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To use CarPlay, Siri voice control must be activated on your iOS device. The device also requires an Internet connection via WLAN or the cellular network.
What do you need
There must be some way for your device to connect to your car radio. If not, then you’ve completely relied on the iPad or the iPhone’s own speakers, and while you may drift down a quiet street, the first time you hit traffic, you won’t. Therefore, you need to consider how to connect it to the car. If Bluetooth is not possible, it means a Lightning or USB-C cable to probably a USB-A cable. And even then, you may need to connect to an audio input on your dash. We leave that part to you.
Get started with shortcuts
This will still be easy, even if you’ve never cut shortcuts before. What you have to do, several times, is create a new shortcut that includes a step, an action.
Creating a shortcut
How to make one to play your Apple Music favorites playlist.
- Open shortcuts.
- Make sure My Shortcuts is selected in the lower left.
- Press the + sign in the upper right.
- Press Shortcut Name to give it a usable title, such as Play Favorites.
- Now tap on Add action.
- Enter the word Music at the top Search for apps and actions.
- From the possibly long list that appears, scroll down to Media and press Play Music.
- This enters a line in your new shortcut. Push music into it to specify what you want.
- Then press Listen now in the list that appears.
- find yours Favorite mix.
- This is hard to spot – tap the little plus sign in the upper right.
- The shortcut itself is now complete, but tap on the Settings icon in the top right next to the closed X.
- Choose Add to Home Screen.
- Give the shortcut a name if one isn’t already displayed, then hit Add.
It takes a few steps to get a shortcut to play a playlist, but most of the process is the same for each shortcut. And really, the only problem is that once you do it you think it’s wrong. Because instead of the “Play mix of favorites” shortcut, it says “Play” followed by a certain song in Apple Music. However, it is the first on your favorites list, and if you run the shortcut and wait about three minutes, you will see that it is successfully moved to the next one on the list.
So now you have an icon on your home screen that launches your favorite playlist when you tap on it. You just need to create another one, for example New Music Mix. Or more complicated, like a shortcut to activate Apple Maps and forward to home.
Change the home screen
If you only set touch shortcuts on the home screen of your iOS device, they will be buried under all the popular apps. You could create some kind of meta-link that’s just a menu with all the CarPlay-like shortcuts you want, but then you run into an additional problem.
Once you tap to launch a CarPlay-like shortcut, it works, and you’re done. When you exit the shortcut, you will return to the normal home screen. There are ways to divert shortcuts from shortcuts, but it’s really about starting one thing and then going home. So all you have to do is change the home screen. And you do it with the new focus mode. Start by creating a new home screen. To do this, drag the new shortcut icon to the right until a new blank screen appears.
Use focus mode to change home screen
- Then open Settings and hit Focus.
- Select a focus mode from the list (or create one and return to the list).
- Under Opportunities, press the home screen.
- Activate custom pages.
- Press to select a single startup screen from those displayed.
All you have to do is choose one. But if it does, it means that it may be the screen that contains all of your shortcuts. And as soon as you tap one to use it and then want to exit that shortcut, you will be back on the home screen, but it’s just your new CarPlay.
The thing about a home screen is that you can also have widgets. There is nothing in a widget that cannot be conjured with a shortcut, but they are simpler, more visual. If everything is a shortcut, the entire screen will be filled with the same shape icons. While, for example, a contact with a widget. It shows your name and face and you can touch them to call or send a text message.
- Long press on an empty area on the home screen.
- Press the + sign in the upper left.
- Choose from the available widgets.
Final remarks: How to use an iPhone or iPad in car instead of CarPlay
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