iPhone 6s and later models are all getting the update to iOS 14. As far as CarPlay users are concerned, this new release brings three major improvements, and we’re going to detail them one at a time.

First and foremost, it supports the iPhone to be used as a car key. BMW is the first to adopt this new feature, and Apple allows iPhone owners to unlock and start their cars with the press of a button.

The car key is stored in the wallet, so you can launch it in the same way you make a payment with Apple Pay. On the iPhone 11, you can just double-press the lock button to launch the wallet. Unlocking the car door is as easy as bringing the iPhone close to it, while to start the engine, you just need to place your smartphone on a reader or wireless charger.

The best of all is that this whole experience is also available on the Apple Watch running watchOS 7.

When setting up a new car key, users can configure full access to unlock, lock, start, and drive the car, or enable restricted driving, which allows them to set up certain limitations. Car keys can also be shared between contacts using iMessage.

The second important addition to this software update is support for Apple CarPlay wallpapers. Beginning with this update, users can just head over to settings and pick a background for the CarPlay UI on their head units. At this point, Apple does not allow users to set their own photos as custom wallpapers, so we just have to choose from a pre-defined list of images.

And the third CarPlay highlight in iOS 14 is the support for new app types. Beginning with this release, CarPlay can run a wider variety of apps, such as for parking or electric vehicle charging. What’s more, Apple also allows food ordering apps to run on CarPlay, as long as they’re optimized for a driving experience and do not cause any distraction.

All features are available for CarPlay users regardless of the iPhone model they own.

how to change the iOS 14 CarPlay custom wallpaper:

  1. Once you launch the updated CarPlay on your display, click on the App Grid button. You’ll find it on the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to the ‘Settings’ app.
  3. Tap on ‘Wallpaper’.
  4. Choose the one you prefer.
  5. And lastly, confirm it using the ‘Set’ button.
    For now, it’s not possible to set a custom image as a CarPlay background, but it’s only a matter of time for this feature to be introduced.

Improved Siri on iOS 14 CarPlay
The predominant aim of every BMW CarPlay update is always the same — help drivers do more while getting less distracted. And with these Siri improvements, the infotainment user experience undoubtedly got enhanced.

Apart from getting a new, minimalistic design that’s less distracting for the eye, Siri has been programmed to send audio messages to your contact list and share your ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) with your family and friends. Sending text messages isn’t new for CarPlay’s Siri, but sharing them in audio form is something very recent, and may turn out to be a great addition for those who do a lot of texting, especially for business purposes.

How many times has Siri misspelled your words while recording a text message? Too many to count? 😉 It has probably gotten you into some funny or awkward situations and made you double-check each recording. Fortunately, sending out a recorded voice message should bring you peace of mind and help you avoid any misunderstandings.

Apple Music update on iOS 14 CarPlay
The iOS 14 update also didn’t miss Apple Music. The app has now caught up with Spotify to welcome autoplay mode on the queue screen, which lets you replay any queued songs, playlists, or albums you choose.

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