So we've been using Android Auto for a few months now, and have been a bit curious as to how Apple's in-the-car experience worked. We have an iPhone 6 here (thanks to Verizon!) and have been using it with my Pioneer AVH-4100NEX for the past week or so, and wanted to talk about how it differs from Android's option.
First of all, set up is virtually identical. Other than the fact that you don't need to download anything for Apple's CarPlay. Just plug it in and it works. While on Android Auto, you do need to install the Android Auto app. Apple's CarPlay does use your phone while you're driving, but it's easier to get around the CarPlay screen compared to Android Auto. So you have your phone, messages, maps, and music, basically. Pretty much identical to Android Auto. However, I don't like the fact that you have multiple home screens. For me, Spotify was on the second page, with everything else on the first page. You don't want to be swiping across pages when driving down the highway at 75MPH. Maybe that's just me.
You also don't have Google Maps on Apple CarPlay, obviously because they want you to use Apple Maps. I did use it, but not for long. Big surprise there, right? Apple Maps isn't actually too bad, one thing I did notice however is that it's a bit slow at updating. Also showing traffic isn't all that great either. It would tell me traffic is bad after I get stuck in traffic. Making it not a big help.
One of the first issues I had was the fact that I had to leave the iPhone on, and open on Spotify or else it'd stop playing. However, after unplugging it and plugging it back in, it got slightly better. While Spotify would play in the background, as it should, if I were using Apple Maps and picked up the iPhone 6 to message someone, Maps would close on the screen in the car. Which kinda sucks. But I believe it's a limitation of iOS, which kills CarPlay, unfortunately. However, you should not be using your Phone in the car, while your driving. That's how accidents happen.
Overall, I was not too impressed with Apple CarPlay. Mostly because I'm an Android user and couldn't get over the limitations of iOS for CarPlay. I think for Apple users, it'll be a great feature for them. I'm not sure how many people will jump ship to Android for Android Auto over Apple CarPlay. But it could happen. CarPlay just seems a little too plain, actually.