The Future of Apple CarPlay

I love my Apple Carplay. It’s one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you experienced it.

Apple CarPlay solves one important thing: Digital car dashboards from car manufacturers are beyond horrible. From playing music, navigation, and bluetooth calling, every aspect of the experience leaves a lot to be desired. Use it once and you’ll most likely never use it again.

Outside of Tesla, every car has this issue. The good news is that Apple has partnered up with every major car manufacturer to allow Apple CarPlay to be displayed natively on their screens.

Apple CarPlay makes the experience more enjoyable in typical Apple fashion. Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s light years better than any other digital dashboard on the market.

However, CarPlay and even Android Auto all have similar restrictions to what apps can be utilized. Apple offers the following types of apps to be used on CarPlay screens:

  • Maps
  • Phone
  • Messages
  • Music

Anything outside of those categories can’t be used on CarPlay. So you can’t order an Uber or Lyft, book hotels, or discounted parking spaces in garages nearby. There are valid reasons for not allowing them mainly because of distraction reasons, but we thought it would be cool to think about what the experience would be like if this was really possible.

So, as we looked to imagine what Apple CarPlay could be, we brainstormed what use case would be the most beneficial if there were no restrictions.

The answer was unanimous: pizza. 

We thought of the following scenario: What if you could order a pizza and have it delivered to your home exactly when you arrive based on your GPS data. What would that experience look like?

So, we dove in and here’s a quick peek into what we came up with:

 

Let's start from the beginning.

A fresh new Pizza Icon. Looks good, right?

When you’re already in the car, now is it’s not the time to go Domino’s style and choose between every pizza type and ingredient. We focused on making the decision process as easy as possible, even if it limited the type of pizza you can order through the app or website. Our goal was to limit the amount of time that you needed to focus your eyes on the screen.

We settled on three options.

1 - Order your favorite pizza (Favorited in the App, not Carplay).

2 - The featured pizza that your local pizza joint is peddling.

3 - Stick with what you know and repeat your last order.

We discussed on having delivery or pick-up as the last screen in the ordering process, but after going through multiple flows, a delivery or pick-up option would have a significant factor in the screens we displayed next.

 

Let’s say your favorite order or recent order was two pizzas. Again, you couldn’t order two pizzas by selecting them individually. It’s only possible if this was a recent or favorite order.

Here’s a different take on the same screen. You can swipe left and right to see the summary of your order prior to purchasing.

You click "place order" and here is where the real magic happens. We would assume (and hope) that Apple would allow developers to access the navigation during a pizza order.

What this means is that you can time the pizza to arrive at your home when you arrive, or time the making of the pizza to be finished exactly when the GPS says you’ll be arriving.

The idea here is that you’ll get the hottest pizza when it’s the most convenient for you without having to do anything else to make that happen.

 


WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MY PIZZA?

It’s not just good enough to know that pizza has been ordered and is going to arrive when you’ll be there. We know you’re addicted to information and want an update if something went wrong during the creation of your beautiful pizza.

Here’s a simple screen to show you the status of your pizza when it’s still in the oven:

 Here it is when it’s finished and being prepared for delivery.

USING SIRI TO GET ORDER AND GET LATEST STATUS

The beautiful part about this whole setup is that we can use voice activated commands to do some of the similar functions we would normally press.

Retrieve the featured pizza specials

 

Get the last pizza order you made with a prompt to re-order with confirmation

 

Simple ordering & confirmation

  

 

Although this interface is still a dream because of Apple's current API restrictions, it's a reminder that great interfaces and products can truly make our lives a little bit easier. With innovations in cars and driverless cars coming, I don't think these types of applications are too far away.

Of course, a pizza app, is one of the many use case possibilities if Apple allowed full API access to CarPlay. What apps or use cases do you think would work great in this scenario?

What if you could have full access to your smart garage via the Dashboard? What use cases would fit in well with this interface? We will explore these scenarios in the next article.