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inRoute Guide: CarPlay

inRoute for CarPlay is here! CarPlay requires navigation apps use standardized interfaces, so how you plan and navigate routes differs from inRoute on other devices. You can learn about these differences in the guide below, as we go through creating and navigating a route.



The main route planning interface on CarPlay is shown in figure 1. The CarPlay map initially shows the route on your iPhone’s map, if any, and changes made to the route on your iPhone are mirrored to the CarPlay map. You can also create/edit multi-stop routes directly through CarPlay. However, CarPlay does not allow tapping directly on pins like on the iPhone’s map. Instead, the Pins screen (top-left icon) is used for tasks like viewing a pin’s details, adding/removing a pin from a route, or changing a pin’s color.

1) Main route planning interface

Planning a Route on CarPlay

The Search icon (2nd from top-left) allows searching the map by Voice or Keyboard (figure 2). The first time using the Voice option, it will prompt you for permission to access your microphone and perform speech recognition (this prompt appears on iPhone). inRoute never saves your voice, processing it only with Apple’s speech-to-text recognition service. The Keyboard search option may not always be accessible, for example when your vehicle’s parking brake is not engaged. Limits on keyboard access depend on your vehicle.

2) Search screen

For searches with only one result, the pin appears immediately on the map (figure 3). If multiple matches are found they are shown in a list, where one can be selected. The options for the new pin include creating a new route from your location, adding the pin to an existing route, or removing the pin.

3) Options for a pin added to the map via Search (Create New Route is being selected)

After creating a route on CarPlay, the primary route and any available alternate routes appear on the map, along with route information for the currently selected alternate (figure 4). CarPlay does not allow directly tapping on an alternate route to select it. Instead, the “Alternates” button is used to choose between different alternates (the route information below is replaced with a list of alternates). The “Go” button starts navigation.

4) Select from alternate routes or start navigation (“Go”)

Viewing Pin and Route Details

The Pin screen (top-left icon) includes a list of pins in the route, as well as a button to access the map’s non-route pins (figure 5). During navigation, an “Up Next” section will also appear to show the next stop’s pin. CarPlay lists may be limited in length depending on your vehicle and iOS version, for example to about 20 items. In this case a “More…” item will appear at the end of the list to view the additional items.

5) The Pins screen allows selecting Route or Non-Route Pins

Selecting a pin in the list shows the pin’s details (non-route pin example in figure 6). Like on the iPhone, the pin’s details may include the pin’s address, travel times and distances between pins, phone number, website URL, as well as any notes you’ve previously added to the pin.  Tapping the pin’s marker allows you to change the pin’s color, tapping its phone number will start a call, and a website URL will open a browser window on your iPhone (CarPlay does not allow a web browser).

6) Pin details screen

The colors of non-route pins (default blue) and waypoints (default orange) can be changed during route planning or during navigation (figure 7). The same color options are available on CarPlay as on the iPhone. The “Default Color” button reverts to the pin’s default.

7) Pin color screen

Adding a Waypoint in CarPlay

On the top toolbar of the pin’s details screen, there is an “Add to Route” button and a Remove Pin button (figure 8). The “Add to Route” button may be used to add a non-route pin to the current route, or create a new route to the pin from your location. The Remove Pin button removes the pin from the map.

8) The “Add to Route” and Remove Pin buttons (top-right)

The “Add to Route” button selects the pin on the map and shows routing options. For the non-route pin in this example, the “Add to Existing Route” option is used to add the pin as a waypoint to the current route (figure 9). If waypoint optimization is enabled, the route’s waypoints will be reordered for fastest time (otherwise it is added as the last waypoint of the route). Optimization may be toggled on/off under the top toolbar’s More icon. Manually reordering the route is only available on the iPhone (changes to route order are mirrored to CarPlay).

9) Adding a waypoint to the current route (Add to Existing Route is being selected)

With multi-stop routes, the Custom Route settings from the iPhone’s Route screen (top-left icon on iPhone), like Avoid Tolls, Most Curvy, etc., are automatically used to determine alternate route options for the overall route (figure 10). Alternate routes on each leg of the route (as opposed to the overall route) are only available from the iPhone’s ALT button on map pins (changes to alternates on iPhone are mirrored to CarPlay).

10) Alternates for routes with multiple stops

Additional Controls and Features

The three map buttons at the lower right allow you to enter panning mode, to zoom in and to zoom out on the map (figure 11). While in panning mode, additional up/down/left/right pan buttons appear and a “Done” button on the top toolbar allows you to exit panning mode and recenter on the route. Many vehicles support directly dragging the map to pan as well.

11) Panning mode

The toolbar’s More icon can be used to change map types, reverse the route, enable/disable waypoint optimization, and center the route or your location on the map (figure 12).

12) The More options screen

The toolbar’s Book icon includes routes and pins in your iPhone’s “Bookmarks” and “Recents” (figure 13).

13) The Book screen includes Bookmarks and Recents

Saved routes and pins are available in “Bookmarks” (figure 14). An “Add to Map” button will also appear on the toolbar when multiple items can be added at once, for example while viewing a subfolder with multiple pins. CarPlay limits the folder structure of Bookmarks to 4-levels deep. If you have a deeper folder structure, you can load those items using your iPhone instead, since changes on iPhone mirror to CarPlay, or reorganize your Bookmarks on your iPhone to decrease the depth of folders (e.g. with the “Select” button in the iPhone’s Bookmarks screen).

14) Bookmarks screen

inRoute supports CarPlay’s Dashboard view (figure 15). When you’re not navigating, two shortcuts are provided to reverse the current route or create a new route with the first item in your Bookmarks. For example, since a “Home” pin is the first saved item in Bookmarks above, a “Home” shortcut appears in the CarPlay DashBoard, and selecting it creates a new route from your current location to Home.

15) The CarPlay Dashboard while not navigating

Navigating with CarPlay

After starting navigation with the “Go” button on the main CarPlay interface, the map may switch to a dark map type if you are navigating at night with night mode enabled in the app’s settings (figure 16). At the top-left are information about the next turn, and at the lower-left are the time and distance to the next stop in the route. At the lower-right a Route Overview button (to zoom out to show the full route) and a Repeat Instruction button (to repeat the last spoken turn instruction) are shown. Tapping the Pan button will show the same panning interface and Zoom In/Out buttons discussed above.

16) Main navigation interface

Tapping the screen once will reveal the top toolbar, showing additional buttons to skip the next waypoint, access navigation settings (Gear icon), and end navigation (see figure 17). If you pan the map during navigation, it will no longer automatically stay locked on your current location, and a location arrow icon will appear instead of the Gear icon for recentering on your location.

17) The top toolbar can be shown/hidden by tapping the screen, and after panning the map a location arrow will appear for re-centering on your location

The navigation settings (Gear icon on top toolbar) allow you to change map type, mute/unmute turn instructions, switch between north-up and track-up map orientations, disable off-route recalculation, switch to a 2D map, and hide 3D buildings (figure 18).

18) Navigation settings screen

We hope this guide has helped familiarize you with the interface and features in the new CarPlay app. As always, please contact us if you have any questions or features you’d like to see added!