The iPhone 8 is not the only highly-anticipated Apple update fans are waiting for. This September will also see the official launch of an updated CarPlay in iOS 11. With it will come a slew of new features, such as new route recommendations, lane guidance for Apple Maps, and more. Here’s a brief look at what you should expect.

CarPlay in iOS 11 new features and Tweaks
noelsch / Pixabay

CarPlay in iOS 11

From its earliest days to its most recent incarnation, CarPlay has been considered to be a work in progress. However, CarPlay in iOS 11 may finally see this software come of age. Previously, while useful, it has been considered to be nothing more than a car infotainment system that was significantly behind the likes of Android Auto, especially when it came to navigation. Now, however, it seems as though Apple has placed a renewed effort on CarPlay, and there are notable improvements worth discussing.

Lane guidance

For as long as we can remember, lane guidance has been a feature Apple Maps users have been crying out for. Now, thanks to CarPlay in iOS 11, this new feature comes as a free update and extends the navigation abilities of the software. In fact, when revealed at WWDC earlier this month, it had people asking questions at the expense of the HomePod.

In iOS 11 Beta 2, you can test lane guidance now while navigating to a destination. Those who have already tested it report that it appears to work as it should, even though it’s probably still a work in progress. Right now, it can show a driver visual indications, and there’s also audio information available via Siri.

The addition of lane guidance to CarPlay in iOS 11 is huge, as Apple does not allow CarPlay to work with Google Maps, so it’s something which has lagged behind until now.

Speed limit notifications

It’s common to see speed limit notifications in Google Maps and other systems. This was something that was lacking from Apple’s system until the first iOS 11 beta. Now CarPlay in iOS 11 provides support for speed limit changes, a feature many will be happy to see. As you approach or just pass a change in speed limit, you will be notified of the change via CarPlay so that you can adjust your speed.

Alternative routes

CarPlay’s ability to recommend alternative routes is considered to be a tweak and not a full-blown update. Previously, it could only provide details about a shorter route to your destination, but now, alternatives will appear on the map. These routes will appear as banner alerts and cues with additional information, such as estimated time of arrival.

Siri tweaked

Wherever you look in iOS, Siri is getting some much-needed attention, and the same goes for CarPlay in iOS 11. Siri’s new look on the iPhone and iPad has been ported across, including the new thinking and listening circular modes.

General notification changes

Previously, where notification badges may have gotten in the way, that’s no longer the case. These symbols have now been moved to be with the recently-introduced shortcut apps and appear at the side of CarPlay. While they no longer get in the way, at least Apple has included a way to let you know if a call or message has been missed.

Final thoughts

While these new features will be welcomed with open arms by Apple navigation users, it’s worth asking why Apple is so late in offering them. It is about time that the Cupertino-based giant stepped up and improved its offering, as other navigation systems have had these features for some time.

If you want to check them out, you need to get iOS 11 Beta 2; you can do so here.

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