Apple and Google are transforming in-car infotainment via their applications - Carplay and Auto respectively. These apps take the things that you want to do with your phone while driving and puts them on your car's built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, listen to music - all without having to touch your phone. The theory being that betters apps equate to safer driving. If you don't need to access your phone, you can focus more on driving.
The main difference between the Apple Carplay and Android Auto is that Carplay has a larger scrollable screen which unsurprisingly looks a lot like the iPhone interface with a number of apps on offer including Music, Phone, Maps, Messages, Podcasts. Now Playing and Audio. These apps can't be removed, however, a few additional apps, such as Spotify, can be added.
Android has a simple and intuitive interface with a group of app icons at the bottom of the home screen which act as shortcuts for different functions, to avoid drivers having to return to their smartphone's home screen to select an app.
Both apps offer navigation with Carplay using Apple Maps which it integrates with Siri voice commands, or if stationary, you can type in the address by using the finder button. Android uses Google Maps and again uses voice or manual commands.
Calls & Messaging
Carplay and Auto offer hands-free calls and messaging via voice commands. With Carplay, to call or text someone you can either use Sir or tap the Phone button on the dashboard. Texting can be achieved with the voice-to-text software (Siri) which works if you want to send or listen to a text.
Auto allows you to access calls and texts both manually or via voice command. Android's text-to-voice software is Google Assistant. An advantage that Android Auto has over Apple Carplay is its integration with third-part messaging apps such as Google Hangout, WhatsApp, Skype and others.
Carplay's interface includes Apple's Music Podcasts and Audiobooks and a range of others apps, not on the preset list, are available from Apple's web site including Spotify. In addition to Google Play Music, Android's Auto allows connectivity to third-party apps including Spotify. With Auto, the music volume dips when the navigation system issues an audio prompt which is pretty neat.
Which one is the right one for? Well, it's probably determined by whichever phone you have at the moment, however, as they become increasingly advanced, maybe they will become an influencing factor in your future phone choices - not least in-car infotainment systems.