Regular readers of these pages know the basics around the Apple CarPlay infotainment system that was introduced with great fanfare at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show, so going forward, we’re going to delve into specific new features and functionality without rehashing the basics.
CarPlay has many uses beyond navigation, entertainment, news and messages. A driver can find a nearby EV charger with apps such as ChargePoint and PlugShare and find a parking garage with SpotHero. One can participate in a Zoom meeting (audio only), and get the latest weather by pressing the CarPlay home button and asking Siri.
In addition to the aforementioned applications, some drivers want to be able to order food while on the go, perhaps to pick up on the way home from work for those who haven’t joined the telecommuting ranks.
The leading and perhaps only quick-service restaurant in the United States with CarPlay support is Dunkin’ Donuts and the food-ordering feature on CarPlay launched last year with Dunkin’ and Panera Bread.
Now it’s possible to order a pizza pie from Domino’s Pizza via CarPlay as well. While admittedly Domino’s is not my go-to pizza brand, it was tempting to test it out nonetheless.
Presuming the Domino’s iPhone app is on your device, simply scroll to the page in CarPlay where the app icon appears and tap it to open the app. Select either “Tap to Order” or “Call to Order” (I chose the former as calling would be cheating).
“Tap to Order” has a few limitations: I was able to select from a preselected “Easy Order” saved to my personal profile (I had to create my credentials when I downloaded the app in order to use it) or I could repeat a recently-placed order which, of course, wasn’t applicable on this, my first, order.
The Domino app is fully integrated with Apple Maps, automatically displaying nearby locations in the Maps app. I found it fairly simple to view and select a nearby Domino’s location, which started the navigation function in Maps.
Meanwhile, the Domino app allowed me to track the status of my order of two “Build Your Own” two-topping pizza for only $18.99. I had previously specified that my pizza pie come with robust inspired tomato sauce, cheese, black olives, and mushrooms.
The app gave me the opportunity to order beverages, which I declined to do since I had a bottle of water with me and wasn’t going to eat in the Mercedes, either.
Domino’s Carside Delivery option allowed me to pick up my pizza pie without ever having to leave my vehicle, another blow to the American waistline I wistfully surmised.
I typically opt for something more along the line of the great artisanal pizza from Nick’s in Forest Hills, New York, over chain pizza but, in a pinch – and there could be a variety of reasons why one finds oneself needing to order pizza via CarPlay while driving – it serves its purpose quite well for what it is and the app in terms of ease-of-use and functionality is up to the task.
Apple CarPlay is available on approximately 98% of all new cars sold in the United States and many new cars sold in Europe, and Apple says that almost 80% of new-car buyers consider the presence of Apple CarPlay in a vehicle when making a car-buying decision.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)