Carplay Safety Restrictions? What Can't You Do?

I am a big advocate of safety while driving and I never text and drive. However I use common sense and if I am stuck at a long light, I find it reasonable to read and respond to texts at that time.

I’ve never used Carplay and my car is about 10 years old and lacks hi-tech features. When I travel and rent cars I am frequently annoyed by safety restrictions mandated on smart car stereos.

For example, they won’t let you pair a phone while the vehicle is moving. I guess that’s not a problem for your own car, but when you rent a car at an airport, you have to wait in a slow moving line of cars to check out. You’re stopped for 20 seconds and then move 10 feet, repeat until you clear the gate. I get dinged by this each time because I try to pair my iPhone to the car, but before it can finish pairing, I move the car another 10 feet and the pairing process ends and fails with an error that you can’t do this while driving.

I am prepared to drop $500+ on a nice aftermarket Carplay system but need to know in advance what kind of restrictions exist in the name of safety. I read something that says you can’t text while the phone is connected and are forced to use Siri. Is that true? I don’t use Siri out of privacy concerns. So does this restriction mean if my phone is connected to Carplay, then even if I am stopped at a redlight, at a fast-food drive through, or even parked in a parking lot, I can’t manually text on the phone?

Does the Carplay itself impose restrictions on what I can do on the phone?

What restrictions does the Carplay unit itself have? Am I not allowed to type on the unit to enter an address and am I forced to use Siri voice control? I imagine I am in the minority here, but I do not wish for Apple to have my voice on file forever nor do I wish for Apple to know everything I do since everything done by Siri goes through Apple. I use a VPN on my phone and use only zero-knowledge apps (no google anything). My “texting” is all through third party encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Threema and Wire. If I continue to refuse to use Siri, does the Carplay become useless due to safety restrictions?

When your phone is connected to CarPlay, you can pick up your phone and do wahtever you normally would do on it. Being connected to CarPlay does not place restrictions on what you can do with the phone itself in your hand.

If you are interacting via carplay then there are limits. Indeed, you cannot type a text message via carplay, you can only use Siri for adding content to a text message. You cannot read the text of a text message, siri will read it to you.

I suggest you look into the security mechanisms that are put in place by Apple around Siri and your personal information and then make your decisions about whether you want to use Siri or not.

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I’ve been doing some reading on reddit /carplay and it seems another “Safety” feature is that the volume decreases when you put the car in reverse. That would drive me bonkers. Mostly because some committee got together somewhere and decided that I can’t be trusted to put my car in reverse while listening to the radio at full volume.

I am not sure if that’s CarPlay or car feature, but volume changes even while turning left and right. It lowers the audio from the direction you are turning. But as someone who uses CarPlay almost everyday for few hours, I never felt those limitations holding me back.

Never noticed it manipulate the volume of any content under any conditions except for when Siri is talking.

The past couple of times I have traveled and rented a car, it had CarPlay. I plugged my phone into the car and it was just like being in my own car as far as navigation, Siri, text, music, podcasts etc. There is no pairing to do, just plug it in. When they ask you which car you want, ask for one with CarPlay.

Also when I travel and rent a car I make sure I have my “rental car kit” - lightning cable, charger, vent clip, audio cables - to suit any possible car. For CarPlay I only need the cable, but if I don’t get CarPlay I have whatever I need to make do with my phone on the dash.

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Which vent clip do you like?

We have two by Kenu, one of which has a ball and socket joint that lets it turn to the best angle to suit me and the car. We also had a Belkin one, whose little rubber covers on the grippers broke off. The best kind just squeezes onto the vent blades. Previously I had one with hooks that went behind the blades, and I could never get it to attach securely.

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