A Polite Request Regarding Apple CarPlay

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I was sitting in line for a car wash this morning, readying a test vehicle for photos, and since the line was long and moving slow, I started perusing Twitter on my iPhone while listening to the radio.

The same phone that was plugged into the Ford Maverick’s USB port so that I could run Apple CarPlay.

If you’ve ever tried to scroll social media, or a news app, or a game, or anything that might play a video ad or music, while also connected to CarPlay, whether wired or wirelessly, you might know where I am going with this.

Here’s what happens. You scroll through Twitter, an automated ad plays, and it cuts the radio out. Annoying.

But wait, you say, who cares? You shouldn’t be scrolling Twitter while driving, anyway! You’re right. And I don’t scroll my social media or play with my phone while the car is in motion. But there are plenty of times I am in the car, engine running, parked, waiting for something or someone.

The car-wash line. Picking someone up. Drive-thrus. I am sure we all face this situation fairly often — idling, parked, bored, and looking for a way to make killing a few minutes less tedious.

So you thumb through Twitter, trying not to be sucked into outrage-bait hot takes from people you don’t even know because apparently letting your blood pressure boil is preferable to staring out the window at the cityscape around you and taking it all in. Then the radio cuts out right as the sports yakker you’re listening to makes a great point about why your team sucks and you miss it. Bummer, dude.

I know it’s sort of an edge case, but I really wish Apple would figure out a way to fix this. Maybe a setting in CarPlay — perhaps an override so that it stays on the radio, even when an app is opened, unless the driver tells it otherwise.

Yes, it’s a first-world problem. Yes, it matters little in the long run. Still, it’s a minor annoyance I think Apple could likely easily fix.

If Apple ever does fix this, you know who to thank.

[Image: Honda/Acura]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Vulpine Vulpine on Mar 18, 2022

    This is an ongoing issue even when driving, where even though the primary iPhone may be feeding music, a secondary unit, authorized AS secondary, can sometimes take over audio in the same manner. When it happens, I'm forced to quickly go to the home (audio) screen and re-select the primary device. Certainly an annoyance. But then, in GM vehicles, Car Play tends to freak out the infotainment stack after about an hour of steady play time. The only way to break that is to revert the audio to straight audio settings and essentially turn off Car Play itself. Interesting thing here is this specific problem appears to be isolated to GM and it doesn't matter what generation of iPhone or iOS version is involved.

  • Colto1000 Colto1000 on Mar 18, 2022

    @Tim: Does muting (with the rocker) your phone not do the trick? Maybe disabling Twitter’s autoplay?

  • Kwi65728132 "Safety wonks at the federal level claim the starter solenoid in these rigs could be contaminated with water if operated in abnormally wet conditions like as a flooded road."Don't drive on flooded roads or "Turn around, don't down"It sounds like just plain common sense to not submerge your fancy vehicle in a body of standing water, unless you're doing it for the insurance money because you bought more car than your subprime credit rating can afford to pay for.
  • Mattwc1 The ban was scrapped. My inherent problem with this ban is just postering. The US collectively has to improve the infrastructure for EVs in order for them to be a compelling alternative
  • Eliyahu Actual combustion requires a burner phone on the wireless charging pad.
  • ToolGuy TG's handy guide to developing EVs (for legacy OEMs):• Make it look weird• Give it weird/special/confusing naming• Change the way you compensate your dealer body for these models only -- this way they can be extra un-motivated to sell and service the EV stuff• If possible, develop a bunch of new 'sub-brand' names and use them to confuse everyone (name the battery, name the charger, name the infotainment, name the seats, name it all)Good news: When the whole thing comes crashing down, you can pretend like it never happened.Better news: This already happened in January 2024 when all EV sales ended forever (in the U.S. market anyway).
  • ToolGuy Simple question from a simple guy: When the wet solenoid gets sparky, what burns? I ain't no pyromaniac, but I do start my share of fires (intentionally), and this doesn't seem like it would be a very impressive combustion event.