iPad in your car. Some states won’t allow any big screen devices in the car unless it is preinstalled by a manufacturer like “Tesla”.

You need a way for your device to plug into your car’s radio. If not, you will have to depend entirely on the iPad/iPhone speakers. While that may seem to be passable on a quiet road, as soon as you hit traffic, it ain’t.

So, you’ll have to figure out how you can connect it to the car. If Bluetooth isn’t working, then all that is left is a Lightning or USB-C cable to – probably – USB-A cable.

You have everything you need on your iOS device. You’re going to be using-

  • Focus Mode
  • Shortcuts

Starting with Shortcuts

What you need to do (several times) is create a new Shortcut that includes a step and an action.

This is how you can create one to play your Apple Music Favorites playlist-

  • Open the Shortcuts app
  • Make sure My Shortcuts is selected
  • Tap on the “+” sign
  • Tap on the Shortcut Name to give it a useful title,
  • Then tap on Add Action
  • Enter the word Music into the top Search for apps as well as actions
  • From the list that appears, scroll to Media, then tap on Play Music
  • This will enter a line into the new Shortcut. Tap on Music in it to specify what you require
  • Then, tap on Listen Now from the appearing list
  • Locate your Favorites Mix
  • Tap on the very tiny plus sign
  • The Shortcut itself is now completed, tap on the Settings icon, next to the close X
  • Click on Add to Home Screen
  • Give the Shortcut a name. Then tap on Add
  • Most of it is the same process to create any Shortcut. 
  • If the Shortcut says “Play Favorites Mix,” instead it displays “Play” followed by a specific song on Apple Music. However, it’s because that particular song is the first in your Favorites list if you were to run the Shortcut and wait about three minutes. You will find it does move on to the next in the list.

You now have an icon on your home screen, when tapped, starts playing your Favorites Playlist. 

Change your home screen

If you set up tappable Shortcuts on your iOS device’s home screen, there is a possibility they might get buried among all the regular apps. You could try and make a kind of meta-Shortcut which is just a menu of all the CarPlay-like Shortcuts you want, however, that will cause a further problem.

After you tap to launch the CarPlay-like Shortcut, it works, but you’re a bit stuck with it. Exiting the Shortcut will take you back to the regular home screen. So, you have to change your home screen. That you can do with the new Focus Mode.

You have to start by creating a new home screen, which can be done by dragging your new Shortcut icon to the right till a new, blank screen appears.

How to use Focus Mode to change the home screen?

  • Open Settings, then tap on Focus
  • Choose a Focus Mode from the list (or create one then return)
  • Under the Options, click on Home Screen
  • You have to turn Custom Pages on
  • Tap to select one single home screen
  • You have to select only one. When you do, this will mean that it can be the screen that contains all of the Shortcuts.
  • When you tap on it to use it, then when you exit, you are returned to the home screen, however, it’s your own, new, CarPlay-only one.

Working with the Widgets

The thing with having a home screen is the ability to have widgets. There is nothing special in a Widget that can’t conjure up with a Shortcut, however, they are handier and these are more visual.

  • If everything is a Shortcut, your entire screen will be filled with the same shaped icons. Whereas with a widget you have the ability to add, for example, a contact.
  • This will show their name as well as their face, you can just tap on it to dial/text them.
  • Press and then hold on to a blank area of the home screen
  • Tap on the + sign at the top of the screen
  • Choose from the widgets available
  • Nothing comes close to a very well-done CarPlay integration. However, even the best of them lacks the customization that you can do when rolling on your own.

If you liked this article (or if it helped at all), leave a comment below or share it with friends, so they can also know How can you use an iPad or iPhone in your car, instead of CarPlay? 

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