Matt Haughey wrote about his experience using CarPlay. About 5 years since it’s been released, he feels it is “good enough”. He does point out what, I think, is the biggest flaw with CarPlay.
See this CarPlay screenshot? Notice how there are three icons along the left side showing my last three used apps? You know what happens when you use a few apps, then someone texts you but your Messages app wasn’t used recently and you stay on this home screen view? That’s right, you’ll never know you got a new text unless you change screens to the one of all your apps and spot a red “1” on your Messages app.
Apple treats the icons in the dock as recently viewed or used instead of static icons. When I’m driving, I want those three icons to be Google Maps, Overcast, and Messages. That’s it. Those are the apps I use the most while driving. If I need another app, I will go look for it when I need. I don’t need that app taking up space when I want to listen to the Padres game on the MLB app that one time while I was driving, for example. Matt’s example is the best. I will never know if I’ve received a text message if the Messages icon gets bumped off the CarPlay dock. It’s probably the only reason why I pick up my phone while driving. I would hate to miss a text from my wife asking to pick up something on the way home.
I love CarPlay. I would be hesitant to buy a car without it (ahem, Tesla). I really hope Apple takes a look at this behavior and at least makes it an option.★