The 10 Best Apple CarPlay Apps

Apple CarPlay apps
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Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone's most widely used features and places them on your car's built-in dashboard screen, making it easier to utilize the smartphone's functionality while maintaining your focus on driving. Available by default in some automobiles and installable as an aftermarket unit in others, CarPlay can be controlled by your voice or its touchscreen display as well as via the buttons, dials and knobs in your car or truck.

As is the case with your iPhone, CarPlay's capabilities are expanded upon by its apps. While Maps, Messages, Music, Phone and other useful iOS features including Siri can be used, many popular Apple and third-party apps are also supported. We've listed some of our favorites below, each available from the App Store. Some apps are free, while some others charge up-front for the app or require a subscription to the service.

Audible CarPlay app
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One of the biggest benefits of traveling by public transportation is the downtime that it provides to catch up on some reading. Leafing through the pages of a book while driving a car, on the other hand, will probably land you in a ditch or a jail cell. The Audible app allows you to keep your eyes on the road and still enjoy a book or periodical, read by professional narrators as well as your favorite celebrities. You can also choose from a wide selection of podcasts, making even the longest of drives a tolerable experience.

Audible offers a 30-day free trial as well as monthly subscriptions to access its audiobooks library. More »

MLB At Bat CarPlay app
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From April through October, MLB.com At Bat lets you listen to any Major League Baseball game live through your car's speaker system. The app allows you to choose between the home or road team's broadcast, as well as the Spanish-language transmission in most cases.

You'll need a subscription to access each matchup's audio feed, priced at $2.99 per month or $19.99 annually at the time of publication. It's a worthwhile fee if you're a fan of our national pastime, as you'll never miss a pitch from Opening Day to the time the last out is made in the World Series. More »

Spotify CarPlay app
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Spotify's music library contains millions of titles spanning all eras and genres, offering the option to either seek out specific artists and songs or just let the app surprise you as you cruise down the highway. The free version of Spotify's music service is ad-supported and will only allow you to skip a certain number of songs in a given time period. Spotify Premium, meanwhile, removes all advertisements and grants unlimited skips and in some cases a higher quality of audio for a monthly fee. More »

Pandora CarPlay app
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If Spotify doesn't quench your musical thirst, Pandora also provides a mammoth song database and is driven by personalized radio stations that you create based on an artist, song or genre. It is also powered by ad revenue, with an optional monthly fee required to remove all commercials and unlock the ability to skip and replay tunes as often as you like. A 30-day trial lets you take the Pandora Plus subscription for a test drive before deciding whether or not to buy. More »

Overcast CarPlay app
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The cream of the crop when it comes to iOS podcast players, Overcast makes downloading, subscribing and listening to your favorites a breeze. With full CarPlay support and a robust feature set, this app is a must-have for anyone interested in digesting podcasts on-the-go. Overcast Premium can be purchased for $9.99 per year, which removes all advertisements. More »

NPR One CarPlay app
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National Public Radio features the latest news from within the US and around the globe, as well as stories and shows dedicated to a wide array of topics ranging from Car Talk to the Week In Politics. The NPR One app helps you create a customized flow of news and stories that cater to your specific interests, including noteworthy events from your local area. The app and everything within it is ad-driven and therefore free. More »

Radio Disney CarPlay app
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Lengthy car trips can be tough, even more so with fidgety children growing bored in the back seat. The Radio Disney app features music, interviews and other content from a compendium of kid-friendly artists, most of the time accompanied by videos that can be viewed on the iPhone or tablet that you've connected to CarPlay. More »

iHeartRadio CarPlay app
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No longer are you limited to those AM and FM radio stations within your signal range with the iHeartRadio app, which streams call letters from around the world. Want to listen to sports radio on the other side of the country? Sure. Missing that classic rock station that provided the soundtrack for your last vacation? iHeartRadio will play it for you.

You can also create your own personalized stations or listen to podcasts through the app, all available at no charge. Paid subscriptions allow more flexibility, lifting the song skip limit and letting you save and replay songs heard on the radio. More »

TuneIn Radio CarPlay app
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TuneIn Radio also streams music stations based in areas other than your own from over 100,000 different stations. A favorite of sports fans, the app lets you listen to live NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA football games, among others. Its integration with Westwood One broadcasts ensures that you'll never miss a moment of key events such as college basketball's March Madness tournament while you're in transit. More »

VOX CarPlay app
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The VOX app takes a different approach than the others in this list, enhancing the quality of songs rather than providing access to them. Supporting multiple audio formats and integrated fully with SoundCloud, VOX's custom equalizer and ability to account for gaps and sound loss ensure that you get the most out of your listening experience. Whether you're a discerning audiophile or just an average music fan, this app could make a worthwhile companion to your drive. VOX is not free to download, however. More »

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