The New Apple CarPlay Will Let You Make Your Own Gauges

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Make Your Own Gauges With the New Apple CarPlay Apple

"It's the best of iPhone and the best of your car together in a unified consistent experience across all of the driver's displays," says Apple Human Interface Designer Ben Crick of the incoming CarPlay generation. That's not surprising, considering the tech is already frequently regarded as the preferred infotainment interface for exactly that reason.

It's reliable, easy to use, and brings your favorite and familiar applications to the screen largely dominated by automaker software. But Apple is ever set on evolving its approach to user experience and the newest generation of CarPlay is set to show off some big changes.

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The most significant change is one that Apple teased back in 2022, which allows CarPlay to apply its design language to the car's infotainment screen and driver instruments at once. Adaptable to any vehicle's hardware design, the new driver instrument takeover will get as granular as customizing the font gauge on the speedometer and beyond. Even if your car doesn't come with some form of needled gauge, Apple CarPlay will now allow you to create your analog-style digital gauges, down to the amount of tick marks per mile-an-hour.


Other relevant instrument features include a band that will monitor how close to the set speed your vehicle is driving when using adaptive cruise control. Color coding will play a big role in this new generation, too, as red bars will appear when you run low on fuel or charge or when the vehicle runs too hot.

There is always a way to nit-pick the way manufacturers layout their gauge clusters, but the next generation of CarPlay should eliminate the need to complain. Instead, Apple's gauge cluster will be customizable from a geometric and layout perspective, giving the power of design to the driver instead of the manufacturer. You can even add a background wallpaper to your gauge cluster.

a screen shot of a car dashboard

Dynamic content, such as moving maps or the day's calendar, will also be included in the customization of the gauge cluster. Once configured to your liking, certain dynamic content can become a permanent fixture in the gauge display, such as navigation automatically popping up and compacting the speedometer below.

Apple did not mention which automakers it worked with to implement this generation of CarPlay, though it's likely that manufacturers who opt into the newest version of CarPlay will receive some degree (if not all) of these features. We look forward to exploring these new features and making some neo-retro gauge clusters of our own when the tech launches later this year.

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