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How much mobile data Apple CarPlay consumes

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What is Apple CarPlay

CarPlay is an app for synchronizing the iPhone with the car system. All available smartphone functions are displayed on the car dashboard and can be controlled by voice. The driver can use the navigator, call and send messages, turn on music - all without distracting from the road. The Siri voice assistant will help.

The app is not supported in all cars, you need to check compatibility before use. Also, the system does not work in all regions.

Does Apple CarPlay use data (GPS, mobile internet) to work

CarPlay works with navigators, which means it needs to use GPS data. Before connecting the system, you should check that automatic positioning is enabled on your device.

If there is no Wi-Fi network in the car, you will need to connect to the mobile Internet. This is necessary if you plan to use other services that are supported by CarPlay. For example, to listen to music or audiobooks, watch videos, navigation services, send messages and make calls via messengers.

What services Apple CarPlay is connected to

All apps that are installed on your iPhone and are compatible with Apple CarPlay will be shown on the main panel screen. In addition, CarPlay can also work with official apps to control vehicle features.

CarPlay supports work with such third-party services:

  • Google's services - Google Maps and Waze - can be used as navigation apps. In Google Maps you can download maps and view them offline, even without access to the Internet. Waze will show you the best routes and traffic jams based on traffic conditions.
  • To listen to the radio, install TuneIn Radio. TuneIn Radio has 100,000 stations from all over the world. You can add them to your favorites and play what you like before you travel.
  • For listening to audiobooks - Amazon Audible. Use a subscription for unlimited access or buy books separately as needed. To avoid wasting traffic on downloads, save them offline when connected to Wi-Fi.
  • WhatsApp and Telegram are available for instant messenger communication. To avoid manually typing, select the text or voice message dictation feature. Incoming messages will be read aloud by Siri assistant.

These are just some of the basic services that sync with CarPlay. Connect your smartphone to the system and you will see all available apps.

How much data Apple CarPlay uses per hour / per day / per month

Megabyte consumption is individual for each user. It all depends on the activity of using services online.

Approximate traffic consumption when using CarPlay:

Timeper hourper dayper month
average minimum traffic consumption5-10 MB1 GB15-30 GB

If you plan to use the app regularly, it is worth activating a cellular plan with unlimited Internet access.

Can I use Apple CarPlay without Internet

To use the services you must have internet access on your iPhone. You will not be able to listen to music, read books or communicate by messages without connecting to the network.

Without the internet you can use the maps, if you have saved them in advance. In this case, they will work offline. They can not be updated: the situation on the roads, including traffic jams, will not be shown.

What the Internet traffic consumption in Apple CarPlay depends on

The volume of consumed traffic depends on how often and for how long you use the app, how many services you use, and how your device is configured - whether it has limits set to save traffic.

But even if you don't use the apps, your traffic will still be consumed. All installed apps work in the background - receiving and transmitting information, sending notifications, and updating. Therefore, without special settings, you will not be able to avoid traffic consumption.

How to disable traffic consumption in Apple CarPlay

In order for CarPlay not to waste mobile traffic, change the settings in your phone. To do this, go to the Settings app in the main menu, find the "Cellular" or "Mobile Data" section.

You can change additional settings under "Cellular data settings". They may differ on different models of the device and depending on the cellular operator.

In this section, there is functionality to reduce the use of mobile Internet. To do this, activate the "Data Saving" item or go to the "Data Consumption" section and disable the connection through the cellular network. As a result, all apps will stop working in the background, and updates will be downloaded only when the device catches the Wi-Fi network.

For long trips

In the same menu item you can enable and disable data roaming. If enabled, your device will automatically connect to another available carrier's network when you leave your mobile network coverage area. This will result in roaming charges. Turn the feature off if you don't want to overpay.

Some mobile carriers enable roaming when you travel within the country. Check with your carrier's customer service department for data roaming terms and conditions. If you turn off data roaming, apps will not be able to use traffic when entering another carrier's service area or when leaving your region. They will only work when connected to Wi-Fi.

How to see mobile traffic consumption in the iPhone settings

You can check the number of spent megabytes in the same section: "Settings" -> "Cellular" (or "Mobile data").

How to know the amount of spent traffic:

  • Go down to the bottom of the page to the list of apps that use the mobile network. If you don't want to spend the Internet on CarPlay or another app, turn off the data option for it. The service will only start working on the Wi-Fi network.
  • If you want to know the amount of traffic consumed by the system apps, go this way: "Settings" -> "Cellular data" -> "System services". You can see the traffic separately for each system app, but you cannot disable mobile Internet usage for such services.
  • For traffic report you can use filter to display traffic statistics in roaming or for each app for the selected period. If these conditions are no longer relevant, press "Reset statistics" to reset all filter settings to zero.
  • If you have two SIM cards in your iPhone, you can view the traffic consumption for each of them separately.

For a detailed report and accurate information, contact support or the mobile operator's office for assistance.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.