Volkswagen Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have taken the automotive world by storm. Most automobiles now come standard with these features, allowing drivers to control their phone interface from the more accessible dashboard infotainment screen. Here’s everything to know about Volkswagen Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

What Are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Image via Flickr by HS You

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to access the functions of your phone and any passenger devices from your vehicle and through its infotainment screen. Both systems enable you to use your connected smartphone to navigate, manage calls and messages, access a calendar, and listen to music through the car’s multimedia system. Apple CarPlay works with iPhones, while Android Auto is for all Android-owned phones and devices. Most new vehicles today, like 2022 Volkswagens, are released with wireless versions of both.

Device connectivity software makes it possible to control primary phone functions through the manufacturer’s infotainment system instead of having to touch and look at the device itself. With the generous screen size of modern VWs, like 8 inches standard or 10 inches optional on the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, hunting for the right button on your phone is inconvenient by comparison.

Which Volkswagen Vehicles Have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Android Auto first started appearing on the VW lineup around 2016, with a universal wireless appearance on all passenger vehicles by 2020. Similarly, Apple CarPlay is in all 2018 and newer VW models, at least as an option, while the most recent versions have both systems standard across all trim levels.

No matter your Apple or Android device, it will be able to connect with almost any VW on the market. The convenience of phone app connectivity to a car or SUV can be the final selling point that convinces a Volkswagen driver to upgrade to a newer model. Check out our current inventory of new VW models with both systems standard on every vehicle.

Do Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Allow Voice Commands?

When it comes to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay having voice commands, their only job is to connect two devices. Thus, it’s more about whether the connected device accepts voice commands, and nearly all of them do, Siri for Apple and Google Assistant on Android. Once connected, whatever you are used to your doing through vocal commands, you’ll be able to do on any recent Volkswagen.

Do You Have to Install Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

Starting from Android 10, Android Auto is a built-in feature and not an app, so you do not have to install anything on your phone to use it. It can also be downloaded as an app for older devices. The essential part is a vehicle with Android Auto included.

Apple devices that work with CarPlay function the same way. Instead of an app, CarPlay is a feature that the apps use to access your infotainment system. You’ll be able to use Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and other iOS apps from the touch screen. Even older Apple devices that don’t come with CarPlay can install the software from the Apple store.

What If My Favorite App Isn’t Usable on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto?

Some third-party apps are not supported on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If you’d like to use these from your Volkswagen infotainment system, you could try using alternative software such as MirrorLink for Android or CarOS for iPhone. Keep in mind that these apps are not necessarily as thoroughly verified for security, and some of them limit features or charge money.

How To Connect Your Volkswagen to Apple CarPlay

Here are the steps to connect any compatible Volkswagen vehicle to your iPhone with Apple CarPlay:

  1. Ensure that the iPhone you want to pair with has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity enabled.
  2. Enter your VW, turn the ignition on, but leave it in park.
  3. Press the phone button on the infotainment dashboard. The infotainment screen will show a prompt and four-digit code.
  4. Look at “Other Devices” under your iPhone’s settings and select the device with that same four-digit code.
  5. The vehicle should send a pairing confirmation password to your phone. If the code shown on the touch screen matches, hit “Yes.”
  6. Your iPhone will ask permission to sync contacts and favorites. Choose “Allow.”
  7. The infotainment screen will show the option to connect with Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay. Select the latter.
  8. The infotainment screen will now show the homepage of your iPhone. You’re done!

There will be a Volkswagen icon on the phone’s homepage, and selecting that will transfer you back to the standard VW infotainment interface. That page will have a CarPlay button as well, so it’s easy to switch back and forth from the standard interface to that of your iPhone. After this initial connection, you will be able to access your iPhone homepage at any time from the infotainment screen after turning the ignition.

How To Connect Your Volkswagen to Android Auto

Connecting a VW to a Google device through Android Auto is just as straightforward as connecting an iPhone through CarPlay. Here are the steps:

  1. Be sure that your phone uses the latest Android operating system software and that the Android Auto app is installed.
  2. Enter your VW, turn the ignition on, but leave it in park.
  3. Ensure that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your phone.
  4. On your phone, hit “Bluetooth Settings” and then “Pair New Device.”
  5. Find your Volkswagen vehicle’s infotainment system and select it. A pairing confirmation password will appear.
  6. If the password on the infotainment screen matches the one on your phone, select “Yes” on the touch screen and “Pair” on your phone.
  7. The VW infotainment system will display connection options. Choose “Use Android Auto.”
  8. Choose “Accept” or “Allow” on any required permissions, such as phone contacts.

The Android Auto interface defaults to the map view, which signifies that your first connection has worked. From there, your device should be accessible as long as you have it nearby and the ignition is on.

It’s easier than ever to customize your car for what you need, whether a personal assistant, mobile office, or concert hall. If you have any questions about Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in a Volkswagen, feel free to contact us.