Tech giant Apple has detailed its iOS 17 software update, which features new capabilities for Apple CarPlay users, ahead of its major next-generation in-car UI launching in late 2023.

Customers with iOS 17 will have access to real-time EV charging station information through Apple Maps, SharePlay Apple Music sessions, a new iMessage UI as well as new wallpaper designs.

A video posted by MacRumors on YouTube shows the new updates for iPhone users.

According to MacRumors, as long as the iPhone connected to CarPlay has a valid Apple Music subscription, other iPhone users in the car can add songs to the queue.

Each person will be required to scan a QR code within the CarPlay UI to join the session.

Apple says electric vehicle owners will be able to see real-time charging station availability that can be filtered by charging network provider, plug type and more, with owners given the option to select a preferred network.

As part of the update, Apple has also increased the button size for iMessage functions including its reply, read again and call functionalities.

Wallpaper choices now expand to include multiple colour options including an all-black background to seamlessly integrate with a infotainment display screen.

Apple has already announced its plans to revamp the CarPlay experience with next-generation interface expected later this year. The company first revealed the updates last year at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2022, and said a tri-screen display set-up will be available towards the end of 2023.

The next-generation set-up will provide users the functionality to adjust climate controls, the radio, as well as provide a native UI experience for the digital instrument cluster including speed and rev gauges.

Drivers will be able to choose from a wide variety of themes, and will additionally be able to customise aspects of each one.

Apple will also offer views with a full map display. With these themes, the map can either take focus between two circular dials, or the driver can opt for a full 3D map display, with speed and other information being relegated to a secondary focus.

The next generation of Apple CarPlay will also introduce a far more developed version of widgets. Much like widgets on the iPhone, these are smaller ‘views’ of an app that can sit on a particular infotainment display, and provide glanceable information such as upcoming calendar appointments, the weather or a trip meter.

Apple announced the next generation of CarPlay will be supported by models from a range of manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche, Ford, Renault, Volvo, Honda and Nissan among others.

Jade Credentino

Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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